There's good news to report for the casual-dining segment: customer enthusiasm is up. But the other side of the coin shows that new challenges are emerging for casual-dining operators as the lines continue to blur between limited-service fast-casual restaurants and full-service casual-dining chains.
Billionaire Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway, along with 3G Capital, will acquire Heinz in a $23.3 billion dollar deal, netting Heinz shareholders $72.50 per share of common stock. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.
The state Senate judiciary committee has pushed forward a proposal to add a fee to sugary beverages in Hawaii. The judiciary committee's vote Tuesday came just a day after the Senate health committee approved the same bill. Gov. Neil Abercrombie says the fee is an important way to fight obesity.
There's nothing more satisfying than a home-cooked meal, especially if it comes out of a can or a pouch. As more people try their hand at mimicking sophisticated recipes from cooking shows and blogs, food companies are rolling out meal kits and starters that make amateur chefs feel like Emeril Lagasse or Rachael Ray in the kitchen.
Even in a country where the horse is a national symbol, such concern for their welfare is rare. In tough economic times, some Romanians are selling their horses to slaughterhouses because they can't afford to keep them. Europe's horsemeat scandal has focused the spotlight on Romania and its network of 35 plants authorized to butcher horses.
A Cyprus-registered company called "Draap Trading Ltd." moved to the center of Europe's horsemeat mislabeling scandal Wednesday, as it emerged that a man with the same name as the owner of Draap was convicted of fraud for passing off horsemeat as beef by a Dutch court last year.
H.J. Heinz Co. has agreed to be acquired by an investment group including billionaire investor Warren Buffett in a deal valued at $23.3 billion. The ketchup company says it's the largest deal ever in the food industry. Heinz shareholders will receive $72.50 in cash for each share of common stock they own. The transaction value includes the assumption of Heinz's debt.
Simion Craciun poses with a horse at Sieu Sfantu, which means "Saving Horses from Wolves," in Romania's central region Transylvania. When Simion hears a horse is being sold to the slaughterhouse near where he lives, he rushes out to offer more money and bring the creature back to his picturesque plot where tourists come for riding lessons.
Demand for bourbon with the iconic melted wax seal has soared, more than doubling in the last seven years. The brand has already cut back on overseas shipments and adjusted its distribution model, but now it's running into ingredients shortages. The solution? Water it down.
Taco Bell fans can finally mark their calendars: Doritos Locos Tacos in Cool Ranch flavor will be launched March 7. The chain is rolling out the new variety a year after the Doritos Locos Tacos were launched in a Nacho Cheese flavor. Taco Bell says it already sold more than 350 million of finger-staining tacos, making them the biggest ever product launch.
Milk producer Dean Foods on Wednesday posted a fourth-quarter profit of $37 million, reversing a loss from the year before. But its profit outlook fell short of Wall Street expectations, and shares slumped. Dean has had to deal with higher dairy costs stemming from last summer's drought in much of the U.S. that drove up feed prices for cows.
Sweden's food safety authority says it will test a wide range of frozen meat products sold in supermarkets to check whether they contain horsemeat and have been mislabeled. The move comes after recalls of frozen lasagna and other pre-prepared meals in several European countries, including Sweden. The frozen meals were found to contain horsemeat, contrary to what their labels said.
The makers of a popular carbonated alcoholic drink guzzled on college campuses are going to be changing the look of its Four Loko cans to settle the government's charges of deceptive marketing. The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday that Chicago-based Phusion Projects will be required to put an "alcohol facts panel" on the back of flavored malt beverage cans containing more than two servings of alcohol.
A New Zealand food industry association on Wednesday rejected a coroner's call to add health warnings to soft-drink labels following the 2010 death of a woman who drank about 2 gallons of Coca-Cola a day. Coroner David Crerar issued a final report Tuesday into the death of 31-year-old Natasha Harris, concluding that the mother of eight died from a heart attack.
Restaurant chains that serve more lower-calorie foods and beverages have better business performance, according to a study released by Hudson Institute. Over five years, chains that increased the amount of lower-calorie options they served had better sales growth, larger increases in customer traffic, and stronger gains in total food and beverage servings than chains whose servings of lower-calorie options declined.
Kraft Foods is weighing whether to spend $40 million to expand a southwestern Illinois plant if the city and state provide about $400,000 to widen a road in front of the site. The Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis reports that the move would add 30 jobs to the 660,000-square-foot plant and warehouse. The facilities now have more than 400 workers. The plant produces Capri Sun and Kool-Aid beverages.
Pretzel maker Snyder's-Lance Inc. said Tuesday that its fiscal fourth-quarter net income dropped 65 percent, hurt in part by increased impairment charges. Its adjusted results beat Wall Street's view. The company earned $7.8 million, or 11 cents per share, for the period ended Dec. 29. That's down from $22.4 million, or 33 cents per share, a year earlier.
British authorities on Tuesday raided a slaughterhouse and a meat processing company suspected of selling horsemeat labeled as beef for kebabs and burgers, shutting them down temporarily and seizing all the meat found. It was the first time since the growing scandal broke across Europe that horsemeat being marketed as beef has been traced to suppliers in Britain, officials said.
The producer of Maker's Mark bourbon is cutting — likely permanently — the amount of alcohol in each bottle to stretch every drop of the famous Kentucky whiskey. The alcohol volume is being lowered from its historic level of 45 percent to 42 percent — or 90 proof to 84 proof.
Frederick Scott Salyer has been described as one of the most influential men in California's agriculture industry, but on Tuesday he learned that he'll soon become just another inmate in the federal prison system. Salyer, who built a small canning company into one of the biggest tomato processors in California, was sentenced to six years in prison for engaging in a price-fixing scam.