Kraft sells yogurt and dessert business units
Kraft Foods Inc., Northfield, Ill., has sold two of its business units as part of its Sustainable Growth Plan.

CoolBrands International Inc., Markham, Ontario, Canada, acquired Kraft’s yogurt business. The brands sold include Breyers, Crème Savers, and Light ’n Lively. The sale also includes Kraft’s manufacturing facility in North Lawrence, N.Y. Approximately 147 of the plant employees at this location will join CoolBrands.

In addition, Kraft sold its UK desserts business to Premier Foods plc, Birmingham, UK. The sale includes the Bird’s, Angel Delight, and Dream Topping brands. Dessert production will transfer from Kraft’s manufacturing facility in Banbury, UK, to one of Premier’s facilities. The sale will not affect Kraft’s soluble coffee operations at the Banbury plant.

National Starch dedicates its Process Innovation Center
To help meet the company’s goals of manufacturing excellence and accelerating new product development, National Starch Food Innovation, Bridgewater, N.J., recently opened its Process Innovation Center at the company’s world headquarters.

The center provides the resources to evaluate and develop new products and processes to meet the demands for carbohydrate-based ingredients for a variety of food products. New equipment and upgraded processes now allow the technical staff to copy just about every production process—on a pilotscale basis—that is used at the company’s 10 manufacturing plants around the world.

Gainco opens Innovation Center and combines service activities
Gainco Inc. has opened its new Innovation Center located at its headquarters in Gainesville, Ga.

The company’s research and development and engineering efforts will be used in the center to develop improved systems and equipment for the company’s meat and poultry processing customers. Customers will also have the opportunity to see and experience the full range of Gainco’s technology solutions at the center.

Gainco has also grouped together its service activities into a new unit, the Blue Ribbon Service from Gainco. It will provide customer service, maintenance contracts, and parts distribution to customers throughout the United States.

Givaudan opens two culinary centers
Givaudan SA, Genève, Switzerland, recently completed construction of its new 61,000-sq-ft culinary center adjacent to its North American headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. The facility houses the company’s Savory and Foodservice business units and IS/IT functions. Approximately 175 employees will work on commercial, flavor creation, retail, and foodservice applications. The center also features a culinary amphitheater for culinary demonstrations and product development, and provides working space for Givaudan’s Chef ’s Council™, a rotating panel of world-famous chefs from Europe and the U.S.

The company’s second new culinary center, located in Kemptthal, Switzerland, features laboratory space devoted to product development, food application pilot tests, and sensory research.

Bosch Packaging Technology,
Beringen, Switzerland, recently announced plans for its North American integration. The plan includes expanding product portfolios, increasing cross-selling and company synergies, and providing all line components from a single source. A new systems sales group will be responsible for the sales of Sigpack Systems and Tevopharm equipment for integrated systems. The company will also develop a strategy for synergies between the Bosch Minneapolis and Doboy New Richmond locations.

Chef Solutions Inc., Schaumberg, Ill., has renamed its prepared foods and bakery divisions as Orval Kent Foods and Pennant Foods, respectively. Each division will act as an umbrella entity, supporting the divisions’ brands.

Constellation Brands Inc., Fairport, N.Y., has acquired Robert Mondavi Corp., Napa, Calif., making Mondavi a wholly owned subsidiary of Constellation.

Hormel Foods Corp., Austin, Minn., recently acquired Clougherty Packing Co., Los Angeles, Calif., a pork processor and creator of the Farmer John brand of pork products, which are popular throughout the Southwestern United States.

Kahiki Foods, Gahanna, Ohio, and Ocean to Ocean Seafood Sales, Montreal, Canada, have announced a partnership to produce and market Asian frozen foods in the U.S. and Canada. Ocean to Ocean Seafood Sales is a wholly owned subsidiary of Icelandic USA Inc., Norwalk, Conn.

Palm-Oleo SDN BHD, Malaysia, has appointed Acme-Hardesty Co., a division of Jacob Stern & Sons Inc., Santa Barbara, Calif., as its exclusive distributor of fatty acids and glycerine in the U.S. Palm-Oleo will use Acme-Hardesty’s supply chain network to distribute bulk and packaged oleochemicals.

