Filed under: Packaged foods

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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 »

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 »

FDA issues warning letter to Lifeway Foods

US health regulators issued a warning letter to Morton Grove-based health food products manufacturer Lifeway Foods, saying certain products of the company were wrongly marketed as drugs on its website. Get the full story »

Kraft to court: Loss of Starbucks ‘irreparable’

Kraft Foods Inc. told a federal appeals court Friday that it will suffer “irreparable harm” if its distribution deal with Starbucks Corp. ends next week.

The two consumer products giants are in the midst of ending their 12-year partnership in which Kraft distributed Starbucks bagged coffee to supermarkets and other retailers. Starbucks plans to take on the business starting March 1. Get the full story »

Dominick’s parent sees profit beat estimates

Dominick’s Finer Foods parent Safeway Inc. reported a quarterly profit that topped Wall Street’s view as sales trends at its grocery stores improved.

The company, which also operates Safeway and Vons grocery stores, fourth-quarter net profit of $229.6 million, or 62 cents per share, topping analysts’ average call for a profit of 57 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Get the full story »

Sara Lee takes aim at single-serve coffee market

Sara Lee may be breaking up, but company executives say that will make it much more focused on the business in which it competes.

Chief Executive Marcel Smits laid out Sara Lee’s plans at the Consumer Analysts Conference of New York Tuesday morning to take share from Nestle, the international leader in single-serve coffee.

Single-serve, made from individual pouches brewed in specialized machines, has become the latest battleground for the coffee industry. Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and even retailers such as Wal-Mart are expected to play a crucial role in the U.S. battle. Get the full story »

Dominick’s shelf tags to help with healthy choices

Dominick’s parent Safeway is launching a labeling system Wednesday that highlights certain foods based on a 22 ingredients including whole grains or nutritional benefits such as reduced sodium.

Dubbed SimpleNutrition, the program uses green shelf tags to highlight 15 to 20 percent of a store’s food products, based on a variety of criteria. Get the full story »

Americans on budgets push up price of ‘cheap’ beef

Beef cuts on display at a supermarket in New York in January. (Emanual Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

With more Americans tightening their belts, demand for cheaper cuts of U.S. beef has actually pushed the price of select-grade beef higher than the generally more expensive choice cuts.

For the first time in nearly two years, select-grade beef prices are above those for better-quality choice grade, according to U.S. government data.

The data showed that demand for select has grown while supplies have declined. Get the full story »

Kraft asks court to reverse Starbucks ruling

Kraft Foods Inc.  says the U.S. District Court should reverse its decision to allow Starbucks Corp.  to take over distribution of Starbucks’ branded packaged coffee March 1.

The packaged-food giant filed a brief late Wednesday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, arguing that Kraft will “suffer loss of customer good will, loss of a unique product line and competitive harm if Starbucks is allowed to unilaterally terminate the contract,” the brief says. Get the full story »

Sara Lee gives more breakup details; shares rise

Sara Lee's Ball Park franks on display at a grocery story, Jan. 28, 2011. The company is splitting into two public ones. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

On the same day that Sara Lee Corp. reported second-quarter earnings, its executives attempted to clarify an announcement made in January that Sara Lee plans to split into two publicly traded companies early next year. The company’s shares rose 2 percent in midday trading.

The Downers Grove-based maker of cheesecake, Jimmy Dean sausages and other food products reported net income of $880 million, or $1.37 per share, for the quarter that ended on Jan. 1, up from $371 million, or 53 cents per share, a year earlier.

Last month, Sara Lee announced that its North American Retail and North American Foodservice business would be spun off, keeping the company’s name and remaining in Downers Grove. The International Beverage and International Bakery divisions will constitute a second company under the working name of CoffeeCo. CoffeeCo is expected to remain in the U.S. at first because of tax considerations. Get the full story »

Report: Sara Lee passed up 3 offers, more money

Sara Lee Corp.’s  managers passed up three chances to sell itself in the last year, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing people with knowledge of the negotiations. 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>>

Girl Scouts cut 2 cookie flavors this year

It’s that time of year again: Girl Scout cookie season. But some cookie monsters won’t be able to get their favorites. The Dulce De Leche and the Thank U Berry Munch cookies are being pulled from the menu in various cities across the country, according to Michelle Tompkins, spokeswoman for Girl Scouts of the USA. 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 »