Sanderson Farms posted a second-quarter profit of $26.2 million, which is $20 million more than last year. “Our results reflect improved market conditions for the poultry industry and the efficient management of our operations by our managers, employees and contract producers. Much of the market improvement is due to production cuts and resulting reduced supply of chicken in the market,” said Joe Sanderson Jr., chairman and CEO. He also pointed out the company benefited from lower feed costs during the quarter, compared to a year ago.

Demand for chicken at retail grocery stores remains strong and the export market improved compared to the company's first quarter. However, some foodservice customers remain adversely affected by the economy. Sanderson's revenue dropped from $433.9 million to $426.8 million, due to the company's production cuts.

Sources: Sanderson Farms Inc., Reuters

Arkansas town continues attempt to buy Pilgrim's plant

Officials in El Dorado, Ark., said they have not given up on buying an idled Pilgrim's Pride plant, even after a first offer submitted by local investors was rejected as being too low. "We've been sent back to mediation but I don't know if there is much that can be done," said Mayor Mike Dumas.

Pilgrim's is in Chapter 11 reorganization and has been told by the bankruptcy court to offer the plants it shuttered earlier this month for sale through a bid process. Offers were made for the El Dorado plant as well as a facility in Douglasville, Ga. The poultry processor rejected both bids, but the court has ordered the company to enter into mediation on the sales.

"They've made it very clear through this entire process that they don't want to sell the plant," Don Wales, president and CEO of the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, said to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A spokesman for Arkansas' Gov. Mike Beebe said that the state cannot contribute the kind of financial backing in the deal that Louisiana did to facility the sale of Pilgrim's Farmerville facility to Foster Farms.

Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Chik-Fil-A coming to Chicago area

Chik-Fil-A Inc. has made a deal to place its first restaurant in the Chicagoland area. It has acquired a closed property in Aurora and has plans to tear down the existing structure and build a new restaurant with a drive-through.

The company is known for a slow approach toward expansion, points out Crain's. “We’re not trying to meet Wall Street’s expectations, and we’re not trying to attract franchisees because we don’t grow through franchise capital,” says John Featherston, senior director of real estate for Chick-Fil-A. He said the company would likely look at suburban locations before looking at the city of Chicago itself.

Source: Crain's Business Weekly

New Burger King kids' meals meet stricter requirements

Burger King Corp. is enhancing its BK Kids Meal menu with offerings that meet its stringent nutrition criteria for advertised Kids Meals, as part of the company’s commitment to its BK Positive Steps program. The company now offers a total of four BK Kids Meal options that comply with Burger King Corp.’s advertising pledge through the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI).* No more than 560 calories per meal;
* Less than 30 percent of calories from fat;
* Less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat;
* No added trans fats;
* No more than 10 percent of calories from added sugars;
* No more than 600 milligrams of sodium; and
* A “good source” or “excellent source” of at least two of the following nutrients: calcium, fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E.

The three newly-compliant BK® Kids Meals include:
* A two-pack of BK Burger Shots, bite-sized burgers topped with mustard, ketchup and two crunchy pickles, served with Fresh Apple Fries, low-fat caramel dipping sauce and calcium-fortified Minute Maid apple juice.
* A hamburger served with Fresh Apple Fries, low-fat caramel dipping sauce and calcium-fortified Minute Maid apple juice.
* A newly reformulated four-piece Chicken Tenders meal, consisting of chicken tenders reduced in sodium by about one-third, Fresh Apple Fries, low-fat caramel dipping sauce and Hershey’s fat free milk.

“At Burger King Corp., product innovation is a top priority and our new BK Kids Meals are a direct result of our efforts to innovate, review and reformulate existing kid favorites,” says Russ Klein, president, global marketing, strategy and innovation. “Offering nutritionally-balanced meals furthers our “Have it your way” brand promise by continuing to provide our customers with the quality they expect, the value they want and more choices that fit their diets and lifestyles.”

Source: Burger King Corp.