business news in context, analysis with attitude

Joining in on the debate about Wal-Mart’s benefits programs, one MNB user wrote:

It would seem to me the opportunity exist for a highly industrialized nation as ours, to extend basic health care to its population. Not only make Wal-Mart pay, but business that exceeds a specific number of employee’s should have to pay. It becomes a cost to do business for employers, and it levels the playing field. And who knows if there was a Kaiser Permanente Plan, why could there not be the Wal-Mart Medical Plan. I can see that little smiley face rolling down the hallways of hospitals and pharmacies now.

We have long felt that Wal-Mart ought to go into the health care business – it would drive down costs and prices, and shut up its critics.

On the subject of ”low sugar” becoming the new “low carb,” one MNB user wrote:

Sugar, in itself doesn't seem to be the culprit as much as the type of sugar used by food processors. High fructose corn syrup is derived from a complex process involving enzymes, chemicals and bacteria and is primarily used by the food industry because it is less expensive than sugar derived from other sources. The problem is that studies indicate that HFCS acts in the body more like fat than sugar and can do all kinds of funky things. HFCS is considered by some to be a leading cause of obesity. It appears that by simply eliminating HFCS from process food would probably save Americans billions in healthcare expenses. Do a Google search on High Fructose Corn Syrup to find all kinds of scary information.

MNB user Al Kober wrote:

It could have a longer shelf life than lo-carb as long as it doesn't effect the taste. The problem with low carb, was not that it didn't work it just didn't taste good and that is the reason most people eat food in the first place (noting that some people eat just to survive, and then it doesn't really matter what it taste like). Most people do not eat as much when then have a cold or anything that effect the taste of food. So if the lower sugar products still taste good, or a least good enough to be an acceptable substitution for the real thing, it will continue to be a long lived trend or even become mainstream.

Another MNB user wrote:

The "Low Sugar" and "Whole Grain" movements are a direct result of the "Low Carb" diet craze. In my opinion "Low Carb" diets have educated the consumer about what foods are truly good for us and what should be eaten in moderation, something the "Low Fat" diets failed at. Dr. Atkins spells out very clearly is his book to stay away from refined sugar and flour.

MNB user Dan Crooks chimed in:

Instead of sucralose and other artificial sweeteners, food manufacturers should be looking into stevia, an herb from South America that happens to be sweet, not based on sugar, calorie free, and grows in the ground. Stevia is used today in variety of products but the FDA requires that it be sold only as a “dietary supplement” and forbids calling it a “sweetener” or referring to it as “sweet”.

Herbs from South America. Hmmm…we remember those from college back in the seventies…

We wrote yesterday about the bitterness being felt by Giant Food employees losing their jobs in the DC market, which prompted one MNB user to write:

No one really is going to care except those who will lose their jobs. The big guys already made there money when all these companies were sold. The rich still get richer. Gordon Gecko was right Greed is Good. Remember what happen to A&P pension money? I was a believer in company loyalty. Far getttta abouttt itttt.

Another MNB user wrote:

As a former Giant associate, I can attest to the “family atmosphere”. Losing your job is one thing, losing the day-to-day contact with your coworkers that became your friends is a whole other issue. Back in the day, Giant’s hiring policy was simple: “We don’t train people to be friendly, we hire friendly people”. All of us friendly people are now being shown the door. It is truly a sad time is the Washington DC retail arena.

On the subject of Wendy’s dealing with the fallout from the finger-in-the-chili scam, MNB user Jim Swoboda wrote:

I was listening to FOX news this weekend and an image consultant suggested that Wendy's should make some light of this situation and market it to their advantage. The thought process was that since it was not their fault and because they were so forthcoming in discussing it when it was occurring, that a little humor might be just the ticket.

So in that spirit, I offer up their new marketing message..."At Wendy's we never accept 'tips'!"

And on that note…we bid you a good day.

Have a glass of out-of-state wine and think of MNB.
KC's View: