Tyson Foods Inc. announced a loss of $455 million in the fourth quarter, compared to a profit of $48 million a year ago, thanks to a sizable impairment charge in the company's beef business. However, sales rose for the company, with the chicken business experiencing its second straight quarter of being profitable.

Sales increased from $7.2 billion to $7.21 billion, and chicken sales increased 11 percent to $2.64 billion. For the fiscal year, the company had a loss of $537 million. Annual sales were $26.7 billion, down 1 percent from last year's totals.

Tyson's new chief operating officer, Jim Lochner, said that he expected the improving economy to lead to better demand next year for chicken, beef and pork products, AP reports. He added that the industry overall is improving on falling commodity costs and production cuts, which helps bolster prices.

Source: Associated Press

Fuddrucker's introduces Fudds Prime burgers

Fuddruckers launches Fudds Prime in participating Fuddruckers across the country. Fudds Prime burgers come from 100-percent American premium-cut, vegetarian-fed beef only from Fudds Herd, born and raised humanely, and bred for taste on select U.S. ranches through exceptional lineage, open-grass grazing and a high-protein corn and grain diet. Fudds Prime burgers are available in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 and 1-pound patties.

“Better beef makes a better burger,” said Peter Large, the company's CEO. “Fudds Prime is Fuddruckers newly branded beef that tells guests they’ve chosen better beef and a better burger. Fresh, never frozen, Fudds Prime is 100-percent All-American premium-cut, vegetarian-fed beef born and bred only in the USA, and you can only get Fudds Prime burgers at Fuddruckers restaurants.”

“If you have to ask for your burger’s passport, it’s not Fudds Prime,” said Dwayne Chambers, senior vice president of branding and marketing for Fuddruckers. “There are few, if any, fast food, casual or fast-casual restaurants committed to serving premium-cut beef of this caliber born and bred only in the USA.” Fudds Herd is proven and traceable for 100 years.

Source: Fuddruckers

Brinker names new Chili's, On The Border president

Brinker International Inc. has named Wyman Roberts president of Chili's Grill & Bar and On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina. Roberts formerly served in a dual role as president of the Maggiano's Little Italy brand and Chief Marketing Officer for Brinker.

"Four years of brand leadership experience at Maggiano's coupled with recent culinary and marketing oversight of the Chili's and On The Border teams have fully prepared Wyman to take over this role," said Doug Brooks, CEO and president of Brinker International.

Prior to joining Brinker International in 2005, Roberts served as executive vice president and Chief Marketing Officer for NBC's Universal Parks & Resorts, where he assisted in significant market share growth and a measurable increase in internet sales. Roberts is also a 17-year veteran of Darden Restaurants, Inc., where he held numerous senior level positions, including executive vice president of marketing for the Red Lobster brand.

Steve Provost has been named Roberts' successor as president of Maggiano's Little Italy. Previously, Provost served as senior vice president of marketing and brand strategy for Maggiano's. Provost has almost two decades of restaurant and foodservice industry experience, including leadership roles in the fields of operations, franchising, marketing and innovation. He came to Brinker from Quizno's Subs and Sandwiches, where he served as Chief Marketing Officer and executive vice president.

Effective immediately, Todd Diener has stepped down as president of Chili's Grill & Bar and On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina.

Source: Brinker International Inc.

Connecticut thieves hitting meat, poultry operations

Three meat and poultry businesses in the New Haven, Conn., area have reported six break-ins withing the past month, with thieves stealing pounds of meat.

The New Haven Courant reported that the most recent business hit was Onofrio's Meats, which lost an estimated $5,000 worth of meat and sauces from two delivery trucks. The UPI reports that it was the third time that the business was hit within the last month.

New Haven's Statewide Meats & Poultry Inc. lost $15,000 worth of meat earlier this month and was the target of an attempted robbery days later. Carl's Boned Chicken has also been robbed, though the company's owner did not specify the amount of the loss. No arrests have been made so far, and police are trying to determine how the thieves are getting rid of the stolen meat.

Source: UPI, New Haven Courant