business news in context, analysis with attitude

•  Today is Supermarket Employee Day, a new holiday proclaimed by FMI—The Food Industry Association "to recognize employees at every level for the work they do feeding families and enriching lives."

W"hen FMI proclaimed this new holiday to recognize the six million employees that comprise our nation’s food industry, nobody ever could have imagined how much this celebration would be embraced," said Leslie G. Sarasin, FMI’s president and CEO.  "In this short window of time, supermarkets and food manufacturers are coordinating a broad spectrum of activities to honor our industry’s front-line heroes on this first-ever Supermarket Employee Day."

•  Reuters reports that McDonald's "will tie executive bonuses to new goals for diversifying the company and for the first time publicly release demographic details of its workforce.

"Under the new rules, CEO Chris Kempczinski stands to lose 15% of his approximately $2.25 million annual bonus if he fails to meet goals to increase the portion of women and Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and other minorities in senior leadership roles … The burger chain said Wednesday that it aimed to boost women in leadership roles, senior director and above, from 37% to 45% globally by the end of 2025.

"It also said it would increase the portion of historically underrepresented groups, in such leadership roles in the United States from 29%, where it now stands, to 35% in the next five years."

•  From the New York Times:

"Nearly four years after traces of chemicals believed to cause health problems in children and reproductive issues in adults were found in mass-market macaroni and cheese packets, Annie’s Homegrown has begun working with its suppliers to eliminate the offending material from their food processing equipment.

"The presence of the chemicals, called ortho-phthalates, rattled consumers who rely on the food staple, especially parents. Phthalates make rigid plastic more flexible material and are commonly used in tubing and conveyor belts found at food manufacturing plants and in food packaging … Annie’s, known by its cute bunny logo, disclosed its move in a statement on its website, saying the company was working 'with our trusted suppliers to eliminate ortho-phthalates that may be present in the packaging material and food processing equipment that produces the cheese and cheese powder in our macaroni and cheese'."

•  From Reuters:

" Chinese community grocery shopping app Xingsheng Youxuan has raised about $2 billion in a new funding round that values the company at $6 billion prior to the fresh capital injection, three people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters … Headquartered in central China’s Hunan province, three-year-old Xingsheng Youxuan delivers online bulk orders to offline grocery stores located inside or near residential communities.

"It now runs the service in 13 provinces and municipalities, covering more than 6,000 counties and over 30,000 towns, according to its website.

"With more than 8 million daily orders, Xingsheng Youxuan estimated it had a gross merchandise value of 40 billion yuan ($6.18 billion) in 2020, the website said."