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Of Russia, Albertsons and Wavy Gravy

Nov. 2, 2022
An (opinionated) and twisted look at the news.

Sometimes the news comes so thick and fast that all you can do is sit back and marvel. And make snarky comments, of course.

Russia Backtracks on Backtracking on Grain Deal

First Russia was going to let ships laden with grain out of Ukraine. Then they weren’t. Now they are again.

Russia announced that it would renege on a deal to allow the ships out, a few months after it went into effect. The official reason for sinking the deal was “a terrorist attack” on the port of Sevastopol. It looked a lot more like spite over Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive in the east – the same spite that is leading Russia to resume terroristic but militarily pointless attacks on residential buildings and civilian infrastructure.

As for why Putin changed his mind, maybe it’s because he thinks starving Africans of the Ukrainian grain they depend on would look even worse than cutting off natural gas supplies to Western Europe. But who knows with him. Let’s just hope he doesn’t change his mind for a third time.

Albertsons Says It Just Has Too Much Money

Albertsons is a company that just looooves its shareholders. It loves them so much that it wants to give them a $4 billion gift.

And that gift has nothing to do with sweetening its impending acquisition by Kroger, no siree bob. No matter what that nasty attorney general up in Washington thinks with his lawsuit seeking an injunction to stop Albertsons from making the payment.

A cynic would note that Albertsons’ stock price has been yo-yoing since the merger was announced. It stood at $28.71 on Oct. 13, the day before the announcement, dropped to $26.45 the next day, rallied a bit, then dropped off a cliff on Oct. 21, three days after the payout was announced, going to $20.96. Kroger’s stock price, meanwhile, also dropped after the acquisition announcement but has since recovered to its original level.

That same cynic would suggest that Albertsons is looking to sweeten the deal in time to head off any unpleasant shareholder revolts. Good thing I’m an optimist.

Thanksgiving Gravy that Gets You High

Talk about wavy gravy: Just in time for Thanksgiving comes cannabis-infused turkey gravy from Kiva Confections, a leading manufacturer of cannabis edibles. Every serving has 10mg of THC.

“With an increasing social, political, and cultural divisiveness driving apart families and friends, Kiva Cannabis-Infused Gravy is back to unite us all around the dinner table,” the company says.

All I can say is: They haven’t met my family. When that bunch gets going on politics, 10 milligrams is nowhere near enough. And gravy isn't nearly fast enough as a delivery mechanism; I'm thinking more along the lines of dart guns.

About the Author

Pan Demetrakakes | Senior Editor

Pan has written about the food and beverage industry for more than 25 years. His areas of coverage have included formulations, processing, packaging, marketing and retailing. Pan worked for Food Processing Magazine for six years in the 1990s, where he was operations editor (his current role), touring dozens of food plants of every description. He has also worked for Packaging and Food & Beverage Packaging magazines, the latter as chief editor, during which he won three ASBPE awards. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a BA in communications.