Retail sales rise 0.3% in May
WASHINGTON — Consumer spending rose 0.3% in May, marking four consecutive months of rising U.S. retail sales.
The Commerce Department reported Thursday that May results were boosted by strength from the auto sector, which recorded a 1.4% sales increase during the month. U.S. retail sales rose 0.5% in April and 1.5% in March.
The four-month revival in spending — following a dismal January hurt by nasty weather — has prompted economists to predict a solid rebound to 3% growth or better in the current April-June quarter.
Sectors outside of autos didn’t fare quite as well in May. Sales at hardware stores and furniture stores increased, but department store sales fell 1.4%. A broader category that includes department stores and big-box stores saw sales fall 0.6%. Sales also were down at specialty clothing stores and electronics stores, but posted a solid gain of 0.6% in the category that includes online shopping.
Analysts expect overall economic growth to remain at a solid 3% level in the second half of the year.
Reynolds announces disposable bacon pan
LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Reynolds Bakeware on Thursday announced its first disposable pan designed solely for the purpose of cooking bacon in the oven. The new pan makes the cooking process simpler and cleaner, the company said. Reynolds Bakeware Bacon Pan’s ridges elevate the bacon strips and small holes inside the pan let hot grease drain into a liner.
“Reynolds Bakeware Pans are innovating the category. The pans are the only sturdy, attractive disposable pans on the market to feature benefits, such as a non-stick coating that makes food easy to lift out of the pan. Our new bacon pan also features a grease-absorbing liner that makes cleanup both safe and easy. Consumers really love these features,” said Jeff Trump, Reynolds Bakeware director.
Reynolds Bakeware Bacon Pans are available in packages of three for a suggested retail price of $4.99.
Quaker Oats invites consumers to crunch on new breakfast item
CHICAGO — Quaker Oats, a brand from PepsiCo, announced the introduction of Warm & Crunchy Granola, a hot cereal that delivers Quaker Oatmeal and the crunch of multigrain granola. The product maintains its crunch even after being heated with milk, the company said.
“Serving a breakfast of Warm & Crunchy Granola helps your family start summer mornings off right — it’s delicious, plus delivers a unique texture and satisfying crunch the whole family is sure to enjoy before heading to summertime activities,” said Joe Silverman, senior marketing director for Quaker Foods North America. “Quaker is committed to continuing to find new ways to provide busy families with breakfast options to help power them through their fast-paced lives.”
Warm & Crunchy Granola is available in three varieties, all of which contain 4 g of fiber and 32 g of whole grains. Consumers can choose from honey almond, apple cinnamon and cranberry almond. Each box contains eight packages of the granola and has a suggested retail price of $3.99.