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Small chip companies stand up against towering Frito-Lay

BY Tara Smith

CHICAGO Small, regional snack food makers, like Kettle Foods and Kitchen Cooked, are persevering in spite of the salty-snack food jauggernaut that is PepsiCo Inc.’s Frito-Lay unit, according to a Chicago Tribune article.

This success is made all the more notable after the financial failure of Chicago’s former snack-food leader, Jays Foods, which over the last five years lost ground to Frito-Lay, forcing Jay’s to file for Chapter 11 and make a tentative deal Thursday to sell its assets to another food company.

Frito-Lay reports annual potato chip sales almost six times more than Procter & Gamble, the maker of Pringles and second-largest U.S. Potato chip brand, and 14 times greater than Pa.-based Utz Quality Foods.

Although cracking a national market can be difficult for snack food-makers, a few regional companies have managed to go national. Snyder’s of Hanover, Pa., for example, has become the nation’s pretzel market leader in the past few years, overtaking Frito-Lay’s Rold Gold brand, according to Information Resources.

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Cabot Creamery Cooperative has gone Greek for yogurt.

BY Allison Cerra

CABOT, Vt. Cabot has launched and already stocked shelves with its unique recipe for Greek Style yogurt. Its rich taste and thick consistency is a recipe for success, Cabot said. The company, already dubbed “Makers of the World’s Best Cheddar” hopes it will take on a new title as “Makers of the World’s Best Greek Style Yogurt.”

“Our new line of Greek Style Yogurt melts in your mouth—better than ice cream if you want rich, luscious taste,” said Richard Stammer, Cabot Creamery Cooperative’s chief executive officer. “The family farmer-owners of Cabot Creamery Cooperative have produced another world-class product. And, like our award winning cheeses, our Greek Style Yogurt is in a class all by itself. We’re proud of that and we think our customers will agree.”

Available now only at area Publix Super Markets, the retail food chain currently stocks Cabot Greek Style Yogurt in the following six-ounce flavors of peach, strawberry, chocolate, vanilla and tropical fruit. The chain also carries Cabot’s Plain Flavor Greek Style Yogurt in a 32-ounce size.

Yogurt is one of the oldest known foods, dating back more than 4,500 years. Their concentrated nutrients include high levels of calcium, protein, vitamins B6 and B12, and magnesium, all of which promote intestinal health and help cure bacterial infections.

While the health benefits of Cabot Greek Style Yogurt are extensive, this style of yogurt trumps traditional American-style with its cooking advantages.

“Cabot’s Greek Style Yogurt has countless uses as an ingredient in recipes,” said Cabot’s celebrity Chef of Staff, Jon Ashton. “It won’t separate when it is baked and can easily be substituted for cream. Best of all, it can be used in so many wonderful recipes. It’s great with honey and nuts, makes a great smoothie and it makes an amazing chiffon or topping for healthy desserts.”

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Cadbury to spin off U.S. drinks unit

BY Tara Smith

NEW YORK Cadbury Schweppes announced plans today to spin off its U.S. drinks unit, listing the Americas Beverages division on the New York Stock Exchange, according to Bloomberg.

The decision was made after the search for a buyer was derailed by record subprime mortgage defaults in the United States. The unit accounted for 35 percent of Cadbury’s $15.1 billion in 2006 sales and controlled 15 percent of the U.S. soda market with such brands as Dr Pepper, Seven-Up and Snapple. Cadbury said it would cut 470 jobs at Americas Beverages.

The plan allows for Cadbury, the world’s largest candy maker, to focus on its forte—confectionary. Chief Executive Officer Todd Stitzer said on a conference call that confectionary sales rose 10 percent in Europe and U.S. sales increase 14 percent, boosted by sales of Stride gum.

According to a note from Bear Stearns Co., the spinoff is disappointing because investors expected the London-based company to make much as $15 billion from the sale before the subprime crisis.

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