Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Tristate summary

Folgers to trade metal for plastic

Staff/wire reports

After almost 150 years on store shelves, the signature red metal can containing Folgers coffee will disappear within about a year.

Procter & Gamble Co. said Monday that it would introduce plastic canisters starting in September, eventually phasing out the metal coffee can.

That means consumers won't have to use can openers, and the plastic container features better sealing and a built-in handle, P&G said. The switch will start with the 39-ounce Classic Roast.

American consumers drink about 85 million cups of Folgers every day, making it the top selling coffee brand in the U.S.

Kroger tests dollar-aisles

Kroger Co. is experimenting with sections of items priced $1 in several stores in an effort to compete against discounters in urban areas.

The Cincinnati-based supermarket chain recently opened two stores in Houston that have large sections that sell items for $1. It also is trying out dollar-aisles in about a dozen stores in western states.

"It's a system we're testing in markets that compete against other dollar stores," Gary Rhodes, a company spokesman, said.

He said Kroger hasn't decided to expand on the idea, so there are no plans for Cincinnati now. Kroger's dollar-sections sell items including food, party items and greeting cards.

Increased competition from dollar stores and retailers that have entered the grocery business has hurt traditional supermarkets.

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