Sara Lee Corp. hosted its annual “Meet the Management” analyst meeting in New York. Marcel Smits, interim CEO and other members of senior management provided an overview of fiscal 2010 results and discussed long-term strategies and growth opportunities.

Smits began the meeting by demonstrating how Sara Lee has delivered value to its shareholders over the last few years and is building a foundation for the future through strategic investments, such as increased innovation and geographic expansion.

Looking forward, Smits discussed that fiscal 2011 should be another year of growth.

CJ Fraleigh, CEO, North America, provided an overview of the North American

Retail, Foodservice and Fresh Bakery segments, and how they are driving value creation through sustainable competitive advantage. Fraleigh said that North American Fresh Bakery recently launched a more disciplined approach to simplify its business and standardize pricing and lean efforts. He also said that the North American Foodservice business has delivered strong profit performance despite the challenging economy.

Monty Pooley, president, North American Retail, outlined the strategies that have led to this business’ recent performance, including a 34-percent increase in adjusted operating segment income in fiscal 2010. These include:
* Focusing on building the best brands – such as Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, Jimmy Dean and Sara Lee – which has led to strong and growing No. 1 and No. 2 positions in most key categories.
* Increased focus on wellness and nutrition – such as offering products with lower sodium, fat and calories.
* Multi-cultural marketing – The segment is focusing on marketing to Hispanic and African-American audiences.

Tom Hayes, chief supply chain officer, North American Retail and Foodservice, provided an update on the company’s supply chain and its business benefits. Hayes noted that the company’s Kansas City, Kan., state-of-the-art meat processing plant is on schedule to start shipping products in early 2011.

Source: Sara Lee Corp.

Old World Provisions partners with Dot Foods

Dot Foods announced it is now distributing Old World Provisions products nationwide. The New York-based company supplies premium deli products, such as pastrami, corned beef and roast beef, hot dogs and cooked sausages under the New York State National and Helmbolds brand, as well as a full line of Certified Angus Beef brand products.

“Our ability to distribute through Dot foods will change the way that we sell, service and interact with our customers,” said Mark Shuket, president of Old World Provisions. “We have perfected our products through four generations of hard work, and it will give me great pleasure to offer them to anyone looking for the best. From our world-famous hot pastrami and corned beef to our line of Certified Angus Beef products, everything we make is crafted the Old World way because that is who we are.”

“With this partnership, Old World Provisions’ best-in-class products – pastrami, corned beef, roast beef and frankfurters – will be available across the country. We are also pleased to offer Certified Angus Beef brand products to distributors that have been looking for ways to expand the brand into new categories,” said Rodd Willis, Dot’s director of protein sales and purchasing. “With Dot carrying these extended items in inventory, distributors will be able to buy the meat in quantities that make sense to them.”

Brett Erickson, director of Value-Added Products for Certified Angus Beef LLC, shared the enthusiasm expressed by Shuket and Willis.

“This opportunity allows many of our distributors access to these high-quality products for the first time,” said Erickson. “A lot of distributors have said they love our product, but it takes time to build business with any new item. Dot is already distributing across the U.S., so our licensed distributors can start selling and request additional cases as their business grows. This gives restaurateurs the opportunity to serve Certified Angus Beef brand quality across the menu, and not just in fresh beef.”

Source: Old World Provisions

Burger's Smokehouse introduces new bacon cuts

Burgers’ Smokehouse announced the national launch of two premium products – Original and Peppered Bacon Steak Cuts.

Burgers’ Bacon Steak Cuts are dry-cured with no water added and are a full quarter-inch thick (eight slices per pound). Bacon Steak Cuts are the only nationally marketed grilling bacon in a retail package. Most national brands have approximately a 120-day shelf live, but because of the dry curing process, Burgers’ Bacon Steak Cuts has a 365-day shelf life.

Burgers’ Smokehouse is a 4th generation owned and operated company that been producing wholesome and authentic specialty meats and foods for more than 50 years. Burgers’ Bacon Steak Cuts are now available in selected markets nationwide.

Source: Burgers’ Smokehouse

Custom Food Products plants receive dual certifications

Custom Food Products, a national protein supplier to chain restaurants and food manufacturers, has received dual certifications from the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and British Retail Consortium (BRC). The certifications were awarded to CFP’s state-of-the-art facilities in Carson, Calif., and in Owingsville, Ky., after separate audits in summer 2010.

Jon Hickerson, president and chief operating officer, said, “These certifications are a testament to our full commitment to food and worker safety, cleanliness and corporate responsibility. We wholeheartedly thank the GFSI and the BRC for their diligence, accuracy and care in conducting these important audits.”

Hickerson noted, “One auditor said CFP now holds the record for the fewest issues of any of the over 100 audits he completed to date. He praised CFP’s best practices, ranging from our protective measures to what he dubbed our ‘exemplary research and development system.’”

Gerson Espindola, CFP director of technical services, said, “It’s great to hear that we were named best plant audited and have world class quality and food safety systems in place. Our associates are the reason we earned this achievement.”

Source: Custom Food Products

AMI to host PHIS webinars

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will host a series of webinars to introduce a new comprehensive data system called the Public Health Information System (PHIS). The presentations will be an overview of PHIS and cover three separate topics: what it means to owners/operators of domestic establishments, how it will affect export certifications and requirements for import certification.

The presentations provide an overview of PHIS and how it will impact requirements for import certification, export certifications and owners and operators of domestic establishments.

There are two meetings scheduled for each topic:
Import information sessions will be held on Sept. 20 and 23;
Export information sessions will be held on Sept. 28 and 30;
Domestic information sessions will be held on Sept. 21 and 29.

To register for these web seminars, go to
Information about the Public Health Information System, is now available on the FSIS website at

Source: AMI