Scholle Corp., Irvine, Calif., has acquired the bag-making assets and business of Arena ZME, Hucknall, UK. The acquisition includes equipment to produce form-fit and pillow-shaped bags for intermediate bulk containers used for transporting liquids. Arena will continue to operate its injection-molding facilities and supply caps and spouts to Scholle and other manufacturers.

Snack Ventures Europe recently acquired Star Foods, the leading snack food manufacturer and distributor in Romania. Star Foods has one factory in Bucharest and operates a distribution system that is the largest among consumer product companies in Romania. The acquisition marks Snack Ventures Europe’s entry into the Romanian market. Snack Ventures Europe, a joint venture of PepsiCo, Purchase, N.Y., and General Mills Inc., Minneapolis, Minn., sells snack foods in several European countries and markets such products as 3-Ds, Bugles, Doritos, Fritos, Hamka’s, Lay’s, Ruffles, and Dippas.

Whole Foods Market Inc., Austin, Tex., and United Natural Foods Inc., Dayville, Conn., have signed a three-year distribution agreement. United Natural Foods will continue to serve as the primary U.S. distributor to Whole Foods Market in the regions it currently serves.

ConAgra Foods, Omaha, Neb., has named Laurie Ryan Vice President of Marketing for ConAgra Foods Specialty Potato Products.

Cott Corp., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, has named Robert J. Flaherty President of its U.S. business unit and Executive Vice President.

Danisco A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark, has named Martin Klaus Nielsen President of Danisco Emulsifiers.

Kraft Foods Inc., Northfield, Ill., has named David Brearton Senior Vice President of Business Process Simplification and Corporate Controller and has elected Jan Bennink to its board of directors.

Land O’Lakes Inc., Arden Hills, Minn., has named Fernando Palacios Executive Vice President of Feed. He replaces Robert M. DeGregorio, who resigned in November 2004.

Life Sciences Research Office, Bethesda, Md., has hired Catherine St. Hilaire as Senior Staff Scientist, Rebecca Johnson as Assistant Information Specialist, and Carmen Mones as Project Manager.

National Enzyme Co., Forsyth, Mo., has named Kevin Hampton Mountain Region Account Executive and Brandon L. Prenger Pacific Region Account Executive.

NutraCea, El Dorado Hills, Calif., has named Bradley D. Edson President and appointed him to its board of directors.

Sara Lee Corp, Chicago, Ill., has appointed Christopher J. Fraleigh Chief Customer and Marketing Officer.

Sargento Foods Inc., Plymouth, Wis., has hired Leathan Christensen to the Consumer Products Div. as Senior Analyst–Wal-Mart Team and Chris Groom as Senior Core Marketing Manager of the Consumer Products Div.

Silliker Inc., Homewood, Ill., has named Gustavo González Education Program Manager.

Dooley named President of NFPA

The National Food Processors Association has named Cal Dooley, a former U.S. Representative from California, President and CEO.

Dooley, who retired from Congress in early 2004 after serving since 1991, was a member of the House Agriculture Committee and was Ranking Minority Member of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition, and Forestry.

NAFFS elects officers
Several industry representatives were recently elected to executive offices and board of directors of the National Association of Flavors and Food-Ingredient Systems.

Those elected to one-year terms as officers were Mike Bloom, President-Elect; Paula Boudjouk, Vice President; Phil Parisi, Vice President; Joe Moran, Treasurer; and Howard Smith, Secretary.

Those elected to three-year terms on the board of directors were Pat Butler, Chris English, Craig Hagelin, Al Roth, and Tricia Weber Moran. Maureen Murphy and Bob Vilim were elected to fill two- and one-year term vacancies, respectively. Bob Weeks will serve a one-year term as Chairman of the board of directors.

AMSA honors members
Joseph C. Cordray, Professor, Iowa State University, received the American Meat Science Association Meat Processing Award for helping to develop an extensive program that helps meat plants comply with new food safety regulations required by the Pathogen Reduction Act. He is a Professional Member of IFT.

Three AMSA members won the Distinguished Achievement Award. Randy D. Huffman, Vice President of Scientific Affairs, American Meat Institute Foundation, received the award for contributing his expertise to numerous societies and organizations. He is a Professional Member of IFT. Rosemarie A. Nold, Assistant Professor/Extension Youth Specialist in Animal Science, University of Nebraska, won the award for her development of youth extension programs on meat safety, meat animal quality assurance, and meat animal management. Duane M. Wulf, Assistant Professor, South Dakota State University, received the award for his research on improving the profitability of livestock producers.

