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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Buffet Part of Group to Buy Heinz in $23B Deal

February 14, 2013 9:37 am

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.


Photo of the Day: Saving Horses from Wolves

February 14, 2013 9:33 am

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.


Daily Sound Bite: Maker's Mark to Make Less-Boozy Booze

February 13, 2013 12:56 pm

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 to Roll out Cool Ranch Tacos

February 13, 2013 12:47 pm

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.

Dean Foods Shares Fall on Weak Guidance

February 13, 2013 12:45 pm

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 Testing Products for Horsemeat

February 13, 2013 12:43 pm

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.


Gov’t Requires Four Loko to Change Packaging

February 13, 2013 12:40 pm | by JENNIFER C. KERR,Associated Press

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.


Coroner Wants Health Warnings on Soft Drinks

February 13, 2013 12:38 pm | by NICK PERRY,Associated Press

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.


Consumer Trends: Restaurants Profit from Low-Calorie Options

February 13, 2013 12:00 pm

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 Considers Expanding Illinois Plant

February 13, 2013 9:46 am

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.


Snyder’s-Lance 4Q Adjusted Profit Tops Expectations

February 13, 2013 9:44 am

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.


UK Officials Raid Slaughterhouse Suspected in Horsemeat Scandal

February 13, 2013 9:42 am | by SYLVIA HUI,Associated Press

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.


Maker’s Mark Cutting Alcohol Content

February 13, 2013 9:40 am | by BRUCE SCHREINER,Associated Press

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.


Tomato Exec Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison

February 13, 2013 9:38 am | by TRACIE CONE,Associated Press

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.


Photo of the Day: Romania Rushes to Defend Meat Industry

February 13, 2013 9:35 am

A worker handles meat at the Doly-Com abattoir, one of the two units checked by Romanian authorities in the horse meat scandal, in the village of Roma, northern Romania, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. On Monday, Romanian officials scrambled to defend two plants implicated in the scandal, saying the meat was properly declared and any fraud was committed elsewhere.


Annie’s 3Q Profit Tops Expectations Despite Recall

February 12, 2013 12:36 pm

Annie's, which makes natural and organic packaged food, posted an adjusted profit in its most recent quarter that edged past Wall Street expectations despite costs and lost sales from a pizza recall. The company's fiscal third-quarter net income came to $1.4 million, or 8 cents per share.


USDA Issues Long-Term Crop, Livestock Forecast

February 12, 2013 12:34 pm | by JOSH FUNK,Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted strong growth in crop and livestock production in its 10-year forecast released Monday, but it cautioned that those projections were based on assumptions, such as a return to normal weather patterns, that some believe are unlikely.


Coca-Cola’s Profit Rises on Growth Overseas

February 12, 2013 12:33 pm | by CANDICE CHOI,AP Food Industry Writer

Coca-Cola says its profit rose 13 percent in the fourth quarter as growth in emerging markets offset a decline in Europe and a modest performance in the U.S. The Atlanta-based company said global sales volume rose 3 percent, driven by gains in countries such as Russia and Turkey. Volume in Europe fell by 5 percent.


Romania Produced 6,300 Tons of Horsemeat in 2012

February 12, 2013 12:30 pm

Romanian food safety officials say the country produced 6,300 tons of horse, mule and donkey meat last year, and that it was correctly labeled when it was exported to other European countries. The National Authority for Veterinary and Food Safety said Tuesday that some 97 percent of the meat slaughtered and processed was sold to Bulgaria, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Germany, Belgium and Greece.


Recall: Glass Shards Found in Lean Cuisine Ravioli

February 12, 2013 12:28 pm

Alaska environmental regulators say Nestle Prepared Foods Co. has issued a recall of Lean Cuisine mushroom ravioli after consumer reports that glass shards were found in the product. Officials say affected packages of Culinary Collection Mushroom Mezzaluna Ravioli have productions codes of 2311587812 and 2312587812. Both codes have a "best before" date of December 2013.



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