November 27, 2012 |
ConAgra Foods Inc. makes some of the best-known packaged food brands around, including Chef Boyardee, Hebrew National, Hunt's, Orville Redenbacher's, Reddi-wip and Slim Jim. But these days, the money is in private grocery store labels, such as Safeway's Open Nature line and Albertson's eponymous products. With its $6.8-billion purchase of Ralcorp Holdings, the largest producer of foods under such in-store brands, ConAgra is making a play to dominate the growing market. ConAgra will give Ralcorp stakeholders $90 per share in cash, a 28.2% premium on the closing price on Monday.
September 29, 2009 |
Most shoppers know that cabbage and carrots are smart choices at the grocery store. But it might surprise people that Lucky Charms, Froot Loops, Ritz Bits Peanut Butter Chocolatey Blast crackers and Kid Cuisine Magical Cheese Stuffed Crust Cheese Pizza meals are billed as "Smart Choices" under a controversial new food-rating program. A logo adopted by food company giants is showing up in major supermarkets: a green "Smart Choice" check mark, meant to replace the blizzard of health labels that clutter food package fronts: "Sensible Solution, "Smart Spot," and so on. Sponsors say the logo will help an overweight and overwhelmed public make better food choices in a way that reflects how people really shop.
December 27, 2001 |
ConAgra Foods Inc.'s recent move to separate financial results of its branded foods from agricultural businesses might be more than a bookkeeping shuffle, and could prepare the ground for an eventual spinoff or sale of the company's slower-growing units, analysts said. "This could be the first step," said Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown analyst Eric Katzman. "They've been putting resources behind the higher-margin packaged-foods areas, and by their own admission have disclosed that parts of their agricultural products, and even meat-processing, have under-performed."
March 11, 2010 |
Soup, which sustained a nation through the Great Depression, has itself fallen on hard times in the "Great Recession." Winter is supposed to be prime soup season. And one might expect that to be even more the case with U.S. unemployment at 10% during one of the snowiest East Coast winters on record. Soup is a hot meal that's both cheap and quick. But trade data highlight the balancing act name-brand food companies face in this new era of American thriftiness. If it's not on sale, shoppers tend to look elsewhere.
December 15, 2009 |
Despite a 2-year-old pledge by more than a dozen major food companies to advertise healthier foods to children, about two-thirds of those companies' ads remain for products of low nutritional quality, according to a study released Monday. The report, released a day before the Federal Trade Commission and other government agencies are set to suggest nutritional standards for foods marketed to kids, concluded that the industry's effort at self-regulation has failed. Ads for sugary cereals, fast food and sweet snacks made up more than 70% of the total studied.
May 17, 2010 |
For decades, people have been ignoring advice to eat less salt — in large part because it's hard to avoid. Processed and restaurant foods are simply loaded with sodium. Now, under growing pressure from doctors, consumers, states, advocacy groups and even national-level advisors, big-name food companies are slashing sodium from soups, potato chips, sauces, condiments and other products. Last month, the Food and Drug Administration announced its intent to reduce salt in the American diet, beginning with a call for voluntary cutbacks from the food industry.