Business Briefs

In May, the National Uniformity for Food Act of 2006 was introduced in the United States Senate in a bipartisan effort by Senators Richard Burr (R.-N.C.), Ben Nelson (D.-Neb.) and Pat Roberts (R.-Kan.). The act provides for nationally uniform food safety standards and warning labels on packaged foods, ensuring the same level of protection for consumers anywhere in our nation.
The bill also preserves the appropriate role for both individual states and the federal government with regard to food safety. The companion bill, H.R. 4167, the National Uniformity for Food Act, passed the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2006 with the strong bipartisan support of 283 Representatives, notes the American Baker’s Association.
For more information on National Uniformity legislation and to view the full bill text, visit
Ripon Foods, Inc. will receive $3 million in Enterprise Development Zone tax credits and a $55,000 training grant from the Department of Commerce to save its Ripon, Wisc. plant from closure. With this money, the company will upgrade and expand its facility. The project will save more than 300 jobs and is expected to create 100 new jobs over the next two years. Ripon Foods, Inc. produces Rippin’ Good cookies.
Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) formed a joint venture between ADM, Matsutani Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. and Matsutani America, Inc. The venture, which officially formed on May 1, supports the worldwide sales and marketing of food ingredient Fibersol-2. Fibersol-2 is a soluble dietary fiber ingredient suitable for use in a variety of food and beverage applications, as well as dietary supplements. Invented by Japan’s Matsutani, It has been exclusively produced at ADM’s Clinton, Iowa, facility since 1999. ADM will continue to manufacture Fibersol-2 for both Matsutani Chemical and the joint venture.
Otis Spunkmeyer Holdings, San Leandro, Calif., registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of a maximum of $230 million in common stock. Details about the number of shares offered and estimated price range for the IPO were not revealed in the S.E.C. filing. For the first quarter ended April 1, net income for Otis Spunkmeyer Holdings rose significantly, totaling $2,372,000, compared with $624,000 in the same period a year ago. Net sales rose 25% in the quarter, totaling $97,115,000. After the IPO, the company plans to list its share on NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol “OTIS.”
Kliklok-Woodman, Decatur, Ga., joined forces with Mexico-based Alko International, the company’s new representative agent covering Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Alko International is a newly formed division of a regional packaging leader and has provided sales, service and support of packaging related goods in Mexico and Latin America for more than 35 years.  The alliance will ensure that Kliklok-Woodman’s customers in Mexico and Latin America have a local, full service point of contact for its full range of Vertical-Form-Fill-Seal (VFFS) and cartoning equipment.  
Kronos Foods Inc., Chicago, which specializes in Greek cuisine, bought Rain Creek Baking Co., Fresno, Calif., for an undisclosed sum. Kronos, with about $75 million in annual revenue, had been owned since 2004 by Prospect Partners LLC, a Chicago-based private-equity firm. Rain Creek’s products include baklava and other pastries sold under the Sinbad Sweets, Michael’s and Rain Creek brands.
Dawn Food Products, Inc., Jackson Mich., recently joined forces with Countryside Baking, Inc., a leading cookie and sweet goods manufacturer. Countryside will continue its operations in Irvine, Calif. A family-owned company, Countryside manufactures and distributes premiere quality gourmet cookies, rugala, biscotti and macaroons through club stores, mass merchandisers, foodservice operations and in-store channels nationwide.
The Restaurant Co. (TRC), operator and franchisor of a national chain of family restaurants under the Perkins Restaurant & Bakery name, and Marie Callendar’s, a chain of casual dining restaurants best known for freshly baked pies, announced that their merger has been completed. TRC also announced that Allen Bernstein, former CEO of Morton’s Restaurant Group has been named chairman of TRC Holdings LLC, the parent of the newly merged companies. All three companies are portfolio companies of Castle Harlan, Inc., a New York-based private-equity investment firm.
Nearly 40 bakers attended the recent American Baker’s Association (ABA) Food Technical Regulatory Affairs Committee (FTRAC) meeting held in Washington, D.C., where members addressed key technical issues impacting the baking industry. In conjunction with the FTRAC meeting, ABA held workshop on allergens with experts addressing a variety of\ issues facing bakers.