Johnston said he was surprised at the lack of consolidation in the grocery industry. "Fifty percent of the buying in the industry is done at regional chains and independent grocers, so there will be continued growth through consolidation," he told the Boston Globe, adding, "We will be one of the consolidators."
Sources close to Kraft Foods say the food company has put its Altoids and Life Savers brands up for sale, with Hershey Foods, Cadbury Scweppes and Wm. Wrigley Jr. all seen as potential buyers. The two brands could fetch as much as $1 billion, and their sale reflects Kraft's decision to focus on its cookie, cracker and cheese brands.
Discount chains Aldi and Sav-A-Lot are able to run their small format stores with fewer employees and almost no frills, allowing them to undercut prices at traditional chains by 40% on some items. "Everything is designed to maximize efficiency and minimize cost," Aldi vice president Brent Laubaugh said.
With low-carb dieting appearing to be on the decline, journalism professor Michael Pollan examines other dieting trends in American history and how we view them today. He says America's fascination with food is the paradox of "notably unhealthy people obsessed by the idea of eating healthily."
Internet grocery shopping has come to the Santa Cruz, Calif., area with the launch of Safeway.com. Area shoppers can cruise virtual store aisles, fill digital baskets and expect a van at their door later the same day, if orders are placed early enough. The service charges delivery fees ranging from $4.95 to $9.95, and a minimum purchase of $50 is required.