Kraft Foods

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Kraft to bring Gevalia coffee to grocery stores

Just weeks after losing its contract to distribute Starbucks coffee in grocery stores, Northfield-based Kraft Foods announced that it is prepping a successor, Gevalia. Get the full story »

Triscuit backs community gardens in Chicago, LA

An urban farm in Detroit. (Heather Stone/Tribune)

Kraft Foods Inc.’s Triscuit crackers brand and a nonprofit organization that works to establish working farms on unused land are bringing their “home farming” concept to some low-income homes in Los Angeles and Chicago.

The plans for five community gardens — three in Chicago and two in L.A. — are to be announced Tuesday at a news event in New York hosted by the cracker brand and Urban Farming, a Detroit-based nonprofit. Get the full story »

Buffett’s firm defends valuation of 5 stocks

Warren Buffett’s company offered a strong endorsement of five stocks it holds as part of discussions with regulators about how it should value Kraft Foods, Wells Fargo & Co., Sanofi Aventis, Swiss Re and US Bancorp. Get the full story »

Kraft MiO ads bring in Second City’s ‘Sassy Gay Friend’

Northfield-based Kraft Foods is promoting its new product MiO, which it introduced in February, by running ad spots online featuring a character from The Second City called “Sassy Gay Friend.”

The “Sassy Gay Friend,” who has been featured in various viral videos produced by The Second City, first appeared online in 2010 when The Second City put up the scenes on YouTube. The joke in the viral videos involves famous scenes from various Shakespeare plays — such as Ophelia’s suicide in Hamlet, or the scene in Romeo and Juliet where Juliet is about to kill herself. The twist occurs when the “Sassy Gay Friend” unexpectedly enters the scenes and changes the outcome.

In the new videos for MiO, a Kraft product that lets consumers flavor their water, the “Sassy Gay Friend” appears in a scene from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” Get the full story »

Kraft’s Rosenfeld a no-show in Cadbury probe

Creme Eggs move down the line at the Bournville production plant. (Christopher Furlong/Getty)

Executives from Kraft Foods Inc. appeared at a parliamentary hearing Tuesday over the company’s 11.9 billion-pound acquisition of confectioner Cadbury a year ago, but the absence of Chief Executive Irene Rosenfeld drew criticism from lawmakers.

U.K. lawmakers on the Business, Innovation & Skills committee are discussing with Kraft — maker of Oreo cookies, Philadelphia cream cheese and Maxwell House coffee — the commitments it made a year ago following the takeover, as well as seeking reassurances on jobs and investment into research.

Last April, lawmakers said in a report that Northfield-based Kraft acted “irresponsibly” and “unwisely” during its acquisition of Cadbury and damaged its reputation in the U.K. Get the full story »

Abbott, Kraft cited for women in management

The National Association for Female Executives named seven Illinois companies among its Top 50 companies for executive women.

Abbott of North Chicago and Kraft of Northfield were among the Top 10. Five others made the Top 50: Allstate Insurance of Northbrook; HSBC North America of Mettawa; McDonald’s Corp. of Oak Brook; Northern Trust of Chicago; and State Farm Insurance of Bloomington. Get the full story »

Kraft CFO Timothy McLevish to leave company

Timothy McLevish. (Kraft)

Kraft Foods Inc. announced Monday that its chief financial officer Timothy McLevish will leave the company mid-year “to pursue opportunities in general management.”

David Brearton, currently serving as executive vice president of operations, will step up as CFO at the Northfield-based packaged foods giant. Get the full story »

SEC investigating Kraft for corruption in India

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Northfield-based Kraft Foods Inc. for possible corruption at an Indian facility of its Cadbury unit, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Kraft, the marker of Maxwell House coffee, Oscar Meyer lunch meats and Velveeta cheese, received a subpoena from the SEC on February 1, the filing said. Get the full story »

Kraft’s Greek grandmother ads draw criticism

From USA Today | Northfield-based Kraft Foods has drawn attention — and some criticism — to a new ad campaign introduced yesterday promoting its Athenos hummus. In a television ad that started running Monday, a young woman talks to her grandmother as she prepares to serve Athenos hummus to her friends, only to be insulted and called a “prostitute.” Her grandmother is referred to as “Yiayia,” the Greek word for grandmother.

The ad was created by the agency Droga5, which said in a statement that it is “thrilled to be working with a company so willing to push creative boundaries.”  Get the full story: USA Today »

Poll: Do you think Kraft’s ad is offensive?

To see the other Kraft Athenos ads, click here.

Starbucks wins Kraft appeal over coffee deal

Packages of Starbucks coffee lined up in a supermarket in January 2011. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)

It’s official: Kraft Foods will lose its Starbucks business March 1.

The final legal obstacle was removed to Starbucks ending its coffee distribution agreement with Northfield-based Kraft Foods by a U.S. appeals court ruling Friday.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York affirmed a lower court ruling of Jan. 28, denying Kraft’s request to stop Starbucks from moving ahead with its plan to use a new partner to distribute packaged coffee to supermarkets in North America and Europe.

Kraft and Starbucks Coffee Co. are in the arbitration to decide what the Seattle-based coffee giant must pay to terminate the relationship. Kraft has been fighting in court to maintain control of the Starbucks business until the arbitration has been concluded. Get the full story »

As commodity costs rise, Kraft looks to advertising

Northfield-based Kraft Foods Inc. said Tuesday that it plans to bulk up its marketing efforts and introduce several new products in an effort to offset higher ingredient costs.

The company estimates that pricier ingredients will cost it between $700 million and $800 million in North America alone. The higher costs will be particularly important to areas where Kraft competes the most, including meat, cheese, chocolate and coffee. Get the full story »

Kraft fourth-quarter profit hurt by costs; shares fall

Northfield-based Kraft Foods Inc. reported fourth-quarter earnings down 24 percent to $540 million. The company’s operating earnings, at 46 cents per share was in line with Wall Street expectations, but full-year earnings per share of $2.02 missed expectations by a penny.

The company’s shares fell 2.1 percent to $30.45 in after-hours trading. Get the full story »

Kraft suspends operations in Egypt

From World Bakers | A number of food companies have stopped production or closed stores due to the upheavel in Egypt.

Kraft Foods said it was among a number of food companies to have temporarily suspend its operations in Egypt amid political upheaval. Kraft, which has four plants and one business office in Egypt where it makes products including Oreo and Mikado and markets brands like Tuc biscuits in Egypt said its facilities were “secure”. Get the full story>>

Kraft kiosks scans face, recommends meals

From Mashable | After a harried day in the office, meal planning may be the last thing on your mind. It might be evident on your face, though.

That’s the premise behind an interactive technology Kraft and Intel recently introduced called the “Meal Planning Solution.” The kiosk-like display, which is likely to show up in at least one retail location this year, is meant to help weary shoppers find new recipes during last-minute grocery trips. Get the full story>>

Kraft says court will hear appeal in Starbucks case

Kraft Foods Inc. said an appeals court agreed to hear arguments over whether Starbucks Corp. can proceed with taking over distribution of its bagged coffee as planned on March 1.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Thursday said it would hold an expedited appeal, according to Kraft, which must file its argument by Feb. 9. A final ruling on the appeal could come by the end of the month.

Kraft planned to appeal last Friday’s ruling, where the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied a preliminary injunction that would block Starbucks from taking over the distribution from Kraft in just a couple of weeks. Get the full story »