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Cape Cod Potato Chips releases three new flavors

BY Jenna Duncan

HYANNIS, Mass. Cape Cod Potato Chips has announced three new flavors added to its lineup, just in time for summer. They are buttermilk ranch, honey Dijon and sweet mesquite barbeque.

“Our quest was to find a rich gourmet flavor that offers the perfect pairing of America’s love for outdoor entertaining and people’s favorite snack-chips,” director of marketing for Cape Cod Potato Chips Heidi Daly Ford said in a recent statement.

Daly Ford continued, saying that the design team at Cape Cod experimented with many different flavors, revising combinations and conducting taste-tests for several months. She said that consumers seemed to favor mesquite barbeque-flavored chips, as well as buttermilk ranch flavor and honey Dijon.

In the United States, snack items have grown to become a $76-billion per year industry. Potato chips are the leading snack in the U.S. with the highest sales falling in the Memorial Day through Labor Day season. Cape Cod Potato Chips said that its products are popular at outdoor events, like picnics and barbeques.

Cape Code Potato Chips’ new flavors will enter major markets across the country this the summer. The 8-ounce bags retail for about $2 retail bags. All products are also available on the Cape Cod Potato Chips Web site, www.capecodchips.com.

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Kraft Foods unveils plans to sell off Post cereals

BY Jenna Duncan

NORTHFIELD, Ill. In a statement released Monday, Kraft Foods’ board of directors announced the company’s plan to sell-off all outstanding shares of Cable Holdco, the Kraft subsidiary responsible for the company’s Post cereals business.

Kraft announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to distribute and merge its Post cereals into Ralcorp Nov. 15, 2007. But news of the split-off was announced in connection with the merger of Cable Holdco and Ralcorp Mailman LLC, a subsidiary of Ralcorp Holdings.

The exchange is expected to be tax-free to Kraft shareholders for U.S. tax purposes. The offer will expire at the closing date of Post/Ralcorp merger. That date should be announced in the coming weeks. The transactions face regular closing procedures one of which is approval by Ralcorp’s shareholders.

Kraft shareholders will also be granted the choice whether to exchange Kraft shares for Cable Holdco common stock, [then immediately exchanged for shares of Ralcorp common stock, just after the Cable Holdco/Ralcorp Mailman merger]. Outstanding shares of Kraft will be reduced as a consequence.

About 30.4 million shares of Cable Holdco will be offered in trade for Kraft common stock. Other conditions apply to the exchange, as well.

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Private label sales increase as budgets tighten

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Private label foods are making inroads as consumers’ budgets become tighter, Citigroup said Tuesday following a conference call with Tom Pirovano, director of industry insights for Nielsen.

Private label product sales have increased by 10.2 percent at drug stores, as well as 8.9 percent at grocery stores and 10.4 percent at Wal-Mart. Pirovano said during the call that Wal-Mart had become a benchmark retailer in private labels by keeping prices for its private label products low compared to branded products and private-label products from other retailers.

The shift to private labels has been most dramatic in foods that have seen the largest increases, such as eggs, milk and cheese. Sales were lower in processed foods.

At the same time, however, makers of branded food products have been trying to compete by adding extra features such as nutritional enhancements, changing quantities or making the products safe for the microwave.

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