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Rice-A-Roni introduces single-serve cups

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO — Rice-A-Roni has introduced single-serve, microwavable, flavored rice cups for people in search of a quick meal.

The instant food brand announced Wednesday the introduction of the new cups, which include long-grain rice, toasted vermicelli and others, and require only water and microwaving for three-an-a-half minutes.

"Rice-A-Roni has been providing families great-tasting and convenient meal-time solutions for more than 50 years," Rice-A-Roni director of marketing Tania Haladner said. "We are always looking to develop new products that deliver unmatched taste, quality and convenience that meet our consumers’ needs."

The cups, offered at the suggested retail price of $1.29, come in chicken, creamy four cheese, and cheddar broccoli flavors.

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Alexia Foods launches sweet potato rolls

BY Alaric DeArment

EAGLE, Idaho — Frozen food maker Alexia Foods has introduced new rolls made with sweet potatoes, the company said Tuesday.

Alexia, which already makes other bread products like Ciabatta Rolls, Ancient Grain Rolls, Classic French Rolls and Focaccia Rolls, said the new Sweet Potato Rolls can be prepared in less than 20 minutes.

"The sweet potato is migrating away from its place at the holiday table and making its way to everyday dinner tables," Alexia VP and general manager Mike Smith said. "As a good source of vitamin A, Alexia Sweet Potato rolls offer a simple yet extraordinary flavor, and give food lovers a new way to enjoy a classic favorite."

 

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Dean Foods to sell Morningstar Foods division to Saputo

BY Antoinette Alexander

DALLAS — Dean Foods has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Morningstar Foods division to Saputo for $1.45 billion.

Morningstar Foods is a manufacturer of dairy and nondairy extended-shelf-life and cultured products, including creams and creamers, ice cream mixes, whipping cream, aerosol whipped toppings, iced coffee, half and half, value-added milks, sour cream and cottage cheese.

Gregg Tanner, CEO of Dean Foods, said that Dean Foods will use substantially all of the net proceeds from the sale to reduce outstanding debt and increase its flexibility to execute against its strategies for the core dairy business. As a result of the transaction, Dean Foods expects to realize $887 million in proceeds, net of taxes and expenses.

Assuming a fourth-quarter close, Dean Foods’ management expects its net debt to EBITDA ratio, as defined by its credit agreements, to be below 3.0x at year-end 2012.

As a condition of the sale, Dean Foods also entered into an agreement with WhiteWave Foods, a controlled subsidiary of the company, whereby WhiteWave will receive $60 million net of taxes as consideration for the termination of an option to purchase plant capacity and property at a Morningstar facility and the sale to Morningstar of certain manufacturing equipment located at another Morningstar plant. In addition, WhiteWave and Morningstar agreed to modify certain terms of existing intercompany commercial agreements between the two companies.

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