business news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

Marketing Daily reports on a new study saying that men are becoming more involved in food shopping, suggesting that "men are becoming household helpers, perhaps as they are supplanted at work by women -- a big change from household engagement meaning coming home for dinner now and then … In the study, based on an online panel performed by Hunter Qualitative Research, more than 65% of respondents said they now hold primary shopping responsibility for several household product categories, with 67% saying they enjoy shopping for the household, and close to 63% open to choosing new brands.

"About 54% of surveyed men said they shop for groceries and household supplies more often than their spouses, with many saying they are the decision makers when it comes to grocery shopping as well. Fifty percent said their spouses do not tell them what brands to buy, and nearly 70% said they are willing to sacrifice career advancement for more time with family."

I think men are shopping more than ever. Though I have to wonder if men are doing quite as much at home as they say they are doing. After all, we men are pretty good at self-delusion…

• A good sign for one segment of the economy, perhaps? But not so much for the economy overall?

The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Home Depot "is adding more upscale items to its lineup, as its customers show a willingness to splurge on their homes.

"The giant home-improvement retailer said sales of premium products have posted four straight quarters of growth. The results highlight the growing divergence between chains that can cash in on wealthier shoppers who benefit from rising home and stock prices, and retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that cater to lower-end customers and are suffering because of reductions in federal food stamp outlays and unemployment benefits."

• The San Francisco Chronicle this morning reports that "Rancho Feeding Corp., the Petaluma slaughterhouse that recently recalled 8.7 million pounds of beef, is under criminal investigation by the federal government for killing and selling meat from dairy cows with cancer, according to sources who would speak only on the condition of anonymity.

"Rancho was allegedly buying up cows with eye cancer, chopping off their heads so inspectors couldn't detect the disease and illegally selling the meat, the sources said."

The story notes that while these practices are illegal, they are unlikely to make anyone sick, and, in fact, there have been no reports of illness related to the company's practices.

Not yet, anyway. But y'know who I think ought to be the lab rats used to see if this indeed is the case? I'm thinking we can find them in the executive offices at Rancho Feeding Corp.
KC's View: