Sales of store-brand products rose 8.5% in March compared to the previous year, to $54.7 billion, according to Nielsen Co. Customer Susan Chapman of Florida says she sticks with national brands for some items, but saves money by buying store-brand milk, ketchup and more.
Companies such as General Mills have shifted the focus from providing workers with generous health benefits to offering programs that help them shape up and reduce health care spending. A January Hewitt Associates study found some two-thirds of firms planned to make workers pay more of their health care costs and one-third planned to boost their emphasis on wellness programs. Congress also is on board, considering legislation giving companies tax incentives to offer such programs to workers.
The Wall Street Journal has named Judy Hong of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. the top beverage analyst in its annual Best on the Street survey. She advised investors to sell Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. and Pepsi Bottling Group Inc.