business news in context, analysis with attitude

…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The New York Times reports on how “in recent weeks, beef and farming industry groups have persuaded legislators in more than a dozen states to introduce laws that would make it illegal to use the word meat to describe burgers and sausages that are created from plant-based ingredients or are grown in labs. Just this week, new meat-labeling bills were introduced in Arizona and Arkansas … These meat alternatives may look and taste and even bleed like meat, but cattle ranchers want to make sure that the new competition can’t use the meat label.”

According to the story, “Meat producers say they don’t want to lose control of labeling like the dairy industry, which lost its battle to keep almond and soy producers from using the word milk on their beverages. Egg and even mayonnaise producers have faced similar fights.”

• The Wall Street Journal reports that “makers of household staples from diapers to toilet paper are set to raise prices again this year after already hiking prices in 2018, hoping to offset higher commodity costs and boost profits.”

Among them, Church & Dwight, which “recently increased prices for about a third of its products, including Arm & Hammer cat litter and baking soda, and some OxiClean cleaning products.” It is, the story says, “one of several consumer-goods companies that have raised prices—or pledged to do so—in response to higher costs of raw materials and transportation as well as unfavorable foreign-currency swings. As a result, consumers are being asked to pay more for Pampers and Huggies diapers, Bounty and Viva paper towels, Charmin and Scott toilet papers and Arm & Hammer baking soda, among other products.”

USA Today reports that Coca-Cola will roll out its new Orange Vanilla Coke later this month, describing it as the first new flavor for its flagship brand in more than a decade. At the same time, it will introduce Orange Vanilla Coke Zero Sugar.

The story says that “the Orange Vanilla announcement comes at a time when Big Soda contends with criticism over American's unhealthy eating habits and with municipalities around the country passing so-called soda taxes. Plus, Americans now buy more bottled water than carbonated beverages, data from the research and consulting company Beverage Marketing found.”

Mark me down as being excited. I’m a big fan of the Coke Freestyle machines, and I routinely craft Orange-Vanilla Diet Coke and Coke Free drinks for myself when I have the opportunity. So this will be almost like having a Freestyle machine at home.
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