Business Briefs

Pennsauken, N.J.-based J & J Snack Foods Corp. acquired Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based Snackworks LLC, a subsidiary of Bavarian Brothers, a manufacturer of soft pretzels. Snackworks also has production facilities in Chambersburg, Pa., with annual sales of some $11 million.
H. J. Heinz Co. announced a downsizing to take place at its Weight Watchers plant in Massillon, Ohio. The company will lay off between 100 and 129 employees citing a decreased demand for its Weight Watchers and Smart Ones diet entrees and desserts.
Winston Salem, N.C.-based Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. (KKD) will close five test outlets in Wal-Mart stores, which still carry Krispy Kreme wholesale-distributed donuts. The company also announced that it would close three of its commissaries —in Ashland, Va., Kansas City, Mo., and Euless, Texas, located within the Dallas/Ft. Worth metropolitan area, and had already closed two of its satellite shops, one in Memphis, Tenn., and one in Charleston, S.C., in late March. The Euless factory opened in 2001, and was built to supply stores in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area with the trademark donuts. With the announcement of the closing of the plant, the company reportedly offered to transfer the nearly 100 employees of the Euless plant to jobs in Krispy Kreme stores. On a more positive note for the company, the beleaguered donut chain recently dodged a financial bullet by securing new financing just about a week before it faced automatic default by its previous creditors. Credit Suisse First Boston and Silver Point Finance LLC arranged three new senior credit facilities totaling $225 million. The money went to repaying existing credit, paying for fees and financing charges and providing a balance of cash. “With more liquidity and no near-term repayment deadlines, we forward to getting back into the business of selling donuts and coffee,” Steve Panagos, Krispy Kreme’s COO, said in a statement.
Lance, Inc., the Charlotte, N.C.-based producer of cookies, crackers and other snacks, purchased a sugar wafer manufacturing plant from A&M Cookie Co. in Canada. The Cambridge, Ontario-based plant will be owned and operated by Lance’s Canadian subsidiary, Tamming Foods Ltd., which currently operates sugar wafer manufacturing plants in Waterloo and Guelph, Ont.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established the uniform compliance date of Jan. 1, 2008, for food-labeling regulations issued between Mar. 14, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2006. The agency created the single compliance date to avoid the food industry having to change its packaging for each regulation.
The American Society of Baking (ASB) plans to build a “Baking Hall of Fame” to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the wholesale baking industry. ASB chairman Gary Brodsky proposed that the society build a permanent exhibit, which would be housed at the American Institute of Baking in Manhattan, Kan. Byron Baird, past ASB chairman and retired chairman of Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries, will head the Hall of Fame Planning Committee.
Brolite Products, Inc. received its 9th “superior” rating from the American Institute of Baking (AIB) in addition to its organic certification.
E.T. Horn Co., a leading distributor and supplier of food ingredients and specialty chemicals, entered an exclusive distribution agreement with Loders Croklaan, specifically for is SensoryEffects brand. E.T. Horn will represent its line of inclusions throughout the western United States.
SPI Polyols, Inc. has added new equipment with the guidance of its applications research and technical service labs. Scientists have overseen the addition of a Microthermics UHT/HTST lab pasteurizer with an in-line homogenizer and chiller and additional freezer capacity. Other upgrades include a rotating rack oven, 3-roll refiner with hydraulics and a new microscope system with hot/cold stage and camera.
McNeil Nutritionals, L.L.C., manufacturer of Splenda retail products, launched its new Splenda brown sugar blend, the first-of-its-kind reduced-calorie brown sugar product.