Ken Fleming, Cargill Meat Solutions, received the Intercollegiate Meat Judging Meritorious Service Award for developing and supporting the Excel High Plains Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest.

CRA names Wagner and Mikesell to executive positions
The Corn Refiners Association has hired Tony Wagner as Senior Director for Regulatory Affairs and Libby Mikesell as Executive Director of Communications.

Wagner has more than 13 years of experience addressing national environmental policy, developing and implementing long-term strategic plans, and advocating industry viewpoints before policy makers in Congress and federal regulatory agencies.

Mikesell has worked for more than 15 years addressing nutrition, health, and food safety issues within food industry communications and media relations programs. She has held positions with the National Food Processors Association, Biotechnology Industry Organization, American Croplife, and International Food Information Council.

Personalizing products to individual preferences presents unique marketing opportunities. Cadbury Adams USA, LLC, Parsippany, N.J., the maker of Trident sugarless gum, announces two new Trident flavors that allow consumers to customize the taste of their gum-chewing experience. Strawberry Fusion features sweet and sour strawberry flavors, while Wintergreen Fusion showcases extreme and mellow wintergreen flavors.

Each colorful, 12-piece pellet pack includes six pieces each of sour and sweet strawberry or extreme and mellow wintergreen. Consumers can choose different flavor pellets to create a one-of-a-kind taste sensation. The sugarless gum remains true to Trident’s heritage of clean teeth. The new flavors include the sugar-free sweetener xylitol, which inhibits the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.

“We created these new flavors for Trident to offer the ever-changing teen audience an exciting new taste experience that is also good for their teeth,” said Chris Helle, Business Director, Trident. “Chewing sweet and sour strawberry and extreme and mellow wintergreen is an interactive experience, allowing consumers to customize their own flavor according to their personal taste, piece by piece.”

Looking for product differentiation in the crowded and competitive U.S. beer market, Anheuser-Busch, Inc., St. Louis, Mo., has begun packing its Michelob, Michelob Light, and Anheuser World Select brands in 16-oz aluminum bottles. Themetal-clad products appear at select clubs and bars in Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Washington, D.C., and some Florida cities.

“Our new aluminum bottles gives consumers what they want—cool packaging to complement their image and style,” said Rick Leininger, Director, Michelob Brands, Anheuser-Busch. “This sleek and sophisticated bottle fills the need for beer drinkers in certain settings like upscale bars and clubs.”

Exal USA, Youngstown, Ohio, supplies the aluminum bottles. In addition to being unbreakable, the metal container may keep the beer cooler for a longer period of time than a glass bottle.

The Pillsbury Doughboy is extending his reach in the frozen-food aisle with a line of premium ice cream. Manufactured by Kemps, Minneapolis, Minn., the Pillsbury ice cream comes in seven flavors, ranging from Turtle Fudge Brownie to Peanut Butter Fudge Chunk.

According to a recent consumer survey sponsored by Kemps, more than half of Americans like to add something “unusual” to their ice cream. These offbeat toppings and “mix-ins” include jalapeños, green olives, pickles, bacon bits, garlic, ketchup, French fries, balsamic vinegar, Jello, anchovies, orange juice, ranch dressing, sauerkraut, Tang, wasabi, coffee grounds, sweet bean paste, and Tabasco sauce. About 15% of Americans top their ice cream with Coca-Cola or other soft drink.

Half of consumers scrape their bowls meticulously with their spoon to retrieve the last morsel, while one in six consumers let their pet lick the last bit of ice cream from the bowl. About 5% of consumers eschew their pets in favor of their own licking.

As obesity and other weight-related health issues grab more newspaper headlines, the food industry is responding to these concerns with “better-for-you” and healthier product options. Blue Bunny Incrediples snack dips from Wells Dairy, Le Mars, Iowa, are a case in point. The dips are formulated with yogurt containing live and active cultures. This results in 82% less fat than traditional dips made with sour cream and vegetable fat.

Packaged in 12-oz plastic tubs, the dips come in three varieties—Taco Fiesta, Fajita Lime, and Spicy Buffalo. Each tub holds about 11 two-tablespoon (30-g) servings. Each serving contains about 30 calories, with 10 calories from fat. Wells Dairy positions the product as a dip for vegetables and snack chips and as a spread for sandwiches, wraps, and salads.

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