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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Czech Hops Harvest To Be Down 26 Percent

August 31, 2012 10:48 am | by KAREL JANICEK,Associated Press | News | Comments

Fear not, beer lovers! Although the Czech hops harvest is expected to plummet by around a quarter this year due to bad weather, there's still plenty of stock to quench the huge thirst both at home and abroad. Czechs are by far the biggest beer drinkers in the world per capita and the Czech Republic is also one of the top producers of hops — the dried seed cones that give beer its bitter taste and aroma.

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Consumer Trends: Classic Cocktails Make A Comeback

August 31, 2012 10:45 am | News | Comments

If you want to know what cocktails people are ordering in bars and restaurants, you don't need to look any further than an episode of Mad Men. Classic cocktails are mixing things up on the drink menu this year. According to new research from Mintel Menu Insights, cocktails that are described as "classic" on menus have increased by a whopping 76% since 2009.

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Rain Aids Indiana Soybeans

August 31, 2012 9:43 am | by RICK CALLAHAN,Associated Press | News | Comments

Indiana's drought-stressed soybean crop has gotten a late-season boost from recent rainfall, which should lessen the financial impact of the state's worst drought in decades by increasing yields in many fields, a Purdue University farm expert said Wednesday.

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Consumer Spending Rose 0.4 Percent In July

August 31, 2012 9:41 am | by MARTIN CRUTSINGER,AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Americans spent at the fastest pace in five months in July after earning a little more. The increase in income and consumer spending could help boost an economy mired in subpar growth. Consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in July from June, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That followed no change in June and a slight decline in May.

New Life For Decades-Old Wisconsin Cheddar

August 31, 2012 9:39 am | by DINESH RAMDE,Associated Press | News | Comments

Edward Zahn, 73, was in Z's Cheese Shoppe's walk-in cooler last month, preparing to shut down his Oconto store. He pushed aside stacks of cheese to reveal several wooden boxes that had been overlooked for years. Inside were blocks of unintentionally aged cheddar — 28, 34 and 40 years old — that, some experts say, might comprise the oldest collection of cheese ever assembled and sold to the public.

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Trouble Brews Between Safeway, Kona Coffee Farmers

August 31, 2012 9:37 am | by JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER,Associated Press | News | Comments

A national grocer said it has changed its label on packages of Kona coffee blends, making good on a promise it made last year to a group of Hawaii coffee farmers. But the Kona Coffee Farmers Association said Thursday Safeway hasn't fully honored that promise.

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Diet Pepsi Tweaking Its Sweetener

August 31, 2012 9:35 am | by CANDICE CHOI,AP Food Industry Writer | News | Comments

PepsiCo Inc. is testing a new mix of artificial sweeteners that lets the soda keep its taste for a longer period of time. The problem is that the current sweetener used in the soda — aspartame — loses its potency faster than high fructose corn syrup, the sweetener that's used in most regular sodas.

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Photo Of The Day: Aged To Perfection

August 31, 2012 9:31 am | News | Comments

A recently discovered block of eastern Wisconsin cheddar cheese that dates back to the Nixon presidency will be sold for $10 per ounce. The three boxes — 28, 34 and 40 years old — will be auctioned to the public. Some experts say it might comprise the oldest collection of cheese ever assembled.

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Festival Celebrates Bacon

August 31, 2012 8:00 am | Videos | Comments

Last week's Bacon Fest in Kansas City featured dishes ranging from bacon and waffles to bacon and chocolate brownies — even bacon lollipops. The event sold 2,000 tickets and drew crowds eager to taste the latest innovations in bacony goodness and participate in the festival's bacon eating contest.

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Using Supplier Score Cards To Improve Profitability

August 31, 2012 8:00 am | by Shawn Dennison, CPA, CMA, Vice President of Finance, Cerro Wire | Articles | Comments

Some companies delegate purchasing decisions to the local branch, while others centralize their purchasing. Whether the decision was made locally or from a central office, each buyer still had its own way of evaluating the purchase decision. Some buyers valued the lowest price, some valued relationship, and so on.

