business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  WCPO-TV News reports that "local Kroger employees are about to get a pay boost, thanks to a rarely used contract maneuver by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 75.

"UFCW members are expected to ratify a contract modification Sunday that will bring 50-cent hourly raises to 11,000 clerks and department heads in its Cincinnati and Dayton stores.

"The 50-cent bump is on top of already scheduled pay raises required by UFCW’s existing contract. Kroger rarely adjusts wages in the middle of a contract, but UFCW President Kevin Garvey got the company to consider it after the union agreed to help the company test a new way to sell fresh-cut fruit in eight local stores."

•  From the Washington Post:

"The U.S. Postal Service is raising mail prices for most users, pushing the cost of a first-class stamp from 63 cents to 66 cents.

"The new rates, which also cover other mail items including periodicals and advertising mailers, are poised to take effect July 9 unless overruled by the postal regulator.

"The 5.4 percent increase across all first-class mail products is the agency’s fourth rate hike in two years. It also brings the price of a stamp, a baseline for postage products, up 32 percent since 2019, when a stamp ran 50 cents."

•  From Front Office Sports:

"The Chicago Cubs are making history with a drink.

"The team will be the first MLB team with a CBD sponsor.

"The Cubs are working with Chicago-based MYND Drinks, which will have signage and beverages in three flavors at Wrigley Field. The product met the criteria for working with MLB teams by receiving the NSF Certified for Sport designation.

"The team is leaning into CBD’s relaxing qualities to promote the deal: The Cubs are releasing a guided meditation on YouTube, narrated by their radio play-by-play announcer Pat Hughes.

"MLB is the first major sports league with a CBD sponsor, having linked up with CBD company Charlotte’s Web in an exclusive multiyear deal inked last October."

Wouldn't you like to hear Harry Caray do a commercial for this stuff?

•  From NBC News:

Legendary food storage brand Tupperware has hired advisers to help turn around the company after notifying securities regulators it may have to close up shop.

"In a release dated April 7, the Orlando, Florida-based company announced it was seeking to improve its capital structure in order to 'remediate its doubts regarding its ability to continue as a going concern.'

"That same day, Tupperware issued a going-concern notice after warning it could be heading for a default if its lenders demand payment for maintaining access to the company's main line of credit … the company says it is exploring all options to regain its financial footing, including accessing new lines of credit, tapping new investors, selling some of its real estate and further cost-cutting."

NBC News notes that "while Tupperware still sees more than $1 billion in quarterly global sales, it lost $28.4 million in its most recent quarter amid higher costs, inflationary pressures and lower sales."

Ironic, isn't it, that a time when food waste is top of mind for many people, perhaps the best-known name in food storage can't make a profit?  

•  From the New York Times this morning:

"Dog ownership boomed during the pandemic, with Americans buying or adopting millions of pets, including canines. Sales of dog food surged to around $25 billion last year, up nearly 39 percent from $18 billion in 2019, according to the consumer research firm NIQ.

"But as inflation has driven up the prices of even conventional kibble, the options in the dog food aisle have become increasingly bespoke and expensive. There are holistic, plant-based varieties, and those with freeze-dried goat and wild boar. Some options are frozen and raw … One of the fastest-growing and most competitive categories is human-grade dog food … According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials, a nongovernmental organization that provides guidance to the industry on animal feeds, human-grade dog food contains fresh ingredients — like meats or vegetables — that are fit for human consumption, and is manufactured in a plant that is federally regulated and inspected."

And, because if nothing else this segment is ripe for satire, here's how "Saturday Night Live" recently weighed in on the subject: