Monday, March 10, 2008

Speaking of rising food prices

…Julie Jargon, writing in the WSJ on Mar 7, 2008, talks about some ways our favorite food companies are making (their) ends meet.

…Sara Lee is reformulating the bread with cheaper, lower-protein wheat.

…There are now only 40 kinds of Hamburger Helper—down from 75. (Seventy-five! How much help did that hamburger need, anyhow?)

…Campbell’s is cutting the number of ingredients in its soups. They described their earlier approach of different meats and flavorings as being “artisanal.” As in art of cooking?

…Coffee is shooting upwards.

…But those specialty things—like the lower-sodium soups all over TV—are expected to do better.

…Those with strong brand loyalty such as Heinz and Wrigley will hold their customers.

…Our old bud Kraft may be in for it, though. Their brands, they say, are not strong enough to withstand price increases.

…HA hates to even think it, but did she recently buy Kraft Dinner that was over two bucks?

…It’s the cheese. Really? That was real cheese? Anyhow, they say it’s the cheese in Kraft products that is not so negotiable.

…Meat companies are also vulnerable. Animal feed is going up…

…Many companies are looking to overseas markets to save them. They also will acquire other companies.

…Even Hershey, which relies on commodity markets, may face trouble.

…No chocolate? Oh, please, we can’t have a recession without chocolate. It just isn’t conceivable. Go back to the drawing boards, people.


Onehealthpro said...

The media and politicians have recently taken to talking about recession. If they had been watching food shelves in grocery stores, they might have noted the problem sooner. Sale items have been vanishing on day one and that's been happening for quite a while.

Star Lawrence said...

Definitely. A writer in Salon was taken to task recently for saying chicken was $7. Maybe not by the pound, but the packs are that and more!The meat dept is like a food museum--look but don't touch. This has been at least a year--you are so right! I sometimes get grocs delivered--I don't drive. The delivery went up three bucks, plus a gas surcharge of 60 cents. These politicians are all living in a bubble. When is the last time ANY of them wrote a check for bills, shopped in a store, or dealt with an insurance company? Er, that would be a minute past never.