Tyson poultry business making progress

Leland Tollett, interim CEO of Tyson Foods, said that the company is making significant progress in turning around its chicken business, especially within the last three to four weeks. “We still have work to do and cannot rely on industry fundamentals to get to where we need to be,” he said, according to Reuters.


Tollett also announced that the search for the company’s next CEO is underway, and the successor to Dick Bond, who resigned in January, would likely come from within Tyson.


“We plan to use all the time we need to do this,” Tollett said. “We will be very diligent and deliberate. I’m not in a hurry to leave, but I’m in a heck of a hurry to get this business fixed.”


Sources: Reuters, Associated Press

Alaska sausage products recalled

Alaska Sausage Co. Inc. of Anchorage is recalling approximately 872 pounds of sausage products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The products were produced on January 27 and shipped to retail establishments and institutions in Alaska.


The recalled products are 3-pound packages of “Alaskan Sausage Links With Reindeer Meat” with a sell-by date of March 22, 2009, and 1-pound and 3-pound packages of “German Brand Cooked Bratwurst” with a sell-by date of March 2, 2009. All affected packages have package codes of 02709 and an establishment number of 17866.


The problem was discovered through the company’s microbiological sampling program, and there have been no reports of illnesses linked to the sausage recall.


Source: Food Safety and Inspection Service

Chains revamp their breakfast menus

As customers reduce their lunch and dinner foodservice dollars, several chains are making changes to their breakfast menu. According to Bloomberg, NPD Group reports that sales during the morning have grown faster than other segments in the last five years.


Starbucks is introducing a $3.95 value meal that includes coffee and a choice of egg sandwiches or a café latte and coffee cake or oatmeal. Panera Bread Co. recently added a new coffee blend and a yogurt parfait.


Wendy’s is revising its breakfast for a 2011 national roll-out after past offerings have not won over customers. Jeffrey Bernstein, a restaurant analyst with Barclays Capital, said that Wendy’s may need six to nine months for the breakfast menu to gain traction with buyers, but that the restaurant may lift its morning sales to as much as 10 percent, up from its current 2.2 percent, of its total revenue within five years.


“This is a significant opportunity for us,” said Wendy’s spokesman Bob Bertini. “We’re looking to grab more of that market.”


Source: Bloomberg

Monterey Gourmet Foods enters into agreement with Aidells Sausage Co.

Monterey Gourmet Foods Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of fresh gourmet refrigerated food products, has entered into a licensing agreement with Aidells Sausage Co. to use the Casual Gourmet® brand on protein products in exchange for licensing fees. Aidells Sausage Co. produces more than 25 sausage varieties for the retail and foodservice markets.


Monterey will conduct tests on sample shipments to test specified quality standards as well as retail the rights to the Casual Gourmet brand for non-protein products such as spreads and dips. The company will no longer produce SKUs under Casual Gourmet.


“Our Casual Gourmet sausages have been a popular item,” said Eric Eddings, president and CEO of Monterey Gourmet Foods. “However, the increasing production costs at our volume level have resulted in losses for years. We are excited we -- along with Aidells Sausage -- were able to construct an innovative solution. In this win-win situation, Aidells can leverage its production facilities and benefit from the brand equite we built, and Monterey Gourmet Foods can earn license fees and focus on core business prospects in pastas.”


Source: Market Wire