January 1, 2006
Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods Inc. is selling its Stella D’oro business to Stella D’oro Holdings, LLC, a newly formed subsidiary of Brynwood Partners. Kraft estimates that the Stella D’oro operations, which include cookies, breakfast treats, bread sticks and biscotti, generated about $30 million in net revenue in 2005. The sale includes Kraft’s manufacturing facility in the Bronx, N.Y. As part of the transaction, some 180 Kraft employees, including management staff, hourly production workers and route drivers servicing the metro New York area, will join Stella D’oro Holdings. The transaction is expected to be completed in January.
Poore Brothers Inc. announced in December that its chief executive, Thomas W. Freeze, is stepping down, effective immediately. Eric J. Kufel, chairman of the board, becomes interim CEO of the Goodyear, Ariz.-based snack food manufacturer. Richard M. Finkbeiner, senior vice president and CFO, also stepped down from the company, effective Dec. 15. The management departures came about a month after Poore Bros. disclosed accounting errors that would require the restatement of earnings for the second quarter of this year.
Thomasville, Ga.-based Flowers Foods’ subsidiary in New Orleans, which has been closed since late August following Hurricane Katrina, resumed operations. The bakery is producing white bread under the Bunny brand name for the New Orleans and Gulf Coast areas. Flowers Baking Co. of New Orleans, located at 5646 Lewis Road, sustained damage during Hurricane Katrina. The company worked with local and state officials to ensure that cleanup and restoration of the bakery was done appropriately. The bakery has been baking Bunny bread — a New Orleans favorite — since 1966.
Tate & Lyle announced the acquisition of the U.S.-based specialty food ingredients company Continental Custom Ingredients (CCI) and the Italian-based Cesalpinia group of companies (Cesalpinia Foods). The transactions are expected to be completed by the first quarter of this year.
The American Bakers Association said the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recently released its Final Guidance for Requesting an Extension to Use Existing Label Stock after the Trans Fat Labeling Effective Date of January 1, 2006. The guidance describes the process by which businesses may request extensions. It also explains the factors that the FDA will consider, on a case-by-case basis, in determining whether to exercise such enforcement discretion with respect to a company’s use of existing labels that are not compliant with the trans fat labeling final rule issued on July 11, 2003. That rule requires most packaged food products initially introduced into interstate commerce on or after January 1 to bear the gm. amount of trans fat without a % Daily Value on the Nutrition Facts panel.
BEMA’s third meeting of BEMA’s Baking Industry Forum (BIF) took place in November in Kansas City, Mo. Supplier and baker representatives discussed the establishment of voluntary common Terms & Conditions, mechanics training, baker surveys and a groundbreaking program for BEMA’s 2006 Winter Summit. Participants in the meeting included representatives from BEMA, major bakeries, the American Institute of Baking and the American Society of Baking. BIF was created earlier this year as a means of promoting the mutual business interests of bakers and suppliers. BIF meets three times annually, in conjunction with annual BEMA events.
Loders Croklaan opened a new oil processing factory in Channahon, Ill. An expansion of the company’s existing Channahon facility, it doubles throughput, increases storage capacity and further enhances the unparalleled quality of palm-based products the company is known for worldwide. The factory expands the existing plant by 10,000 sq. ft., increasing storage capability by 200%. The facility also incorporates a state-of-the-art bleaching line that boosts capacity by 400%. In addition, a new oil in-line blending capability increases bulk capacity by 100%.
Klosterman Bakery Co. is opening its fourth regional bakery in Springboro, Ohio, to boost production of a new product line. The Cincinnati-based baker is confident that the new bakery’s centralized location within its service area will help distribution efforts. The overall project cost is $5.5 million. The Springboro facility will primarily produce Klosterman’s new line of hearth-baked breads and will create more than 40 jobs during the next three years.
Gonnella Baking Co. recently was recognized by the American Institute of Baking (AIB) with a superior rating at three of its facilities — in Chicago, Aurora, Ill., and Schaumburg, Ill. — for the first time. The facilities achieved the prestigious statue through AIB’s latest food safety good manufacturing practices’ audit.
Loders Croklaan recently opened an oil processing factory in Channahon, Ill. An expansion of the company’s existing Channahon facility, the new factory doubles throughput, increases storage capacity and further enhances the unparalleled quality of palm-based products the company is known for worldwide. The new factory expands the existing plant by 10,000 sq. ft., which increases storage capability by 200%. The new facility also incorporates a bleaching line that boosts capacity by 400 %. In addition, a new oil in-line blending capability increases bulk capacity by 100%.
The employees at Portland, Ore.-based Franz Family Bakeries throughout the Northwest decided to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina and found it easy to open their hearts and pocketbooks when the company announced it would double-match all employee donations to five selected national non-profit charities. The company and its employees raised $54,019 for the survivors. The cash donation is the largest in the history of the company.
Blendex Co., a leading food processor d.b.a. Blendex Custom Blending, received the Associated Industries of Kentucky Manufacturers of the Year Award (mid-size category) for showcasing entrepreneurial spirit, community leadership, and policy contributions made by Kentucky Manufacturers.