NECCO May Close, Lay off Workers, if Buyer Isn’t Found

New England Confectionery Co. (NECCO), maker of the iconic Valentine’s Day conversation hearts candy Sweethearts, celebrated its 170th anniversary last year. But unless a buyer is found by May 6, the company has notified the city of Revere, Mass., it may have to lay off 395 employees and potentially close its manufacturing plant, reports The Boston Globe.

According to The Globe, NECCO is the Boston suburb’s largest employer. Along with conversation Sweethearts, the company also produces Mary Janes, NECCO Wafers, Clark Bars and Candy Buttons.

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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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Tyson Foods to Cut 450 Jobs, Discusses Future Plans

Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Ark, has announced on Sept. 28 plans to eliminate 450 jobs across several areas and levels of the company, citing potential redundancies from Hillshire Brands, AdvancePierre Foods and Tyson Foods employees. The layoffs were not unexpected as Tyson made similar cuts after its purchase of Hillshire Brands. News reports in late September also mentioned the company boosting its earnings guidance on strong beef segment performance.

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Conagra Buys Angie’s Boomchickapop Popcorn’s Parent Company

Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn owner, Conagra Brands, Chicago, is acquiring Angie’s Artisan Treats, LLC, Mankato, Minn., maker of Angie’s Boomchickapop ready-to-eat popcorn. Angie’s Artisan Treats is owned by TPG Growth, a middle market and growth equity platform of alternative asset firm TPG. Financial terms were not disclosed. Conagra said the deal should close by the end of the calendar year, subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals.

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Post Holdings To Buy Bob Evans for $1.5 Billion

Post Holdings Inc., St. Louis, announced today (Sept. 19) an agreement to acquire Bob Evans Farms Inc., New Albany, Ohio, for approximately $1.5 billion. The deal will move the acquirer deeper into the breakfast category, beyond Post’s cereals and eggs, and especially into packaged and prepared breakfast entrees. Post officials called it a “highly complementary combination.”

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Simply Fresh Foods introduces Rojo’s Queso Dips and Rojo’s Salsas

Simply Fresh Foods introduces Rojo’s Queso Dips and Rojo’s Salsas. A first for the company, the 12-oz. queso dips come in two varieties. Salsa Con Queso is tangy sour cream blended with creamy cotija and cream cheeses and mixed with fresh tomatoes, onions and jalapeno peppers. Queso Blanco is Monterey Jack and cotija cheeses combined with zesty green chiles and jalapenos.

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