Posts tagged with "Costco"

Over 2,000 people have petitioned Costco to add a vegan hot dog to its food court menu

October 7, 2019

It may not be in the Zagat guide, but a visit to Costco’s food court menu-which serves a menu of pizza, hot dogs and ice cream—is a on the must-do list of most shoppers when they visit the big-box store.

Now, according to Business Insider, nearly 2,000 people have signed a petition for the warehouse retailer to introduce a vegan hot dog to its food court menu. The Change.org petition was started by Scott Hildebrand, who wrote on the website that he has been vegan for eight years and has eaten a meat-free diet for over a decade.

“We need to work with companies to make plant-based options more accessible,” Hildebrand, who lives near Costco’s headquarters in Washington State, said in a statement. “Our family, like countless others, are regulars at Costco. I’d love to see them extend plant-based options to the food court, so we can enjoy veggie hot dogs after a Sunday shopping trip.”

Costco already is on the same page. The company has announced that some stores will start selling a plant-based burger within in the next few weeks, Business Insider reports.

Indeed, the stores actually went too far and  sparked a backlash in July 2018, the new outlet says, when it cut its Polish hot dog from its menu in favor of vegan and healthier options like açai bowls and organic burgers.

“Sorry, but when I feel like a hot dog or pizza, a salad is the last thing on my mind,” the petition reads.

The petition also notes the growing availability of vegan and plant-based options nationwide, including Burger King’s Impossible WhopperKFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken, and Ikea’s rollout of a vegan hot dog.

The petition is directed toward Costco CEO Craig Jelinek.

A Costco representative did not return a request from Business Insider for comment.

Research contact: @businessinsider

Consumer wallets ‘spring a leak’ as prices soar on diapers, kitty litter, and toilet paper

February 12, 2019

Most of us cut back on everything but the essentials when household prices go up, but our budget remains the same. However, according to a February 10 report by The Wall Street Journal, the cost of staples—including such fundamentals as diapers and cat litter—is expected to increase in 2019, leaving us little choice but to ante up.

Producers of household products, from toilet paper to bleach, are set to raise prices again this year after already hiking prices in 2018, hoping to offset higher commodity costs and boost profits, the financial news outlet says.

New Jersey-based Church & Dwight already has increased prices for about one-third of its products, including Arm & Hammer cat litter and baking soda, and some OxiClean cleaning products.

“The good news is that competitors are raising [prices] in those categories as we speak,” Church & Dwight CEO Matthew Farrell said on a conference call last week, during which the company reported higher quarterly sales and lower profits.

What he left out of that statement to financial analysts was that it was good news for the company and its stockholders—but not for America’s consumers.

The company is now discussing more price increases with retailers, including for personal-care products, Farrell told analysts Tuesday. Those brands include Nair, Arm & Hammer Toothpaste, Orajel, Simply Saline, Waterpik, and Viviscal, among others.

Other household names that are planning to release similarly “good” news, according to the Journal, include Procter & GambleColgate-Palmolive, and Clorox, which are raising prices in response to higher costs of raw materials and transportation, as well as unfavorable foreign-currency swings.

For much of the past decade, the Journal notes, price cuts have been far more common than price increases as U.S. companies were mostly reluctant to test consumers’ spending power and brand loyalty in a fragile economic recovery.

When companies tried to raise prices, “they better have had a uniquely strong innovation or be willing to lose market share to competitors,” Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Ali Dibadj told the news outlet.

Adding to the challenge of raising prices is that more shoppers have been switching to store-branded paper towels and discount detergents, or opting for online upstarts such as Dollar Shave Club.

Traditional brands also have been under pressure from big-box retailers such as Costco and discounters like Walmart Inc. and Amazon to keep prices low—pushing the manufacturers to focus on lowering costs in their supply chains or pare back advertising.

Finally, after failing to see success when they tried to combat weak demand by lowering prices, the industry’s biggest player, P&G, shifted its course last summer, announcing it would charge more for several of its brands—and several rivals followed suit, the Journal reports.

The recent price increases are largely playing out in the companies’ favor, Wells Fargo Securities analyst Bonnie Herzog told the Journal. Sales volumes of household and personal products in the United States. declined 1.4% in January, according to Bernstein’s analysis of data from Nielsen. Dollar sales of those products rose 0.7% in the period, Bernstein said, indicating that the price increases, on balance, are padding the bottom lines at consumer-goods companies.

How consumers will deal with the price hikes long-term remains to be seen.

Research contact: aisha.al-muslim@wsj.com