business news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• Publix Super Markets has opened its third GreenWise Market, which it describes as “a specialty, natural and organic store featuring a curated selection of unique, local and organic items,” in Mountain Brook, Alabama.

The company says that “the first new-concept GreenWise Market opened in Tallahassee, Florida, in October 2018, and the second location opened last month in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Seven additional locations have been announced, and three of those are expected to open this year.”

CNN reports that all is not venti for Starbucks in the UK.

The story says that as Starbucks is closing stores there, it is losing money in its sixth largest global market - it lost the equivalent of $22 million (US) there during the last fiscal year. It blames the red ink on “costs including store closures and higher wages.”

CNN writes that “the American chain is the latest in a series of restaurants and retailers to come under pressure in Britain, where many businesses have struggled with the transition to online shopping and uncertainty about Brexit.”

• The New York Times reports that PepsiCo plans to start test-marketing its Aquafina brand of water “in aluminum cans at some retailers and food-service providers.”

Stacy Taffet, the Pepsi vice president who oversees the company’s water brands, acknowledges to the Times “that while many kinds of fizzy water already came in aluminum containers, drinking still water from a can would be ‘a newer behavior’ for many people.”

The Times notes that “in recent years, public sentiment has turned against single-use plastic items, which can end up accumulating in landfills or floating in oceans. Across the world, only 9 percent of all the plastic ever made has been recycled; by contrast, 67 percent of the aluminum bought by consumers every year is reused.” However, “there’s a limit to how much environmental good Pepsi’s new packaging can achieve. While putting water in aluminum cans and recycled plastic is a step forward for the industry, the best way for consumers to protect the environment would be to give up packaged water entirely, said Peter Gleick, the author of a book about bottled water.”

I ordered some Liquid Death, a spring water packaged in aluminum, and asked my kids to drink it. They hated the taste and the can. My daughter brought it to work, and the reaction to the packaging was equally hostile. I’m not saying that they can’t get past these reactions, but their work is cut out for them.
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