The Scoop

Straw Poll 2 to 1 Against Smithfield Deal

In a straw poll we took at last month's IFT Food Expo, visitors to our booth voted 26 to 12 (with one negative comment but not a clear vote) against the sale of Smithfield Foods to Chinese firm Shuanghui International.The actual wording of the question was: "Do you think Smithfield...

Survey quantifies gender gap among food and beverage professionals

I get geeky pleasure playing with an Excel spreadsheet and can spend hours resorting and calculating the data contained in them. You can imagine the thrill, then, when my colleague Dave turned over the raw data from Food Processing's annual salary survey.

IFT 2013 Show Was Second Biggest

The IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo, held in Chicago July 13–16, was quite a success for the Institute of Food Technologists. With more than 23,500 attendees, this year's event was the second largest in the show's 73-year history (the 1999 event drew just over 24,000).

After a lull, food company mergers and acquisitions are back on track

All else being equal, selling a food company nets 8.5 percent less this year than in 2012 because of the phasing out of certain breaks in the capital gains tax. The less favorable treatment touched off a flurry of mergers & acquisitions in 2012's fourth quarter, followed by a dearth...

Restaurateur Calls on Congress to Repeal Ethanol Mandate

The small business owner of a Wendy's franchise on July 24 asked Congress to repeal the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), saying the mandate to use corn-based ethanol in the nation's gasoline supply is driving up food prices for restaurants and consumers and hurting job creation.

Clean labels, GMOs and natural sweeteners are IFT food-show hot buttons

The Food Processing staff spent part of last week at Chicago's McCormick Place, site of this year's annual meeting and Expo of the Institute of Food Technologists. IFT tends to present an idealized vision of the food industry and the products it produces for an appreciative public.

Who Has the Greenest Plant?

The field has never been stronger – nor more difficult to choose among – for our Green Plant of the Year poll. We have showcase plants from three marquee names competing this year: Anheuser-Busch, Campbell Soup and Frito-Lay.We just opened the balloting for our fourth annual Green Plant of the...

Smithfield Ham on the Capital Grill

The Senate Agriculture Committee today (July 10) did a little grilling of the world's largest pork processor, worrying the takeover of Smithfield Foods by a Chinese firm would compromise food safety, mean the loss of American jobs and possibly lead to higher pork prices in America.The pending deal, announced in...

Aging Boomers Offer Opportunities for Foods that Increase Stamina, Strength and Long Life

The Baby Boomers—the people who made their parents' lives miserable and then proceeded to wreck their children's lives—aren't done influencing the way Americans eat, drink and make merry. New research commissioned by Fonterra Nutrition suggests protein shakes at breakfast will be all the rage as America's can-do boomers march, limp...

One Larry Got a Load of Benjamins

I want to amend a blog post I made on May 30, "Fear Over Chinese Ownership of Smithfield Foods" ( In that one I threw a quick cheap shot at Continental Grain, which, as a significant stakeholder in Smithfield, had been suggesting a split of the meat company to maximize...