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The Unspoken Key to Improvement Success

August 31, 2012 8:00 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Articles | Comments

Business improvement initiatives and process improvement efforts work because people adopt new ways of doing things. The key to success is to focus on people and behavior. Let’s talk about what happens when our process improvement efforts and our business improvement initiatives succeed.

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Senate Bill To Let Farmworkers Sue Over Heat

August 30, 2012 1:12 pm | News | Comments

A bill approved in the state Senate would let California farmworkers sue their employers for failing to comply with laws requiring them to provide adequate water and shade. AB2346 passed on a 21-12 vote Monday. It would let farmworkers sue if employers fail to follow California's 2005 heat protection regulations.

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Consumer Group Petitions Against Non-Approved HFCS

August 30, 2012 1:09 pm | News | Comments

Citizens for Health has filed a petition with the FDA that seeks to protect consumers from the illegal use of the man-made sweetener High Fructose Corn Syrup that contains concentrations of fructose above 55 percent. The FDA has only authorized the use of HCFS in foods and beverages at or below 55 percent fructose concentration, the level generally recognized as safe.

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Corn Belt Benefits From Recent Rains

August 30, 2012 1:05 pm | by JIM SUHR,AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Growers in key farm states punished by the nation's worst drought in two generations welcomed recent rains that at least for a time soaked their parched crops and eased the dryness. But with Hurricane Isaac's remnants crawling their way, some farmers wonder whether too much relief is on the horizon.

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Company Recalls Mangoes Implicated In Salmonella Outbreak

August 30, 2012 1:03 pm | News | Comments

Fruit distributor Splendid Products is recalling several lots of Daniella brand mangoes, which may have triggered an outbreak of salmonella that has sickened more than 100 people in 16 states. The company said the recalled mangoes come from Mexico and carry the Daniella brand sticker. The affected lot numbers are: 3114, 4051, 4311, 4584 or 4959.

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New Belgium Says River Water Tainted By Wildfire

August 30, 2012 1:01 pm | News | Comments

The maker of Fat Tire beer says it's using a reserve water supply because the water in northern Colorado's Poudre River is tainted by a wildfire that destroyed hundreds of homes in June. New Belgium Brewery objected when it was told it will soon have to go back to using water from the river. The company says if that happens, it would kill the flavor in the beer and make it undrinkable.

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Consumer Trends: Milk Processors Cut Sugar In Flavored Milk

August 30, 2012 12:57 pm | News | Comments

As students head back to the classroom, school cafeterias are debuting more nutritious choices for kids, including whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and school flavored milk that is lower in sugar and calories than ever before. In fact, this year marks the first full school year of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) new school lunch regulations aimed at improving the health and nutrition of our nation's kids. 

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Perdue’s Leighton: Leadership Is About Being F.I.T.

August 30, 2012 9:52 am | News | Comments

“Leaders work with their teams effectively to create something that no one person can do alone. Most importantly, they understand that leadership is all about being F.I.T. (Fully Integrated Teams). It’s important to understand that a manager manages people; but a leader has followers who look up to them to make effective decisions,” Jim Leighton, president of Perdue Food Products said.

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Absolut Maker’s Profit Rises 10 Percent

August 30, 2012 9:48 am | by SARAH DiLORENZO,AP Business Writer | News | Comments

French beverage company Pernod Ricard said Thursday that its annual net profit increased 10 percent as its focus on Asia and premium brands delivered its best results since the global economic crisis began in 2008. The company behind Absolut vodka and Mumm champagne said that its revenues grew 7 percent to €8.2 billion ($10.3 billion). Its net profit was €1.1 billion.

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U.S. Unemployment Applications Flat

August 30, 2012 9:46 am | by DANIEL WAGNER,AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits was unchanged last week at a seasonally adjusted 374,000, suggesting slow improvement in the job market. The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, increased to 370,250.

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