Items of interest that might have been missed in the press of things during the week:

  • Campbell Soup has a new, vested interest in buoying up its soup business in the U.S.  The company has recently encountered competition from private-label options and now says that it will go all-out to differentiate its soups from competitors.  The effort will include tweaking prices or offering promotions with CEO Mark Clouse saying, “We will need to improve investment levels to support the brands.”  What a great idea – one whose time has definitely come.
  • Google/Alphabet has made the acquisition that has been anticipated for a while now, buying Looker, a business intelligence software and big data analytics platform, for $2.6 billion in cash.  This particular acquisition is intended to bolster the company’s cloud computing business and is different from the characteristic acquisitions of the tech giants, where they are prone to scoop up unwanted competition.  Alphabet invested in the start-up early-on through its venture capital arm.
  • Beginning in Fall, 2019, Walmart will deliver food directly to the fridges of customers, in their homes and garages.  The company is ramping up the new service in Kansas City, MO, Pittsburgh, and Vero Beach, FL.  The Walmart employees delivering the products will wear body cams clipped to their chests so that customers can view the deliveries in real time.  The workers will enter the homes that have been equipped with smart locks, internet-connected devices controlled remotely to unlock a door.
  • Apple has devised new plans to allow anonymous sign-ins on mobile apps, which will potentially stem the flow of data available to companies such as Facebook and Google, who use the information to track users and sell ads based on their habits.  When Apple releases its new mobile operating system this Fall, apps downloaded through the Apple App Store will have the option of clicking on an Apple icon to generate a random email address so that users can participate in Facebook and other apps without revealing any personal information.

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