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Frozen food makers plan major PR push touting nutrition as sales slip

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Frozen foods are about to get some badly needed image therapy. With sales slipping in the category, frozen food makers are in the final stages of preparing a major public relations campaign to defend the nutritional reputation of their products. The push will include what are said to be the first national TV ads on behalf of the industry as a whole, as well as social media and in-store promotions.

Desperate for credit, China importers default on soy cargoes

By Naveen Thukral and Niu Shuping SINGAPORE/BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese importers have defaulted on at least 500,000 tons of U.S. and Brazilian soybean cargoes worth around $300 million, the biggest in a decade, as buyers struggle to get credit amid losses in processing beans. Three companies in the eastern province of Shandong had defaulted on payments for shipments as they were unable to open letters of credit with banks, trade sources said on Thursday.

Taste Holdings surges 10 pct on deal with Domino's Pizza

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Shares of South African small-cap restaurant operator Taste Holdings <TASJ.J> surged 10 percent on Thursday after it said it had signed an exclusive franchise deal with U.S. chain Domino's Pizza <DMZ.N>. The deal makes Domino's the latest U.S. fast-food chain to target rising consumer spending in Africa. Yum Brands <YUM.N> has been rolling out its Kentucky Fried Chicken stores, while McDonald's Corp <MCD.N> is well established in South Africa.

Wal-Mart teams up with Wild Oats to sell lower-priced organic food offering

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Wal-Mart is using its massive size to drive down the price of organic food items from tomato paste to chicken broth to make them more affordable for its low-income customers.

Pair of Japanese mangoes fetch $3,000 at auction

A pair of mangoes grown in southern Japan sold Thursday for a whopping 300,000 yen ($3,000), a record price for the fruit's first auction of the season, Kyodo News reported. The "Taiyo no Tamago" (Egg of the Sun)-brand mangoes were set to be airlifted from Miyazaki in the far south of the country to a department store in Fukuoka, where they were to go on sale, the agency said. To qualify as a "Taiyo no Tamago" mango, each fruit must weigh at least 350 grammes (12 oz) and have a high sugar content, according to the Miyazaki Agricultural Economic Federation.

Fast food operator MTY Food Group to get into casual dining through Madisons

MONTREAL - Fast food operator MTY Food Group Inc. says it's making its entry into casual dining in Canada with the $13-million acquisition of some of the assets of the companies that own and operate the Madisons New York Grill When the deal closes later this spring, Madisons is expected to have 14 franchised restaurants in Canada. MTY Food Group (TSX:MTY) said casual dining has been strong in the last few years and is expected to continue in the future. Sales for the Madisons chain were $40 million in 2013.

El Pollo Loco picks Jefferies, Morgan Stanley for IPO: sources

By Olivia Oran and Greg Roumeliotis (Reuters) - El Pollo Loco Inc has selected investment banks Jefferies Group LLC and Morgan Stanley to lead an initial public offering of the private equity-owned fast-food chicken chain later this year, according to people familiar with the matter. The move makes El Pollo Loco the latest among several private equity-backed restaurant chains hoping to go public this year amid strong demand by stock market investors hungry for exposure to the fast-growing casual dining sector.

P&G selling pet food brands to Mars for $2.9 billion

By Phil Wahba (Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co is selling the bulk of its pet food business to Mars Inc for $2.9 billion to focus more on its personal care and cleaning brands, the companies said on Wednesday. In an all-cash deal, privately held Mars will buy the Iams brand, as well as Eukanuba and Natura, in the Americas and other selected countries, which account for 80 percent of P&G Pet Care's global sales.

Mars buys most of P&G's pet food business for $2.9 bn

New York, Apr 9 (EFE).- Mars Petcare, a unit of U.S. food, candy and pet products giant Mars Inc., said Wednesday it was acquiring a significant portion of Procter & Gamble's pet food business for $2.9 billion in cash. Mars is buying P&G's pet food operations in North America, Latin America and other regions, but the deal does not include the Cincinnati-based household products giant's units in the European Union. P&G "is developing alternate plans to sell its pet care business in these markets," the companies said.

Mars buys most of P&G's pet food business for $2.9 bn

New York, Apr 9 (EFE).- Mars Petcare, a unit of U.S. food, candy and pet products giant Mars Inc., said Wednesday it was acquiring a significant portion of Procter & Gamble's pet food business for $2.9 billion in cash. Mars is buying P&G's pet food operations in North America, Latin America and other regions, but the deal does not include the Cincinnati-based household products giant's units in the European Union. P&G "is developing alternate plans to sell its pet care business in these markets," the companies said.
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