Hormel Foods Corp. won a Stevie Award for “Most Innovative Company” in The 2009 American Business Awards on June 22 because of its ongoing dedication to innovation.

“This award recognizes our ability to execute forward-thinking ideas to ensure we offer the best for our consumers, investors and employees every day,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and CEO at Hormel Foods.

One challenge the Hormel Foods executive team created was the Billion Dollar Challenge in 2000 to generate $1 billion in sales from new products launched during this decade by the end of fiscal year 2009. The company met this goal two years early. With this milestone accomplished, Hormel Foods announced a new goal, Go for 2B by 2012, aimed at generating $2 billion in sales of new products by fiscal year 2012.

Additionally, in 2008, Hormel Foods launched an innovative research initiative aimed at helping its retail partners better serve shoppers of convenience foods. The research study found retailers can better serve shoppers by creating a dedicated convenience meals aisle where the full range of quick and easy products can be found, rather than having convenience items scattered throughout the store. Already, multiple retailers have implemented recommendations from Hormel Foods, and several more are expected to do so in the coming months.

Hormel Foods was also a Stevie Award finalist in two additional categories: Best Web site for www.hormel.com and Best Annual Report for its 2007 Hormel Foods Corporate Responsibility Report.

The awards were presented during ceremonies at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. The ceremonies were hosted by Cheryl Casone of Fox Business Network and broadcast nationwide on radio by the Business TalkRadio Network.

Source: Hormel Foods Corp.

Buffalo Wild Wings opens 600th location

Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. announced the opening of its 600th restaurant nationwide, a company-owned location in Wilson, N.C. This milestone marks the 14th Buffalo Wild Wings location for the state of North Carolina.

“We are very excited to announce the opening of our 600th restaurant, a significant achievement that serves as a major milestone towards our goal of over 1,000 restaurants nationwide,” commented Sally Smith, president and CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings. “Our dedicated team members in the field and at our home office enable us to continue moving forward with our growth plan despite a tough economic environment. Today’s celebration is a true testament to the success and strength of the Buffalo Wild Wings brand, the loyalty of our guests, and the commitment of our team members.”

Buffalo Wild Wings first opened its doors in 1982 in Columbus, Ohio near The Ohio State University campus. The company was founded by Scott Lowery and Jim Disbrow. When the two friends couldn’t find the Buffalo, NY-style chicken wings they were craving in Ohio they began making their own – and a national restaurant chain took flight. The company began trading on NASDAQ in November 2003.

Source: Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.

Stock Yards Meat Packing planning consolidation

A consolidation at the Stock Yards Meat Packing Co. plant in South St. Paul, Minn., could result in up to 75 jobs being lost. Christina Koliopoulos, a spokesman for the facility's parent company, U.S. Foodservice Corp., said that an unspecified number of jobs will be transferred to a facility in Plymouth, while others will be eliminated. The South St. Paul operation currently employs about 125 people.

Source: Associated Press

House of Raeford facility accused of illegal hiring

Columbia Farms, a Columbia, S.C., poultry processing facility owned by House of Raeford, has been added to an indictment after federal prosecutors said the company knew its managers were hiring illegal immigrants. U.S. Attorney General Walt Wilkins has included Barry Cronic, plant manager, and Elaine Crump, personnel manager, to the indictment, according to AP reports.

The indictment states that Crump and Cronic knowingly hired 29 illegal immigrants and told the employees to use falsified documents. The managers can face prison time if convicted, the Columbia Farms could face additional Farms. House of Raeford, which has not been charged, issued a statement that the company is cooperating with investigators and does not knowingly hire illegal immigrants. The arraignment is scheduled for later this month in Greenville.

Source: Associated Press