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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Smithfield Foods Subsidiary Shutting Down Plant

March 18, 2013 9:33 am

A Smithfield Foods subsidiary plans to close its Landover, Md., plant by early fall as it consolidates operations. The company said Friday that some of the plant's 175 workers will be offered transfers to other Smithfield Packing Co. plants. Smithfield also said that it will negotiate with United Food and Commercial Workers union officials about other possible opportunities for employees.

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Ore. Bill Would Phase Out Chemicals Toxic to Kids

March 18, 2013 9:31 am | by JEFF BARNARD,AP Environmental Writer

A bill before the Legislature would set up a state database to track the use of 19 chemicals in manufactured products shown to be harmful to children, and work with manufacturers to phase out use of the chemicals over five years. The bi-partisan bill is patterned after a law in Washington state.

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Photo of the Day: Ousting the Pigs

March 18, 2013 9:29 am

The USDA has teamed up with the state of New Mexico and others as part of a $1 million pilot project to eradicate pigs from the state. Nationally, federal officials say the feral pig population has ballooned to an estimated 5 million.

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Consumer Trends: Consumers Want Less Sugar

March 15, 2013 1:00 pm

According to a new study from Mintel Research Consultancy exploring consumer attitudes about the 12 highest volume food and beverage categories, the percentage concerned about total sugars in their diet ranges between 21 percent to 60 percent. In contrast, no more than 3 percent of consumers expressed concern about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), when considering baked goods, beverages, dairy products and condiments.

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ConAgra Starts $100M Expansion in Ark.

March 15, 2013 12:35 pm

ConAgra Foods broke ground Friday on a $100 million expansion to a plant in Russellville where it plans to add 80 new jobs. Omaha, Neb.-based ConAgra announced the expansion last year. It plans to produce Bertolli and P.F. Chang's frozen meals at the facility. The company acquired these brands last year as part of its effort to devote more of its business to frozen foods.

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Vilsack: Youth Obesity a National Security Issue

March 15, 2013 12:33 pm | by CLARKE CANFIELD,Associated Press

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday that it's vitally important for America's youth to have healthy eating habits, calling it an issue of national security as well as educational accomplishment and health care. Obesity and hunger affect school achievement and health care in fairly obvious ways, Vilsack said, while speaking to a group at the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center.

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Number of Pigs in Shanghai River Rises to 8,354

March 15, 2013 12:32 pm

The number of dead pigs found in a Shanghai river that provides drinking water to the Chinese financial hub has risen to 8,354, after local authorities pulled 809 more pigs out of the river on Friday. The Shanghai municipal government has repeatedly assured the city's 23 million residents that tap water is safe.

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Red Bull Says It Is Being Blackmailed

March 15, 2013 12:30 pm

Energy drink producer Red Bull says it is being blackmailed, with the perpetrators threatening to place cans of its product contaminated with feces on supermarket shelves. The company says the threats started several weeks ago. But Marcus Neher of the Salzburg Public Prosecutor's office said Friday that "up to now there has only been a claim of contamination."

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Dole Will Appeal Price Fixing Fines

March 15, 2013 12:28 pm

Dole Food Company Inc. said Thursday it will appeal a decision by a European court that fined the company €45.6 million ($59.3 million). The European Union fined Dole and several other produce companies in 2008, saying the companies were part of a cartel that fixed prices for bananas in eight EU countries roughly 10 years ago.

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Daily Sound Bite: Private Labels on the Rise

March 15, 2013 11:48 am

Private label brands add value to grocery chains in a variety of ways. Some high-end private labels provide stores with gourmet snacks that consumers can only find in their stores. Private label staple items can be offered by the retailer at a discounted price, though they provide little opportunity for brand loyalty among shoppers.

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Krispy Kreme Issues Disappointing Forecast

March 15, 2013 9:39 am

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc.'s fiscal fourth-quarter net income dropped sharply due to a one-time gain in the prior year. Its adjusted profit fell just shy of market expectations. The doughnut store operator, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., also issued a disappointing full-year forecast and its shares slipped in after-hours trading Thursday.

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Brewery to Create ‘Shipwreck’ Beer

March 15, 2013 9:37 am

Local authorities on the Aland Islands in the Baltic Sea say a local brewer will begin producing a beer inspired by bottles found in a 19th century shipwreck three years ago. Five bottles of beer, along with 168 bottles of champagne, were pulled from a submerged schooner that experts believe sank in the 1840s.

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New Zealand Drought Hurting Farmers

March 15, 2013 9:36 am | by NICK PERRY,Associated Press

Parts of the North Island are drier than they've been in 70 years and some scientists say the unusual weather could be a harbinger of climate change. There has been little significant rainfall in the northern and eastern parts of the country since October.

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The Rise of Private Label

March 15, 2013 9:34 am | by CANDICE CHOI,AP Food Industry Writer

Supermarkets including Kroger, Safeway and Whole Foods are improving the image of their store brands with better packaging and more distinctive offerings. But where exactly do these products come from? It's a question a growing number of people may have as retailers increasingly develop their store brands as a way to cultivate loyalty among shoppers.

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Little Debbie Maker To Buy Drake’s Cakes

March 15, 2013 9:30 am | by CANDICE CHOI,AP Food Industry Writer

Hostess is moving forward with the sale of Devil Dogs, Yankee Doodles and Yodels to the maker of Little Debbie cakes. The bankrupt company says it picked McKee Foods as the buyer for the Drake's cakes after nobody stepped forward with a qualifying bid to top its $27.5 million offer.

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Photo of the Day: An Expensive Drought

March 15, 2013 9:28 am

In this photo from March 11, 2013, farmer Peter Brown walks on the dry ground on his dairy farm near Ohinewai, New Zealand. A drought in New Zealand’s North Island is costing farmers millions of dollars each day and is beginning to take a toll on the country’s economy.

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Consumer Trends: High-Velocity Adult Beverages

March 14, 2013 1:00 pm

Identifying the spirits, wine and beer brands that achieved significant volume gains last year and are positioned to continue growing in 2013 and beyond, Technomic is announcing its Fast 50 Brands report. The 50 adult beverage brands were identified by analyzing not only volume performance metrics, but also through examining key brand attributes and supplier strategy and support programs contributing to the brand's success.

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Coca-Cola Closing San Francisco Bottling Plant

March 14, 2013 12:13 pm

Coca-Cola Co. says it plans to close a Sacramento bottling and distribution facility it bought just two months ago. David Ethridge, general manager of the Sacramento business, says the 60-employee operation on Stockton Boulevard will close at a date to be determined, calling it a "difficult decision."

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Egg McMuffin To Be Available Yolk-Free

March 14, 2013 12:11 pm

McDonald's is rolling out a yolk-free version of its Egg McMuffin this spring. The world's biggest hamburger chain says the "Egg White Delight" will be made with a whole grain muffin, Canadian bacon and white cheddar cheese. It will be available nationally April 22 and clock in at 250 calories, compared with 300 calories for a regular Egg McMuffin.

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FDA: Baking Company Mislabeled Food

March 14, 2013 12:09 pm

A New Jersey maker of muffins and other baked goods has been accused of distributing mislabeled food, including products described as sugar-free but still containing sugar. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday that Edison-based Butterfly Bakery has agreed under a consent decree to shut down until it can meet all regulations.

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