Though beer is still the most-quaffed alcoholic beverage in the country by far, it is slowly losing its grip around the marketplace edges. From 1998 through last year, beer's share of all alcohol servings slipped from 59.6 percent to 58.1 percent.
Italy-based pasta maker Barilla Holding was No. 1, Kraft was the only U.S. firm to make the top 10 and a handful of international food firms were among the top scorers in the Reputation Institutes annual ranking of corporate reputations.
A bankruptcy court judge approved the $24.8 million sale of most of the firms assets to Jays Acquisition Inc., believed to be pretzel-maker Snyders of Hanover Inc., as part of Jays Foods Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
Weight and health concerns continue to propel the market for low-calorie sweeteners, with a host of recent global product launches showing the popularity of sugar replacer aspartame in new sugar and sweetener formulations.