Catching up -- Food & Beverage Industry News, September 4, 2012

Chicago-based private equity firm Wind Point Partners has signed an agreement to acquire Shearer’s Foods, a private label salty snack manufacturer based in Brewster, Ohio, reports Sosland Morning Brief. C.J. Fraleigh, most recently CEO of Sara Lee Corp., will join Shearer’s as chairman and CEO. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed and the transaction is expected to close in October ...

The Quaker Oats Co., a division of PepsiCo, launches The Quaker Oats Center of Excellence –- a cross functional entity focused on elevating the relevance and benefits of oats through science, agriculture and innovation. Research by the Center will continue to investigate the benefits of oats, while enabling product development partners to translate these benefits into convenient and tasty solutions for consumers. In addition, oats can help address the whole grain deficit in the American diet. According to the Whole Grain Council, the average American eats less than one daily serving of whole grains, and some studies show that more than 40 percent of Americans never eat whole grains at all. The Center will maintain an Advisory Board comprised of experts in nutrition science, agricultural science and sustainability, product innovation and consumer insights ...

Barry Callebaut is establishing a $1.05 million Center of Cocoa Excellence to promote advanced agricultural techniques in Cote d'Ivoire, the world’s largest cocoa producing country. To be located in Pacobo in the Department of Tiassale in the south-central growing region, the Center will include training facilities for farmers and a 30-hectare “showcase farm” to demonstrate intercropping techniques and other yield enhancement practices such as grafting to rejuvenate aging cocoa farms and double farm productivity ...

The Middle East and North Africa are set to see explosive growth in chocolate sales in the next half decade, according to a report from KPMG, reports The National (Abu Dhabi). Retail sales are estimated to grow 61 percent to $5.8 billion by 2016, a figure that outpaces growth even in emerging markets such as Brazil and China …

The top health-focused term appearing on packaging for food and beverage launches in 2011 was "kosher," followed by "all-natural," according to Mintel's Global New Products Database, reports Progressive Grocer. "Kosher" appeared on 27 percent of products, while "no high-fructose corn syrup," near the bottom of the list, appeared on 2 percent of products. Mintel estimates that more than 20,000 products are introduced each year ...

E. & J. Gallo Winery and PepsiCo are the winners of the 2012 CPG Awards for Innovation and Creativity from GMA and its Associate Member Council, reports Retailing Today The winery was recognized for its in-store wine education platform; PepsiCo was honored for turning a 25-year-old Frito Lay facility in Arizona into a nearly net-zero manufacturing plant ...

Eileen Gannon of Des Moines, Iowa, has won $10,000 and will see her coffee drink, called "How to Win a Guy with One Sip," sold in Seattle's Best Coffee locations throughout North America, reports QSRMagazine.com. Her winning entry in the Seattle's Best contest has flavors of bacon and pumpkin pie spice ...

Love this idea. Coca-Cola will promote Coke sharing in New Zealand with a promotion in which the most popular first names in the land will appear on bottles and cans, reports The New Zealand Herald. A social-sharing site will accompany the campaign, and commercials in the works feature real people who have reconnected via the promotion …

Van Gogh vodka, a relatively high-end Dutch company, has debuted Peanut Butter & Jelly (Raspberry) Vodka …

Julian Veitch was named CEO of IOI Loders Croklaan Group and Vincent Geerts group chief financial officer. Also, Michael Van Sallandt becomes COO for IOI Loders Croklaan Asia and U.R. Sahasranaman, the current COO for IO Loders Croklaan Asia, becomes senior group director of special projects ...

Megan Daum has been promoted to vice president of sustainability at the Can Manufacturers Institute. She will continue to lead the sustainability program for the association, working within the industry and across the packaging and material sectors, both in the U.S. and globally ...

French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, the new creative director of Diet Coke, unveiled bottles showing his signature blue-and-white stripes, as well as bustier outfits like the ones he designed for pop star Madonna, part of a European campaign only, reports Billboard.com/The Hook …

Energy drinks are once again in the news with the announcement that the New York attorney general is conducting an investigation into the marketing practices of AMP (PepsiCo), Monster (Monster Beverage Corp.) and 5-Hour Energy (Living Essentials), reports NACS Online. N.Y. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is looking into how the companies market and advertise their energy drinks’ ingredients and health value. Schneiderman issued subpoenas last month to the companies in relation to his investigation. Energy drinks are one of the stars in the beverage marketplace. U.S. sales at retail of the beverages jumped 16 percent in 2011 to reach $8.9 billion, according to Beverage Digest. That means energy drinks have captured 12 percent of the carbonated soda category ...

The saying "everything's bigger in Texas" will ring especially true on October 1, as Fritos brand corn chips celebrates its 80th anniversary in a big way -- by setting out to achieve a world record for the biggest-ever Fritos Chili Pie. A mixture of Fritos corn chips, chili and cheddar cheese, Fritos Chili Pie has long been one of America's favorite ways to enjoy Fritos corn chips, which is a flagship product within PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division. The Guinness World Records title attempt will take place at the State Fair of Texas, the biggest fair in the U.S. Fritos invites fans across America to also join the 80th anniversary celebration by helping an important cause. The brand is proudly partnering with Hormel Chili, the No.1 brand of chili in America, to support our troops through Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). From September 16 through October 13, consumers can look for special displays at local retailers featuring a $1-off coupon for combined purchase of Fritos corn chips and Hormel Chili. For every coupon redeemed, Fritos and Hormel Foods will donate $1 to WWP, up to $100,000, to honor and empower wounded warriors in the U.S. Armed Forces ...


Just in time for Friday Night Lights, Krispy Kreme has launched a limited edition line of Football Doughnuts, available weekends only through February 3, reports NACS Daily. “Our football doughnuts have become a crowd-pleasing favorite among fans looking for a tasty alternative to the typical game day snack,” explained Ron Rupocinski, Krispy Kreme corporate chef. “Whatever your game day plans, this simple snack without the fuss is a must.”

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