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When company splits, Kraft CEO to lead snacks biz

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — A few months after the split of Kraft Foods into independent, publicly traded companies was announced by the company’s chief executive, new details have emerged regarding who will lead the businesses.

The company’s board of directors announced that current CEO Irene Rosenfeld will lead the global snacks company as chairman and CEO, while current EVP and president of Kraft Foods North America, Tony Vernon, will become CEO of Kraft’s North American grocery company. In addition, John Cahill will become nonexecutive chairman of the North American grocery company. Cahill currently serves as industrial partner of Ripplewood Holdings, a private equity firm.

“Irene, John and Tony are three of the finest executives in business today,” said Mark Ketchum, lead director of Kraft Foods’ board of directors. “Their commitment to shareholder value, passion for brands and focus on sound financial management give the Board great confidence in the future of the snacks and grocery companies.”

The North American grocery company will be called Kraft Foods. The name of the snacks company has yet to be announced, according to published reports.

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Frozen food forges ahead with growth in poultry

BY Barbara White-Sax

With consumers eating more meals at home, frozen food sales are soaring. Packaged Facts predicted the frozen food category will grow to $70 billion in 2015, an increase of $14.1 billion (or 25%) over 2010. According to a recent study from the market research firm, 72% of consumers said they purchased frozen prepared food.

Drug stores aren’t missing the opportunity. “The drug channel is outpacing the industry in frozen food sales by a solid margin,” said Sue Viamari, SymphonyIRI group editor of Times and Trends. The channel has moved beyond pizzas and snack rolls — although those segments have plenty of upside. Viamari said some of the strongest growth in the drug channel is coming from frozen pasta and poultry.

“We’re seeing a lot of growth in poultry, in whole frozen birds and chicken tenders. Consumers are busy, and they want quick and easy meal solutions,” Viamari said.

”Frozen entrees saw brand loyalty increase during the past several years; innovation has given momentum to that category,” Viamari said. A recent report from Packaged Facts revealed that the number of dinner/entrée introductions increased 21% in 2010, reaching its highest point yet.

One-dish entrees have remained top performers. Packaged Facts reported that Nestlé held the top sales spot in the frozen single-serve segment in 2010.

Restaurant and chef brands have helped push the segment along. ConAgra Foods is teaming up with Bravo for a new line of frozen “Top Chef” entrees called Healthy Choice Top Chef Inspired Café Steamers.

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Frozen Food Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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Vitasoy marks return of Holly Nog, introduces mint chocolate beverage

BY DSN STAFF

AYER, Mass. — Two almond beverages from Vitasoy will hit retail this holiday season.

Vitasoy has announced the return of Holly Nog for a limited time and also has introduced a mint chocolate drink that will be available year-round.

"Smart hosts know the best parties serve foods that are tasty and fun, as well as satisfying. Vitasoy’s Holly Nog and mint chocolate offer all three," Vitasoy marketing VP Susan Rolnick said. "Their flavors are irresistible, plus they’re packed with the complete proteins we need to feel satisfied and full of energy."

Vitasoy Holly Nog and mint chocolate drinks are available at leading supermarkets and natural foods stores throughout Canada for a suggested retail price of $2.99 per 946-ml. container.

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