Still catching up

Shareholders of Corona, Calif.-based Hansen Natural Corp. voted to change the company's name to Monster Beverage Corp. ... Private equity firm PAI Partners has agreed to sell its 25.66 percent stake in Danish food ingredients company Chr. Hansen to Novo A/S for about $715.56 million ... Snak King has acquired the Chicago-area snack company C.J. Vitner in a deal that includes distribution centers in Chicago, Indiana and Wisconsin, and a factory in Freeport, Ill. The current Vitner management staff will continue to oversee manufacturing and distribution ... General Mills is updating the marketing concept of surprises in the cereal box to use QR codes, applications and augmented reality, reports USA Today. "You point to a logo [on food packaging], and things start to appear," said Chief Marketing Officer Mark Addicks. "Maybe some functional content will pop up on a cake-mix box, or you might see entertainment and games coming from a cereal box. What I'm hoping for is pure entertainment." ... Electronics-maker Philips announced will sell its 50 percent share in the Senseo coffee brand to Sara Lee for about $224 million, and will continue working with Sara Lee to develop single-cup Senseo coffee machines and promote the brand globally reports Reuters. "Owning 100% of Senseo, our most global coffee brand, is a major step for 'CoffeeCo' as we prepare for our upcoming spin-off into a separate, publicly-traded company," said Michiel Herkemij, chief executive officer for Sara Lee Coffee and Tea ... Sara Lee has sold its gourmet foodservice coffee business to Massimo Zanetti Beverage, a subsidiary of Italy-based Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group, reports Drinks Business Review. The acquisition includes a roasting and packaging facility in New Jersey ... Wal-Mart Stores will roll out a single-serve beverage-maker, Esio Beverage System, with a price per serving that is expected to be much lower than that of competing brands. "We believe that this introduction will likely be a game changer in the single-serve category," said research firm Detwiler Fenton, reports The Baltimore Sun ... NCH Marketing Services said in an annual report on coupon distribution and use that shoppers saved $4.6 billion last year by using coupons, 12.2 percent more than in 2010, reports Supermarket News ... President Bill Clinton, Founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and the 42nd President of the U.S. will address attendees at the 2012 National Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (NRA) on May 6. He will share insights into his presidency and his current work with the William J. Clinton Foundation. NRA Show 2012 will be held on its new dates May 5-8 at Chicago's McCormick Place ... Speaking of NRA, it is launching a new Healthier Kids Fare pavilion to underscore its commitment to helping its members and Show attendees increase healthful children's options on restaurant menus ... Barry Callebaut celebrates 100 years of doing business in the U.S. ... Hershey and Italian confectioner Ferrero say they will cut energy use, truck miles and emissions by sharing warehouses and trucks in the U.S., reports Candy and Snack Today. Though such collaboration is unusual for competitors, they will get more popular as "companies seek to fully leverage their logistics infrastructure," said Hershey President and CEO John Bilbrey ... Newly identified cacao plants with unique flavors have been identified by researchers exploring the Peruvian Amazon Basin, reports FoodNavigator.com. Made up of scientists from the USDA and the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture, the research team explored river systems and surrounding areas of the Peruvian Amazon Basin during research trips in 2008 and 2009, identifying and sampling cacao trees. They collected a total of 342 cacao samples during the trips before genetically analyzing them, revealing that many of the new samples were found at a higher altitude than normal. "From the 12 river systems explored, we have identified three completely new populations of cacao that were not previously known to science," said Lyndel Meinhardt, lead researcher at the USDA's sustainable perennial crops laboratory, noting the considerable industry interest in flavor innovation in the confectionary industry.