...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

Business Insider reports that “Whole Foods' prices are creeping back up after highly-publicized cuts following its acquisition by Amazon, according to an analysis by the research firm Gordon Haskett. The firm checked prices on 110 items at a Whole Foods store in Princeton, New Jersey, and found that the cost of the total basket of items has increased 1% since the end of September.”

According to the story, “Most of the latest price increases affected dry, packaged goods, according to the price study. At the same time, there were some price cuts in produce and dairy. The prices of produce fell 4.9%, while snack foods rose 5.2%, dry grocery rose 2.5%, beverages and bakery each rose 1.3%, and frozen goods rose 1.3%.”

One has to remember that Amazon is very good at cutting prices where the cuts will have impact, and building margin where it can. Stories like these may persuade some folks that Amazon is unlikely to make significant changes at Whole Foods. They would, I think, be wrong about that.

Business Insider reports that Amazon-owned Whole Foods will open its first east coast “365 by Whole Foods” store in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, on January 31, 2018. It’ll be the seventh 365 stores in the country.

• The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Kraft Heinz has just issued its “first corporate social responsibility report — fulfilling a promise made earlier this year when not one, but three shareholder resolutions briefly battled to bring attention to sustainability, nutrition and sourcing issues.

“Among the goals announced Tuesday: a 100 percent cage-free egg supply across the globe by 2025 and a product portfolio that hits 70 percent compliance with internal standards on things like calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar by 2023.”

The story notes that “at a time when traditional packaged food companies are losing market share to natural and organic innovators, the sometimes wonky corporate social responsibility reports put out by many companies may be gaining new relevance. Consumers like the notion of buying food that’s nutritious and isn’t overly processed, while many investors like feeling their money isn’t going into a business that hurts the environment.”

• The Tampa Bay Business Journal reports that Publix “is expanding its line of convenience-driven, minimal-prep meals with a kit designed specifically for slow cookers … Three kits are part of the initial rollout: Chicken and dumplings, chuck roast and pork carnitas, which are a limited-time offering.”