Never a dull moment in the food industry

High temperatures and drought are harming the U.S. corn crop, sending the price of corn futures up 14 percent in a single week and reversing a three-month trend of declining global food prices, reports SmartBrief. "Every day that passes, more corn will be abandoned," said Illinois farmer Don Duvall. "But even if it starts raining now, there will not be that bumper crop of corn everyone talked about." … The Campbell Soup Co. has entered into an agreement to acquire Bakersfield, Calif.-based Bolthouse Farms from a fund managed by Madison Dearborn Partners LLC, a private equity firm, for $1.55 billion in cash. Founded in 1915, Bolthouse is a vertically integrated food and beverage company focused on developing, manufacturing and marketing proprietary, high value-added natural, healthy products. The company has leading market positions in fresh carrots and super-premium beverages in the U.S., along with a growing presence in refrigerated salad dressings ... Mondelez International, Kraft’s International snacking business will move to 3 Parkway North in Deerfield following the spinoff of its North American grocery business later this year, reports the Chicago Tribune. Kraft Foods will remain in Northfield … Land O’Lakes Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire New York-based Kozy Shack Enterprises Inc., a producer of chilled dairy desserts. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed, and the deal is expected to close on July 31 ... Divine Serendipity, based in Alabama, has offered to buy Wolfgang Candy for $1.5 million and keep it in York, Pa., said Wolfgang CEO Ben McGloughlin, reports The York Dispatch. "Since our bankruptcy filing in March, we've been seeking partnership opportunities to further capitalize our business and grow our retail brand," he said. "We're very happy that a suitable buyer has emerged in the process, who seems to believe in the same plan." … Darrell Lea, the 85-year-old Australian confectioner known for its delicious licorice, has been turned over to administrators, reports The Wall Street Journal. "We are undertaking an urgent review of the business with a view to preparing Darrell Lea for sale as a going concern," said administrator Mark Robinson of restructuring company PPB Advisory … Nestlé is using zero gravity research to develop its understanding of the foam technology used in its products. The study could help Nestlé scientists create better air bubbles in chocolate, coffee, dairy and pet food. Scientists at the Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland are working with the European Space Agency (ESA) on foam experiments designed to produce the 'perfect' bubble …Wild Flavors GmbH completed the acquisition of Cargill’s global juice cold blends and compounds business after receiving all necessary antitrust approvals. The acquisition adds a global network of three production and storage facilities with direct sea access in Japan, the Netherlands and the U.S. to Wild Flavors’ existing operations, and is a key step in the company’s global growth strategy and further strengthens its position as the leading natural ingredients company for the food and beverage industry ... Nestle Australia has struck a deal to sell its Peters Ice Cream brand to private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners for an undisclosed amount. The 105-year-old Peters owns brands such as Billabong and Monaco Bar, as well as the Australian marketing rights to global brands including Drumstick and Skinny Cow, reports Reuters … Responding to customer demand for more wholesome and delicious food options, Starbucks Coffee Co. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire San Francisco-based Bay Bread LLC and its La Boulange bakery brand, as well as to hire renowned French baker Pascal Rigo. This acquisition and Pascal’s visionary leadership will bring the artistry of the French bakery to the marketplace in a similar way that Starbucks brought the romance of the Italian espresso bar to many North American coffee consumers for the first time … FMC Corp. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Phytone Ltd, a producer of natural color and health ingredients serving a broad range of applications across Food, Nutrition, Personal Care, and Pharmaceutical markets, located in Staffordshire, U.K. ... Survey data from Interlex Communications and the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity indicate that many U.S. adults consider sugary beverages to be a part of American culture, reports United Press International. More than half of the respondents said they want to reduce their intake and 57 percent agreed that sugary-drink companies contribute to high U.S. obesity rates.