June 7, 2012 |
Pfizer Inc., the largest drug maker in the U.S., is planning to spin off its animal health unit into a separate company, named Zoetis, that will be partially owned by shareholders. Let's deal with the name first. Zoetis derives from the root "zo," which means "pertaining to life" and is found in words such as "zoo" and "zoetic," Pfizer said. The name is starting to draw comparisons to Mondelez, Kraft Foods' new name for its spinoff snacks unit. Both are kind of hard to say. Zoetis is pronounced "zo-AY-tis," while Mondelez, which means "delicious world," is "mohn-da-LEEZ.
May 22, 2012 |
General Mills Inc. will get rid of 850 jobs in an attempt to cut costs and boost productivity as items such as Cheerios cereal, Progresso soups and Hamburger Helper become costlier to make. The downsizing will affect 2.4% of the Minneapolis company's workforce of 35,000 people. Including employee severance, General Mills expects $109 million in pretax restructuring charges. Of that, $94 million will be recorded in the fourth quarter, which ends May 27. The company said the restructuring effort is meant to help “improve organizational effectiveness and focus on key growth strategies.” General Mills spokeswoman Kristie Foster said that the timing of the layoffs will vary, but that “most individual decisions will be communicated in the coming weeks.” About half of the cuts will come from the Minneapolis headquarters; across the company, administrative and support positions will be most affected.
April 23, 2012 |
Swiss food and nutrition giant Nestle will shell out $11.9 billion to buy Pfizer's nutrition unit, which owns baby food brands such as SMA and Promil. The division is expected to reel in $2.4 billion in sales this year and gets 85% of its revenue from emerging markets, whose large and rapidly growing populations are a key target for Nestle. The Pfizer infant formula business is the fifth largest in the world, according to research group Euromonitor International, ranked behind Nestle, Mead-Johnson Nutrition Co., Groupe Danone and Abbot Laboritories.
March 17, 2012 |
Remember chia pets? Rinsing your hair with beer? Food that's just food - no soy protein isolate, xanthan gum, red dye No. 40 or mystery ingredients from the Amazon rain forest? Well, chia is back, big time (the seeds, not the chia pets). And so is regular old food. We recently spent hours plodding the floors - along with 60,000 others - at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, the biggest health food trade show in the world. The overarching theme we saw: What's old is new again. Your grandmother would recognize a lot of these hot trends: Foods produced by local farmers.
December 21, 2011 |
Feeding young babies solid foods such as crackers, cereals and bread, which tend to be high in salt, may set them up for a lifelong preference for salt, researchers reported Tuesday. The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that efforts to reduce salt intake among Americans should begin early in life. It is even possible, the authors said, that infancy contains a "sensitivity window" in which exposure to certain foods and tastes programs the brain to desire them in the future.
March 11, 2011 |
ANAHEIM -- Baby food is no longer just mushy, creamy, bland stuff in little jars. That couldn't be more apparent at the Natural Products Expo. Manufacturers are now promoting baby food enhanced with probiotics, vitamins and minerals and "hidden" vegetables. One maker of premier, healthy baby foods -- Happy Baby -- has grown from being in five stores three years ago to 5,000 today. Gerber, that old standby, has a line of certified-organic products such as organic brown rice.