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Archive for Sunday, May 12, 2002

Briefcase

May 12, 2002

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Sara Lee bakes up bread without the crust

Sara Lee wants to take over a duty that moms have carried out for children for decades slicing the crusts off white bread. The consumer goods giant is touting its new IronKids Crustless Bread as a fresh-from-the-oven idea.

The product, introduced at the supermarket industry's annual convention in Chicago recently, will be a bit of an upper-crust loaf. Sara Lee is selling it for about 75 cents more than the price of crusted bread, or $2.59 to $3.39 for a 16-ounce loaf, depending on the market.

In an era when convenience tops U.S. shopping lists, Sara Lee figures enough consumers will turn over the extra dough. It's spending nearly $10 million to roll it out, making it the bakery group's biggest product launch yet.

Productivity: Survey finds professionals working longer hours

Of the 1,742 managers and professionals polled by Management Recruiters International, nearly two-thirds work late three to five days a week, and almost a third are working late at least once or twice a week.

"While managers typically work long hours, recent layoffs have greatly added to their workloads," said Allen Salikof, president and chief executive MRI, a subsidiary of specialized staffing and outsourcing leader CDI Corp.

The MRI survey reported that 27.8 percent of those polled work late five days a week on average, 35.4 percent work late three to four days on average, and 32.2 percent one to two days. Just 4.6 percent said that they never worked late.

The survey also showed that 32.6 percent of American workers put in one extra hour when they do work late, 43 percent work two extra hours, 12.6 percent put in three extra hours, 3.7 percent fours hours and 4.5 percent work late more than four hours.

Motley Fool: Name that company

I'm a global giant, reeling in some $7 billion in sales annually. Brands in my big plastic bin include Sharpie, Paper Mate, Parker, Waterman, Rubbermaid, Blue Ice, Calphalon, Little Tikes, Graco, Levolor, Kirsch, Shur-Line and Eldon. Based in Freeport, Ill., I employ roughly 50,000 people worldwide. The two merged companies that make up my name began by selling curtain rods and toy balloons. I'm one of the most diverse injection-molding and blow-molding companies in the world. My biggest customer is Wal-Mart. Named the most powerful brand in the home products industry in 2001, I'm "how life gets organized." Who am I?

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