Utz Quality Foods to acquire Conagra’s DSD snacks business

USA – Utz Quality Foods has secured a deal with packaged good company, Conagra Brands to acquire its direct-store delivery (DSD) snacks business. The transaction includes the Tim’s Cascade Snacks, Hawaiian Snacks, Erin’s, Snyder of Berlin and Husman’s brands. Conagra Brands acquired the business last year as part of the US$10.9 billion acquisition of Pinnacle Foods. While Conagra has a large and growing snacks business, chief executive officer Sean Connolly said the brands have more opportunity for growth under an established DSD operator like Utz. To accelerate development of contemporary, on-trend…

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Conagra Brands to expand innovation center in Chicago

USA – The North American packaged foods company, Conagra Brands plans to build The Conagra Brands Center for Food Design in Chicago to bolster research. The 40,000-square-foot research and development center, located near to the company’s headquarters, will be an expansion of the company’s current facility. The facility will focus on innovation related to snacking and combine food and packaging design capabilities. The innovation center will house 50 employees and is scheduled to open during the first quarter of 2020. It will feature an expansive kitchen and tasting area, where…

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Conagra Brands agrees to sell frozen food unit Gelit to Italian firm

ITALY – Conagra Brands has entered a definitive agreement to sell its Italian-based frozen pasta business, Gelit to Italian investors for an undisclosed amount. The company which makes brands such as Hunt’s, Healthy Choice, Marie Callender’s has divested the business unit to an Italian investment company owned by Consilum SGR S.p.A., Progressio SGR S.p.A., and MMM S.r.l. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, includes the sale of Conagra Brands’ entire equity interest in Gelit S.r.l. Gelit is headquartered in Doganella di Ninfa, employs approximately 145 people full…

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Conagra Brands to invest US$78m in upgrading US vegetable facility

USA – Conagra Brands plans to invest more than US$78 million in modernising and expanding its Birds Eye factory in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. The cold storage and vegetable packaging facility which sits on 350,000-square-foot site produces, Birds Eye, a leading brand in frozen vegetables and is one of two Birds Eye plants in Wisconsin. According to Conagra Brands, expansion of the facility is expected to create around 140 full-time jobs over the next five years. The Beaver Dam expansion is supported by Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) which is authorising…

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Conagra Brands to explore strategic alternatives for frozen pasta business

EUROPE – The North American packaged foods company, Conagra Brands has said that it is exploring strategic alternatives for its frozen pasta business, Gelit, headquartered in Ninfa, Italy. The company has started the process led by BNP Paribas, a French international banking group and has neither set a timetable for the strategic process nor made any decisions relating to any strategic alternatives. Gelit is a leading producer of authentic Italian frozen food and ready meals, primarily for private label customers.  It employs approximately 145 full-time employees, operates a stand-alone, state-of-the-art…

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Ardent Mills posts rise in income in the second quarter

USA – Ardent Mills LLC has posted improved income and financial results in the second quarter following a weak first quarter, based on a Securities Exchange Commission filing by Conagra Brands, Inc. According to the Form 10-Q filed Jan. 3, equity method investment earnings of Conagra in the second quarter ended Nov. 25 were US$37.7 million, up from US$20.6 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2018. The quarterly results included a US$15.1 million gain (US$11.6 million after taxes) from the sale of an asset by the Ardent Mills joint…

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Conagra Brands announces agreement to acquire Pinnacle Foods for US$10.9b

USA – Conagra Brands, Inc. and Pinnacle Foods Inc. have announced that their boards of directors have unanimously approved a definitive agreement under which Conagra Brands will acquire all outstanding shares of Pinnacle Foods in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately US$10.9 billion, including Pinnacle Foods’ outstanding net debt. According to Conagra Brands, Pinnacle Foods shareholders will receive US$43.11 per share in cash and 0.6494 shares of Conagra Brands common stock for each share of Pinnacle Foods held. The combination of two growing portfolios of iconic brands will serve…

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Reddi-wip launches non-dairy almond and coconut varieties of plant-based foods

USA – Reddi-wip, a brand of Conagra Brands, Inc. and the leader in the whipped topping category, has debuted two plant-based, non-dairy varieties: Reddi-wip Non-Dairy Coconut and Reddi-wip Non-Dairy Almond whipped topping. According to the company, the innovation addresses the growing consumer demand for non-dairy options across the larger dairy category. “We’ve seen tremendous growth in non-dairy, plant-based foods due to consumers’ dietary restrictions and changing taste preferences,” said Ryan Clark, president of the Refrigerated and Frozen division at Conagra Brands. “This is an exciting innovation for Reddi-wip that addresses…

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JM Smucker Company plans to terminate its agreement to acquire the Wesson Oil Brand from Conagra Brands, Inc.

USA – The JM Smucker Company has agreed to terminate the definitive agreement for the Company to acquire the Wesson oil brand from Conagra, an agreement that was previously announced on May 30, 2017. According to the company, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it filed an administrative complaint challenging the proposed transaction, on March 5, 2018. “While we disagree with the FTC’s conclusion, we have mutually determined with Conagra that it is not in the best interest of either party to expend the anticipated significant additional time…

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