How the Boost in Home Improvement Might Benefit the Packaged-Food Industry


While stuck inside during the pandemic, plenty of people have decided to spruce up their surroundings.

The result has been great for home improvement retailers such as Home Depot, Lowe’s and Ace Hardware, which have seen sales spike as the nation shelters in place. But the time and money people are putting into their homes now could have long-term benefits for a completely different industry—packaged-food manufacturers.

Sean Connolly, CEO of Conagra Brands, maker of Duncan Hines cakes, Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn and Slim Jim meat snacks, believes that even when a vaccine arrives and restaurants begin running at full capacity again, people will feel pulled toward spending more time around the house because of all the upgrades they’ve made to their kitchens, furniture and entertainment systems.

“Now that they’ve made these investments into nesting or cocooning—whatever you want to call it—we expect they’re going to want to get a return on

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Bull of the Day: Lowe’s Companies (LOW)

As the Covid-19 pandemic stretches past its 200th day and Americans remain mostly in their homes as much as possible, there have been many winners and losers in the business world. The losers have been businesses that rely in in-person interactions for a significant portion of their revenues. Travel, leisure and entertainment have all suffered mightily.

Technology and technology services like video conferencing and file sharing companies that allow people to work at home more efficiently have been the obvious winners.

There have also been winners in lower-tech industries that suddenly find their goods and services in increased demand – and customers who’s lack of recent spending on recreational pursuits has left them with additional cash in their budgets.

Have you been to a home improvement store lately? With the exception of physical formats that have been tweaked to promote social distancing, you’ll probably find that it looks pretty

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Home saliva COVID tests are just as accurate as nasal swabs

As the pandemic rages on, research on different types of coronavirus tests continues in an effort to increase testing capacity and minimize contact with others.

Many Americans are familiar with the uncomfortable experience of having a 6-inch cotton swab poked deep in their nasal cavities, but there are also tests that can be completed at home that involve a simple spit in a tube — and they are just as accurate and reliable as their more painful counterpart, experts say.

Ever since the first emergency use authorization was issued for an at-home saliva-based COVID-19 test in May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued more for companies across the country.

Experts say they are easier to process in the lab, more comfortable for the patient and safer for health care professionals. The downside? Most at-home coronavirus saliva tests are costly, and in some cases, your insurance won’t cover the

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Acer Hits A Home Run With Spin 5

I’m a huge San Diego Padres fan. So when my team advanced to the National League Division Series to play the Los Angeles Dodgers this past week, I planned to watch every inning on our big-screen TV. Unfortunately, when Game 3 came around last night, that screen was spoken for by my wife. So instead of watching on one of our other two TVs with much smaller displays, I got into bed and flipped on the Acer Spin 5 convertible laptop (model SP513-54N-74V2) I’ve been testing. Brought up the game, flipped the laptop into tent mode, and quickly became awed. 

That’s because the image looked crystal high-definition clear. In fact, I think the viewing experience may have been superior to that on our big screen. What’s not to like about this Windows 10 machine…you know, other than the Windows operating system? It

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Into the arms of her family: released French hostage returns home

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks with French aid worker Sophie Petronin who was freed from captivity in the hands of Islamist insurgents upon her arrival at the Villacoublay military airport near Paris, France October 9, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/Pool

VILLACOUBLAY, France (Reuters) – French aid worker Sophie Petronin, released from captivity in the Mali desert, walked down the steps of a military plane that brought her home on Friday and was swept up in the embrace of family members she had not seen for four years.

French President Emmanuel Macron, at the foot of the steps to greet 75-year-old Petronin, exchanged a few words with her but then stood aside while family members, some in tears, formed a tight huddle around Petronin, hugging her and each other.

Petronin was one of four hostages being held by jihadist militants who were released this week. She had been kidnapped near the desert city

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Former deputy charged with thefts from dead man’s home

A former Orange County sheriff’s deputy has been charged with burglarizing the home of a dead man, prosecutors said Thursday.

Steve Hortz, a 12-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department, was called to a Yorba Linda home on July 20 to check on the welfare of the owner. He discovered the man, who was in his 70s, had died of natural causes, according to a statement from the county district attorney’s office.

Home surveillance video showed Hortz breaking into the home about a week later while on duty and in uniform, authorities alleged. He left the door open and returned twice more in August in civilian clothes, authorities contend.

The stolen goods included ceiling fans and safes containing 15 guns, prosecutors alleged.

The Sheriff’s Department began investigating after the probate attorney handling the homeowner’s estate reported items were missing and provided the surveillance video, authorities said.

Hortz, 42,

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North Carolina City Ignores Its Own Rules To Keep Homeless Shelter Out Of Its New Home

For more than 30 years, the Catherine H. Barber Memorial Shelter has quietly served North Wilkesboro and broader Wilkes County in North Carolina. It’s a small, temporary shelter with 10 beds that helps those who have fallen on hard times get back on their feet; the maximum stay is generally two weeks. Most nights there are a few empty beds, but on occasion the shelter—the only one in 70,000 resident Wilkes County—must turn away the needy. After losing its lease on the home it has occupied for three decades, the shelter was offered a new building, free of charge. But it may never be able to move in.

A local dentist moved his practice and offered the shelter his now empty office building. And

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The Best Humidifiers For Your Home In 2020

Humidifiers have changed little over the years, their purpose the same as it’s always been: to increase humidity in a room or area, with the ultimate goal of achieving humidity levels of between 30% and 50% in an indoor environment. And that specific range is very important. Because while humidity below 30% can dry out sinuses, cause asthma problems and negatively affect your sleep (according to health experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), when it exceeds 50%, you run the risk of mold growth, insect infestations and damage to household appliances (according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). To keep your home’s humidity level in that ideal range, it’s critical to invest in one of the best humidifiers on the market.

In shopping for the best humidifier, there are a number of things to consider before you make your choice. Beyond optimizing your interior humidity, you

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Why 4 Technologies That Boomed During Covid-19 Will Keep People Home More After A Vaccine

By Moe Kelley

Moe is a mobility expert with the Oliver Wyman Forum and a partner in the communications, media, and technology practice at Oliver Wyman.

We always knew part of the Mobility Revolution might involve technologies that would mean consumers need to move less, not more — innovations that let digital devices get things done without the need to travel from one place to another. Today, Covid-19 is responsible for the accelerated adoption of several technologies that are all about staying safe at home. Instead of traveling to work, grocery shop, see a doctor, or go to school, people around the world now rely on solutions that let them complete these tasks using a laptop or phone. And the implications of

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Tech Isn’t The Answer To Your Work-From-Home Culture

Ashish Kachru is Co-Founder and CEO of Altruista Health, developer of the industry’s leading care management and population health platform.

There’s a lot of buzz about what the workplace will look like once the pandemic is over. I believe we are in a great sifting process in the economy in which weak companies will fail and good companies have a chance to become great. It may surprise you that, even as the CEO of a technology company, I don’t think technology will drive the successes.

A recent McKinsey & Company study says we are headed for a future that mixes remote work arrangements with office-based work. However, the more I read and talk with employees at my company, the more convinced I am that employers are about to overlook one huge threat that comes with a heavily emerging work-from-home environment. Relying too much on technology in a work-from-home

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