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Kraft challenged by "healthier" macaroni and cheese brands

By Lisa Baertlein LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Kraft Macaroni & Cheese has been a favorite meal for generations of American children, but smaller brands made with more natural ingredients are starting to nibble at its market share, part of a trend that is biting into growth at large U.S. food companies. Zenobia Godschalk, an Atlanta mother of two young boys, stopped buying Kraft's "mac and cheese" after reading its complicated ingredient list. Now she buys Annie's organic version in bulk at Costco Wholesale Corp <COST.O>.

Million jars of peanut butter dumped in New Mexico after bankruptcy dispute

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Nearly a million jars of peanut butter were dumped at a New Mexico landfill this week to expedite the sale of a bankrupt peanut-processing plant that was at the heart of a 2012 salmonella outbreak and nationwide recall. Bankruptcy trustee Clarke Coll said he had no other choice after Costco Wholesale refused to take shipment of the Sunland Inc. product and declined requests to let it be donated to food banks or repackaged or sold to brokers who provide food to institutions like prisons. "We considered all options," Coll said. "They didn't agree."

Judge rejects ABC News bid to throw out 'pink slime' lawsuit

By Jonathan Stempel and P.J. Huffstutter (Reuters) - ABC News has failed to persuade a South Dakota state judge to dismiss a $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit by a meat processor complaining about a series of reports that referred to its signature product as "pink slime." Judge Cheryle Gering of the Union County Circuit Court ruled on Thursday that Beef Products Inc may pursue most of its case against ABC, a unit of Walt Disney Co, and others including news anchor Diane Sawyer and reporter Jim Avila.

Judge to decide whether to reopen bidding on defunct New Mexico peanut butter plant

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A federal bankruptcy judge on Tuesday ordered a new auction for an eastern New Mexico peanut butter plant involved in a 2012 salmonella outbreak. The trustee overseeing the liquidation of the now defunct Sunland Inc. in Portales had asked to be able to consider a $25 million cash offer that came in after last week's bidding for the plant. The offer from Canada's Golden Boy Foods is 25 per cent higher than the $20 million bid Thursday from a North Carolina company, Hampton Farms, which beat out Ready Roast Nut Co. of California.

Oklahoma Girl Scout sets cookie sales record at over 18,000 boxes

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - A nearly 30-year-old record for Girl Scout cookie sales has been crumbled by Oklahoma City scout Katie Francis, who has so far sold 18,107 boxes by asking anyone who crossed her path to buy some of the sweets. "There's three ingredients to selling cookies: There's lots of time, lots of commitment, and I have to ask everybody that I see," the 11-year-old said in an interview with the NewsOK website posted on Monday.

Kraft 4Q profit rises on cost cuts, one-time gains, but revenue misses Wall Street estimates

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Kraft said Thursday that cost cutting and one-time gains helped boost its quarterly profit, but its sales fell short of Wall Street expectations. The maker of Oscar Mayer meats and Jell-O pudding said its core revenue during the period rose 3.2 per cent, as higher volume offset reduced prices. Its cheese business was hurt by a string cheese recall.

At NJ casino's Bacon Week, you can eat it, drink it - and even brush your teeth with it

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - Get ready for bacon like you've never eaten, drunk or worn it before. Bacon milkshakes. Chocolate-covered bacon shaped like roses. Bacon-flavoured toothpaste, dental floss and lip balm. Bacon bourbon, margaritas, beer and vodka. Bacon ice cream sundaes. A BLT sandwich with a full pound of bacon. They're all on the menu this week as one Atlantic City casino stretches the bounds of good taste and cardiovascular health with Bacon Week. The festival at the Tropicana Casino and Resort gives new meaning to the term "pigging out."

Kraft removes artificial preservatives in its most popular cheese product

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Kraft is removing artificial preservatives from its most popular Singles cheese product variety, in the latest sign that companies are tweaking recipes as food labels come under greater scrutiny. The change affects the company's Kraft Singles in the full-fat American and White American varieties, which Kraft says account for the majority of the brand's sales. Sorbic acid is being replaced by natamycin, which Kraft says is a "natural mould inhibitor."

French flipping over burgers

The hamburger may be a quintessentially American food, but is fast winning over the French who increasingly choose a beef patty wedged into a bun over a baguette sandwich. Research by the Gira marketing and consulting firm found that nearly one of every two sandwiches sold in the country last year was a burger, up from one in nine in 2000. Although the French are famously proud of the their cuisine, Gira found that burgers are making inroads into traditional restaurants.

Weeks of bone-chilling weather, snow take a bite out of restaurant business

TOLEDO, Ohio - The homemade matzo ball and beef barley soups are lost on customers walking into Rascals' NY Deli — because there just aren't very many of them. "After it starts getting really cold and the sun goes down, the people don't want to come," said Randy Smith, manager of the restaurant in the Cincinnati suburb of Blue Ash.
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