Conagra Mulls Sale of Hebrew National and Other Food Industry News

Powder & Bulk Solids highlights recent food and beverage manufacturing news you may have missed.

John S. Forrester, former Managing Editor

March 12, 2021

4 Min Read
Representative imageImage courtesy of Pixabay

Reports broke this week that packaged foods manufacturer Conagra Brands is considering a sale of its Hebrew National hot dog business. The business may sell for about $700 million, and the transaction could also include Conagra’s Egg Beaters and Odom’s Tennessee Pride brands, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Conagra is entering the talks as it is actively working to focus its efforts on frozen foods and snacks, Bloomberg said in its coverage of the potential deal. IRI data gathered by the news and business information organization reveals that the three brands had combined sales of $575 million in the 52-week period that ended on February 21.

Sources said that a deal may materialize over the next several weeks, but Conagra could decide to keep the business.

Here are some other developments in the food and beverage industry that captured headlines over the last week:

Ferrero CEO to Serve as Chair of the National Confectioners Association

Chocolate and candy manufacturing trade organization The National Confectioners Association (NCA) announced Wednesday that Paul Chibe, president and chief executive officer of Ferrero North America, was named as chairman of its Board of Trustees. The role’s two-year term commences immediately.

Chibe has worked in the confectionery and consumer products industries for three decades. In his current position at Ferrero North America, the executive leads the firm’s brands and business in the US, Canada, and the Caribbean and oversees the company’s innovations and expansions in the region.

Mondelez Scoops Up Premium Cracker Brands

American food and confections firm Mondelez International announced Tuesday that it has formed an agreement to purchase Gourmet Food Holdings Pty Ltd, a maker of premium crackers based in Australia. The company did not reveal the financial terms of the deal. 

Gourmet Food’s OB finest, Olina’s Bakehouse, Crispbic and other brands lead their categories in the Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) region. Mondelez said the transaction will boost its presence in the crackers and biscuits segment in the countries.

Pellet Machine Fire at Feed Mill

A blaze at the Reisdorf Brothers feed mill in North Java, NY last Thursday caused an estimated $2 million in damage, local news organizations reported. The fire was reportedly started by a malfunction in a pellet machine.

The pellet machine involved in the fire is used in the production of animal feed, according to NBC News affiliate WGRZ. Six workers were in the facility when the fire occurred, but no injuries were logged.

Tyson Offers COVID Vaccine to Workers in 3 States

Protein products producer Tyson Foods announced Monday that thousands of its employees in Arkansas, Kansas, and North Carolina will be able to receive free on-site COVID-19 vaccinations this week. The company is administering the drug in cooperation with its partner, Matrix Medical, and local health departments. 

Food processing workers are considered a priority for vaccinations in those states. Tyson said it anticipates that many of its 24,000 workers in Arkansas will opt to receive a dose at on-site events at its plants in Fayetteville and Springdale. Additional events will also be held at the firm’s plants in Claremont, Monroe, Sanford and Wilkesboro in North Carolina and Garden City, KS.

Fire Ignites in Peanut Roaster Vent at Campbell’s Snacks Plant

Crews responded to the Campbell’s Snacks plant in Columbus, GA on Monday morning after a blaze started in a peanut roaster vent in the facility, ABC News affiliate WTVM reported this week. 

Fire Chief Kevin Lott told the news broadcaster that the blaze started in residue inside the roaster vent and created a large volume of smoke. No injuries were logged during the response.

Ardent Mills to Purchase Chickpea Packing Operations

Ingredients and flour milling company Ardent Mills is moving forward on plans to purchase most of the business operations of North American chickpea sourcing, cleaning, and packing firm Hinrichs Trading Company, a recent release announced. 

The Denver-based miller said the acquisition of Hinrichs will boost its specialty ingredient capabilities and expand its portfolio. Hinrichs, headquartered in Pullman, WA, has five facilities across Montana and Washington. The chickpea packer has been in business for more than three decades.

Food Firm Hit with $40K Fine After Worker Hurt by Labeler Machine

Food manufacturer Select Food Products was issued a fine of CAD$50,000, or about $40,000, for an equipment-related injury that occurred at its Toronto, ON plant in 2019, the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development announced.

On April 17, 2019, a worker at Select Food Products’ sauces and condiments facility was injured by a labeler machine on a salad dressing line while they were attempting to remove a label that had become stuck to the equipment. Officials said the labeler machine lacked a legally required guard to prevent access to pinch points.

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About the Author(s)

John S. Forrester

former Managing Editor, Powder & Bulk Solids

John S. Forrester is the former managing editor of Powder & Bulk Solids.

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