J. M. Smucker Co. said Friday that its fiscal third-quarter net income jumped 32 percent, helped by strong demand for its profitable K-Cups coffees and peanut butter products. For the quarter ended Jan. 31, the Orrville, Ohio-based company earned $154.2 million, or $1.42 per share, up from $116.8 million, or $1.03 per share, in the same quarter last year.
Officials from European Union countries are going ahead with a plan for more intensive checks to detect horsemeat in food labeled as beef as they work to contain a widening scandal. The emergency meeting Friday in Brussels was designed to restore consumer confidence following the discovery of significant amounts of horsemeat in products sold as beef.
Campbell Soup Co. said its net income fell by 7 percent in the latest quarter, as the world's biggest soup maker incurred costs for the closure of a plant in Mexico and other restructuring measures. On an adjusted basis, however, the company posted a profit and revenue growth in its fiscal second quarter that were better than Wall Street analysts expected.
Warren Buffett and a fellow billionaire are teaming up to snap up the Heinz ketchup company, marking the food industry's biggest ever deal and yet another sign that the lifeless merger market is finally picking up. H.J. Heinz announced Thursday a $23.3 billion deal to be purchased by Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, which was co-founded by Jorge Lemann, one of Brazil's richest men.
Supporters argued that an initiative requiring genetically engineered foods to be labeled gives Washington state consumers information they need to make informed choices at the grocery store. Opponents countered that the move is unnecessary: These foods are perfectly healthy, and if consumers don't want them, they can buy organic.
Kraft Foods expects fourth-quarter adjusted earnings above analysts' current estimates, but it foresees lower revenue than a year ago. The U.S.-based company, whose brands include Oscar Mayer and Miracle Whip, also raised its 2013 earnings forecast Friday.
The New Jersey-based Campbell Soup Co. says it will close its plant in the town of Villagran in central Mexico. The move will eliminate about 260 positions. The company will continue to employ about 70 current Mexico staff members in research and development sales, supply, marketing and general management.
Call it benevolence through beer, donating via daiquiri or generosity by gin and tonic. A new Houston bar is offering its customers not just a relaxed atmosphere with good drinks and food, but a pledge that 100 percent of its profits will be donated to a different local charity or social cause each month.
A number of salmonella illnesses traced to Foster Farms chicken in Washington and Oregon last year prompted health officials in both states to remind consumers Thursday that chicken in the kitchen can sicken. The outbreak is not an unusual threat, said Washington state Health Department spokesman Tim Church.
Tests have found horsemeat in school meals, hospital food and restaurant dishes in Britain, officials said Friday, as the scandal over adulterated meat spread beyond frozen supermarket products. Results were coming in after U.K. food safety officials ordered supermarkets and suppliers to test all processed meals labeled as beef for traces of horsemeat.
In this Jan. 16, 2013 photo, Mike Criss, manager of the Original OKRA Charity Saloon, mixes a drink at the bar in Houston. The new downtown bar is offering its customers a relaxed atmosphere with good drinks and food and a pledge that 100 percent of its profits after costs will be donated to a different local charity or social cause each month.
Mississippi lawmakers want to make it quite clear that their state is no New York. House Bill 1182 passed on Wednesday and bans local regulations requiring nutrition labeling or keeping bad-for-you food out of the hands of consumers. Rep. Gregory Holloway (D-Hazlehurst), a supporter of the bill, said, "If you want to go eat 20 Big Macs, you can eat 20 Big Macs."
Molson Coors Brewing Co. said Thursday its fourth-quarter net income dropped 65 percent, hurt by a higher tax rate and tough comparisons to an exceptionally strong year-ago period. For the quarter ended Dec. 29, Molson Coors earned $60 million, or 33 cents per share, down from $173.2 million, or 95 cents per share, in the same quarter the year before.
The $23.3 billion H.J. Heinz Co. deal announced Thursday would be the biggest deal in the food industry when debt is excluded from the total. The rankings from data provider Dealogic also exclude spinoffs and beverage companies. Here are the top five food company deals.
No one's trying to take away supertanker-sized soda drinks in Mississippi, but state lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday to make sure they never do. House Bill 1182 would prohibit counties and cities from creating food regulations such as requiring nutritional labeling at restaurants, banning junk foods and keeping toys out of meals.
PepsiCo's net income rose 17 percent in the fourth quarter as it raised prices and sold more of its snacks and drinks around the world. The company's earnings and revenue beat analysts' estimates. It also provided an annual earnings outlook in line with Wall Street expectations and raised its quarterly dividend by 5.6 percent.
British food safety officials say six horse carcasses that tested positive for the equine drug bute may have entered the human food chain in France. The Food Standards Agency says eight out of 206 horses it checked tested positive for bute, an equine painkiller and anti-inflammatory. It said of those eight, six — all slaughtered by a firm in southwest England — were sent to France and "may have entered the food chain."
Shares of Mondelez International Inc. dropped in after-hours trading Wednesday after the maker Oreo, Cadbury and Nabisco said sales didn't grow as strongly as Wall Street expected. After splitting from Kraft Foods last year, the company also says it expects 2013 revenue growth to be in the low range of its long-term growth target of 5 to 7 percent.
Officials in Oslo say that processed food products have been recalled from stores in Norway after warnings from the European Union that they may contain horsemeat. Norwegian Food Safety Authority spokesman Kenneth Vikse said Wednesday that leading store chains, Findus and other producers had recalled all such possible products.
Scientists in Zimbabwe say a fresh water crayfish brought from Australia is breeding out of control in the northern Lake Kariba, devouring the food sources of other fish and putting the nation's entire aquatic ecosystem at risk. Officials at the Zimbabwe University lakeshore research station say the red claw crayfish, introduced a decade ago for a fish farming project, has no natural predators in the wild.