President Barack Obama and his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung Bak failed to reach agreement on a free-trade accord as the two nations wrangled over automobile and beef imports to Asia’s fourth-biggest economy. Bloomberg News reports that the two countries will resume talks after the Group of 20 meeting in Seoul.

“If we rush something that can’t garner popular support that’s going to be a problem,” said Obama. “We think we can make the case, but we want to make sure that case is air tight.”

The United Auto Workers union and Ford Motor Co. are opposing the trade agreement, citing the need to address South Korea’s tax and regulatory regimes. The U.S. share of the South Korean auto market is just 10.1 percent, down from 11.3 percent in 2008. The beef industry, on the other hand, is asking for the deal to be finalized quickly to avoid losing further market share to Australian and Canadian beef exporters. Under the terms agreed in 2007, the FTA would phase out South Korea’s 40 percent tariff on U.S. beef over 15 years.

Source: Bloomberg

Harris Teeter backs out of carrying both Dietz & Watson and Boar's Head products

The premium deli meat feud that took place last year over the Harris Teeter grocery chain has restarted, as Dietz & Watson is accusing the chain of backing out of an agreement to carry both its meats and Boar’s Head products. Last year, the chain announced it would carry only Boar’s Head products in its deli case, which led to a protest organized by Dietz & Watson over giving consumers more choices in the deli.

Dietz & Watson President Louis Eni said that the chain had agreed to carry some of the company’s packaged offerings, such as hot dogs, sausages and packs of deli meat, and the company had agreed to produce new products for the chain, including pre-cooked bacon. However, that deal fell through at the last minute, and no contracts had been signed.

"Everybody was ready to go," Eni said, reports the Charlotte Observer. "We had ordered a couple of different items, ordered some different-sized configurations that would suit Harris Teeter's offerings."

Harris Teeter spokeswoman Jennifer Thompson acknowledged the grocery had detailed conversations with D&W about carrying their lunch meats before deciding to only stock Boar's Head.

"Due to the limited space available, the customer demand and the quality of Boar's Head products the company chose to stay with one premium meat supplier," Thompson said in a statement.

Though Thompson wouldn't give an exact figure, she said Harris Teeter has seen a "pronounced increase" of deli meats in stores that have switched to Boar's Head.

Source: Charlotte Observer

New BK breakfast menu doesn't keep Q1 sales from declining

Burger King said Wednesday that sales at restaurants in the U.S. and Canada open at least a year declined 4.2 percent for the quarter ending Sept. 30, compared to the same period last year, in spite of the company’s new breakfast menu. Worldwide same store sales declined 1.7 percent, reported theMiami Herald.

Overall, revenue for Burger King declined 5.8 percent in the quarter, while net income increased 36 percent. The results are the first reported since the chain was acquired by 3G Capital. While the fast-food chain is no longer publicly-traded, the quarter ended before the deal closed.

Burger King Chief Financial Officer Ben Wells said the company saw “significant increases in breakfast sales and traffic” during the quarter, and restaurants saw the percentage of breakfast sales increase.

Source: Miami Herald

New York Burger Co. to open first franchise

New York Burger Co. has announced the opening, on December 8, 2010, of the first franchise in company history. The initial franchise, owned by New York Fast Gourmet Premier LLC in Manhattan will be located on 470 West 23rd St., opposite one of New York City’s signature apartment buildings, London Terrace in the West Chelsea neighborhood.

NYFG Premier LLC is comprised of siblings Elisabeth Dufeu, twins Brice and Petrous Moldovan and Jonathan Moldovan, who were born and raised in France.

“Opening a food business was one of our biggest motivations for coming to New York where opportunities are tremendous,” said Dufeu. “I strongly believe in authenticity, quality, genuine hospitality and consistency. New York Burger Co. has all that combined with innovation and a fresh take on the American icon: the hamburger.”

The Moldovan/Dufeu family “fit perfectly with our brand,” said co-founder and managing partner Spiros Zisimatos. Madeline Poley, the other founder and managing partner, added, “The Moldovan/Dufeu family are young, energetic foodies, with a substantial background in both high end and quick service restaurants in New York and overseas. We could not be more excited about this first opening and plans for the future.”

There are two New York Burger Co. restaurants in Manhattan, known for all-natural burgers, handmade onion rings and fries (both Idaho and sweet potato), signature dipping sauces and salads.

Source: New York Burger Co.