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This Week in Commerce: Inflation, retail sales & Honest Co. earnings
Check out the calendar for March 13-17.
Welcome to a new week. The run-up to St. Patrick’s Day will be a busy week of economic data, with the latest look at inflation and retail sales providing a snapshot of the consumer. On the networking front, marketplace sellers are gathering in Las Vegas for Prosper Show. You’ll see plenty of well wishes about luck this week. But as you consider where that fits into your working life, remember this from the Roman philosopher Seneca: Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
Let’s take a look at the calendar:
Prosper Show: The Las Vegas conference for marketplace sellers features networking, connections to service providers and advanced education. (March 13-15)
Consumer Price Index: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases data on inflation across the economy for February 2023. While inflation had cooled in the latter months of 2023, that motion slowed in January to leave the year-over-year price increase at 6.4%. (March 14, 8:30 a.m.)
U.S. retail sales: The U.S. Commerce Department releases data for retail sales, including ecommerce, for February 2023. In January, total sales saw a bump up 3% for the month to start the year strong, despite talk of consumer pullback. (March 14)
Producer Price Index: The U.S. Commerce Department releases data for pricing paid by wholesalers for goods before they reach retail sales. This is seen as a forward-looking measure of inflation. (March 14, 8:30 a.m.)
Consumer Sentiment: The University of Michigan releases preliminary data for March on consumer buying conditions expectations, including the outlook on inflation. Sentiment ticked up slightly in February, showing signs of emergence from historic lows over the summer. (March 17, 10 a.m.)
Monday, March 13: Boxed
Tuesday: March 14: Lulu’s Fashion Lounge, Guess
Thursday, March 16: Honest Company, Blue Apron, G-III Apparel, Designer Brands, FedEx
Trending in Economy
Kellogg's takes inspiration from employees, Latin in snacks rebrand
Kellanova is now the parent of Pringles, Cheez-Its and Pop Tarts.
Kellogg Company's snacks business is now Kellanova. Here are a few finer points about how the forthcoming parent of Cheez-Its and and Pop-Tarts arrived at the new name.
Last year, Kellogg announced plans to split its business into multiple companies.
Now, one company will have North American cereals like Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops and Rice Krispies under the WK Kellogg Co banner.
Another will have snacks like Pringles, North American frozen foods such as Eggo and plant-based brands like MorningStar Farms.
This week, Kellogg announced that the snacks business has a new name: Kellanova.
Here are the strategies that Kellogg employed that led to this name:
- Ask the employees: Kellogg Company asked employees for input on the name, and received 4,000 suggestions from 1,000 employees.
- Listen to the results: 20% of the employees suggested a variation of the W.K. Kellogg name, while other employees suggested that the name include "nova."
- Go to the root: "Nova" comes from the Latin word for new. CEO Steve Cahillane said it "signals our ambition to continuously evolve as an innovative, next generation, global snacking powerhouse."
As The Wall Street Journal reports, this is just the latest new company name to take a Latin root in recent years, as Kellanova joins GE Vernova, Mondelez and Altria. It's also among a number of spinouts being completed by corporations, joining GSK spinoff Haleon, J&J's Kenvue and a forthcoming company that will spin out of 3M.
Even with a name that emphasizes moving forward, Kellanova is keeping one element that is familiar: The logo still has the iconic cursive K. It will even get the boldly simple stock ticker symbol "K" to go along with it.
Even the WK Kellogg Co is combining the past and future. The company is seeking to position itself as a "117-year-old startup," even as it draws on the name and signature of the Kellogg's founder. There's even a more subtle hint about an unwritten chapter: The "Co" doesn't have a period.
To get to the future, you need to bring along a bit of the past.