business news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Tampa Bay Business Journal reports that Publix Super Markets will pilot its new Apron’s Make Ahead Meals program at a Jacksonville store, and also will open a stand-alone version of the program in Lithia, Florida, sometime next year.

The program, as described by the Journal, “will provide customers with all the ingredients and the recipes they need during a two-hour meal assembly session to prepare up to 12 meals at one time.

“Each month 14 different meal selections with four each will be available, starting with the selections that include buffalo chicken burritos, citrus stuffed chicken rolls, French toast casserole with apples and Mediterranean shrimp and orzo. Meal packages are available in six for $120, eight for $145 or 12 for $200.

“Publix is also offering the Apron's Make-Ahead Meals To Go program. With this option, customers can purchase preassembled meals for an additional fee on the company's Web site.”

• The Chicago Tribune reports that 10 Chicago area Shell gas stations are testing a Pay By Touch biometric system that lets “consumers walk up to the pump, scan their fingertips on a device and fill up their vehicles. The systems, also installed at Shell convenience stores, are directly linked to customers' checking or credit-card accounts for payment.”

• Clorox Co. announced that it will acquire Burt’s Bees, the personal care products company, for $925 million.

KC's View: