Nestle to sell U.S. confectionery unit early in 2018

Nestle S.A. has completed a strategic review and now plans to sell its U.S. confectionery unit by the end of the first quarter, which would be the end of March, said Lydia Méziani, senior corporate spokesperson for the Vevey-based company. She said a “robust sale process” is under way.

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Conagra acquires Sandwich Bros ahead of Q2 2018 results

Conagra has agreed to acquire Sandwich Bros. of Wisconsin, a producer of frozen flatbread sandwiches, for an undisclosed sum. The transaction is ecpected to closed in early 2018. Conagra’s president and CEO, Sean Connolly said,”Adding the sandwhich Bros. business to our portfolio is another step in Conagra Brands’ ongoing work to accelerate growth.

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Zest Tea Launches RTD Line

After three years of jolting its consumers awake with its flagship line of highly-caffeinated bagged teas, Zest Tea has launched its first ready-to-drink (RTD) products. The new 12 oz. cans of “High Octane” sparkling energy teas, launched in December for sale via the company’s website and Amazon, mark a large growth opportunity for Zest Tea, which is positioning the three-SKU line as an alternative to both coffee and traditional energy drinks.

 

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Processor of the Year 2017: Pinnacle Foods

Pinnacle Foods’ story reads like the shows on home improvement channels. Metaphorically, the company began as HGTV’s “Fixer-Upper” and “House Hunters,” then segued into “Income Property.” With recent independence and a new strategy going forward, it’s switching channels to DIY’s “This New House,” maybe even “Dream House.”

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Ocean Spray Modernizes Cranberry Juice

Ocean Spray, an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry farmers, has been busy rolling out new cranberry juice products. Three new beverage lines are:

  • Ocean Spray Organic 100% Juice Blends
  • Ocean Spray Pure Cranberry (Unsweetened) 100% Juice
  • Ocean Spray Mocktails

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Mars Invests in Kind, Third-Largest Maker of Snack Bars

Mars, Inc., McLean, Va., known for confectionery brands like M&M’s and Snickers, plans to announce that it will buy a minority stake in Kind, New York, the maker of wildly popular snack bars, according to a report in The New York Times.

Kind says it will remain independent and still be led by founder and CEO Daniel Lubetzky. Valued at more than $4 billion, the Kind deal marks a significant valuation for one of the most prominent food brands on store shelves in recent years. The move will likely help both companies develop their product portfolios and allow Kind to expand into new worldwide markets.

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