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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Consumer Trends: Beer Industry Faces Challenges

September 26, 2012 12:33 pm

Beer remained the largest segment of the U.S. adult beverage industry, accounting for more than four-fifths of total alcohol volume, but was challenged by both economic and consumer trends that resulted in a 1.3 percent decline in 2011. Total beer volume was 2.8 billion 2.25-gallon cases for the year, according to Technomic's recently-released 2012 BeerTAB (Trends in Adult Beverage) report.

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Monsanto, MSU Partner To Fight Corn Rootworm

September 26, 2012 10:17 am

Michigan State University says it's working with Monsanto Co. to find ways to fight corn rootworm, one of U.S. agriculture's most damaging pests. The East Lansing school says Monsanto is pledging up to $3 million to support research on rootworm.

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Sweeping Changes Expected For North Korean Farms

September 26, 2012 10:15 am | by JEAN H. LEE,Associated Press

North Korean farmers who have long been required to turn most of their crops over to the state may now be allowed to keep their surplus food to sell or barter in what could be the most significant economic change enacted by young leader Kim Jong Un since he came to power nine months ago.

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Women Winemakers Gain Ground

September 26, 2012 10:13 am | by MICHELLE LOCKE,For The Associated Press

In 1978, the first vintage that Cathy Corison made wine, she could count on one hand the number of women she knew of doing the same kind of work in the cellars of the Napa Valley. Today, winemaking remains primarily a man's world, but research by Santa Clara University professors Lucia Albino Gilbert and John Gilbert has found that nearly 10 percent of California wineries now have women as the main or lead winemaker.

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Kraft Foods Group Joining S&P 500

September 26, 2012 10:10 am

The S&P Dow Jones Indices said Wednesday that Kraft Foods Group, which is being spun off from Kraft Foods Inc., will replace Alpha Natural Resources Inc. on the S&P 500. Kraft Foods Group is a food and beverage business based in Northfield, Ill.

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Danone To Settle Lawsuit Over Activia Claims

September 26, 2012 10:08 am | by The Canadian Press

The Canadian division of yogurt-maker Danone has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit that challenged health claims made about two of its leading products. The suit, launched in October 2009, questioned the way Danone Inc. marketed its Activia yogurt products and DanActive probiotic drink products.

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Photo Of The Day: North Korean Farm Reforms

September 26, 2012 10:05 am

Farmers would be able to keep a bigger share of their crops under proposed changes aiming to boost production by North Korea's collective farms, which have chronically struggled to provide enough food for the country's 24 million people. The signs read "Fortune of holding great leader (Kim Il Sung) as father," left, and "Fortune of holding great general (Kim Jong Il) as father."

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ND State Flour Mill Profits Fall By Half

September 25, 2012 12:45 pm | by DALE WETZEL,Associated Press

Profits at North Dakota's state-owned flour mill fell by half, to $8 million, during its last budget year, the mill's chief executive said Monday. Despite the drop, the Grand Forks mill's annual earnings rank as the third best in its history, said Vance Taylor, the mill's general manager.

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Canadian Officials: ‘Several Deficiencies’ Led To Beef Recall

September 25, 2012 12:43 pm | by The Canadian Press

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says "the combination of several deficiencies" could have led to E. coli bacteria being found at a food processing plant which has recalled hundreds of beef products. The CFIA says it has completed an in-depth review of food safety controls at Edmonton-based XL Foods Inc., where the discovery of the bacteria led to a recall of more than 250 beef products.

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ConAgra To Expand Arkansas Facility

September 25, 2012 12:41 pm

ConAgra Foods Inc. said Monday that it is expanding its plant in Russellville, Ark., and will add more than 80 jobs. The food maker has operated in the Russellville area since 1965 and has approximately 1,350 employees there. ConAgra said it is investing $100 million to expand the plant to make Bertolli and P.F. Chang's frozen meals.

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Iowa Dairy Workers Go On Strike

September 25, 2012 12:39 pm

About 300 workers at Anderson Erickson Dairy in Des Moines went on strike after voting to reject the company's latest contract offer. Des Moines Register reports Mike Klootwyk, the vice president of Teamsters Union Local 120, said the contract would have required workers to accept a pay freeze and to pay significantly more for health care insurance.

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Pepsi Launches Soda With Stevia In Australia

September 25, 2012 12:37 pm

Pepsi is launching a reduced-calorie soda in Australia that uses stevia, the first time the beverage maker is using the natural sweetener in its namesake cola. The world's No. 2 soda company says that Pepsi Next in Australia has 30 percent fewer calories than regular. A representative for the company did not immediately know what other sweeteners are used in the drink.

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Consumer Trends: Beverages Add Value At Restaurants

September 25, 2012 12:33 pm

Seven out of ten consumers (71 percent) now purchase beverages away from home twice a week or more often, up from 66 percent in 2010. As the economy stabilizes from the recession, restaurants and retail foodservice locations are well-positioned to boost beverage sales.

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ConAgra Foods Supports Eliminating Hog Crates

September 25, 2012 9:56 am

ConAgra Foods is asking suppliers to eliminate the use of hog confinement crates over the next decade. The Omaha-based maker of Banquet, Healthy Choice and Chef Boyardee products joins several other food companies in calling on pork suppliers to stop confining pregnant sows.

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South American Yogurt Maker Opens First U.S. Plant

September 25, 2012 9:54 am

A South American yogurt maker is marking the grand opening of an $18 million plant in western New York, its first in the United States. Executives of Alpina Foods, elected and state officials are expected for a ceremony Monday in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia.

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French Vintners Want U.S. Chateaux Kept Out Of EU

September 25, 2012 9:52 am | by RAF CASERT,Associated Press

While French chateau bottles find their origins in wines made at the estate from grapes belonging to the chateau, the U.S. definition for export would use less stringent conditions on provenance. It could include grapes from "vines that have been traditionally used by this wine producer or producer group."

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NYC Hospitals Cracking Down On Junk Food

September 25, 2012 9:49 am | by MEGHAN BARR and VERENA DOBNIK,Associated Press

In one of his latest health campaigns, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is aiming to banish sugary and fatty foods from both public and private hospitals. The cafeteria crackdown will ban deep fryers, make leafy green salads a mandatory option and allow only healthy snacks to be stocked near the cafeteria entrance and at cash registers.

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Peanut Butter Recall Expands Beyond Trader Joe’s

September 25, 2012 9:46 am | by MARY CLARE JALONICK,Associated Press

A New Mexico-based company is recalling 76 types of peanut butter and almond butter after one of its products was linked to a salmonella outbreak at Trader Joe's groceries.Sunland Inc. recalled the products under multiple brand names after the FDA and the CDC linked 29 salmonella illnesses in 18 states to Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter.

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Photo Of The Day: Whining Over Wine

September 25, 2012 9:43 am

Drinking a Bordeaux from a ''chateau'' is as French as apple pie is American. Now, Gallic tempers are flaring since the United States wants to sell some of their wines in the European Union with — sacrilege — a ''chateau'' label. Next week, EU experts will look whether it should permitted with a fight among member states set for later this year, well after the wine harvest.

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South Korea Suspends Sales Of U.S. Rice

September 24, 2012 1:14 pm

South Korea has suspended bidding for U.S. rice imports after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Consumer Reports magazine found elevated levels of arsenic in rice. Seoul's Agriculture Ministry says it also suspended the sale of U.S. rice as of Friday. It says the sale and bidding may resume after more studies are conducted.

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