The Supply Side: Wal-Mart supplier community news briefs

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 58 views 

• Twinkies deal in the works
Hostess Brands Inc. is reportedly putting finishing touches on a deal to sell its Twinkies brand and other snack cakes for more than $400 million to private equity firms Apollo Global Management L.L.C. and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co., according to The Wall Street Journal.

The news comes as Hostess in recent days announced stalking horse bidders for most of its bread brands and Drake’s snack cakes business.

Based in Greenwich, Conn., Metropoulos has been in grain-based foods business for many years and has invested in and managed several branded consumer businesses including: Ghirardelli Chocolate, International Home Foods (Chef Boyardee, PAM, Bumble Bee Seafood, Gulden's mustard and other brands), Pinnacle Foods (Swanson, Hungry Man, Vlasic pickles and other brands), which merged with Aurora Foods (Duncan Hines, Aunt Jemima,

New York-based Apollo acquired CKE Restaurants Inc., the owner of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurant chains, in 2010.

Earlier this week, Hostess agreed to sell several Hostess brands to Portland, Ore.-based United States Bakery, also known as Franz Family Bakeries. This $28.85 million deal includes Sweetheart, Eddy’s, Standish Farms, and Grandma Emilie’s brands.

This news comes on the heels of the McKee Foods’ $27.5 million deal for Drake’s snack cake business of Hostess.

• Executive resigns from Scotts Miracle-Gro
Dave Evans resigned as chief financial officer and executive vice president  this week from Scotts Miracle-Gro and has accepted a similar role with Columbus-based Battelle, the world's largest nonprofit research and development organization.

Evans joined Scotts Miracle-Gro as director of finance for operations in 1993 and moved through several roles before being named chief financial officer in 2006. In 2011 his role was expanded to include strategic planning and business development. Evans will remain at the company through the filing of its first quarter results in mid February and is actively working with Hagedorn and the board of directors on creating an orderly transition.

The company has begun identifying and interviewing internal and external candidates for the role. Scotts Miracle-Gro has a sales office in Bentonville and is a supplier to Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

• Cereal makers pump up the protein
Cereal makers Kellogg and General Mills are among food suppliers to pump up the protein as more American’s seek to add more of the muscle-building nutrient into their daily diets.

Nearly six out of 10 Americans consider the protein content when buying packaged food or beverages, according to a 2012 survey from the International Food Information Council.

Food analysts say carbs have been vilified,and fat has negative connotations. Protein stands alone as something that is slowly digested, has relatively modest calories per gram and doesn’t come with a horrible taste baggage, according to Nirvana Chapman, analyst with Mintel.

Of last year’s high-protein launches in the U.S., snack and energy bars accounted for 20%, followed by meal replacement drinks and yogurts, Mintel said.

The Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, Mich., recently beefed up its Special K Protein lines of cereal, meal bars and shakes and launched a “Protein Effect” advertising campaign built around protein’s role in “outsmarting hunger.”

Kashi, a Kellogg brand, delivers a similar message in its marketing, billing its GoLean cereals as containing an egg’s worth of protein per serving. Its web site includes a protein calculator to help consumers determine their daily intake requirements.

Several high-protein products were introduced in January, including General Mills’ Fiber One Protein Bars and Post Great Grains Protein Blends cereals.

Both Kellogg and General Mills have sales offices in Rogers and are major suppliers to Wal-mart Stores Inc.

• Macy’s makes more executive moves
This week Macy’s Inc. revealed several changes to its senior executive team, effective immediately.

Thomas Cole is retiring as Macy’s chief administration officer after 41 years with the company. He will remain with the company through May 2013 to help the transition of other executives.

William Allen joined Macy’s as chief human resources officer. Allen will oversee Macy’s human resources, diversity strategies and corporate communications and external affairs functions.

Robert Harrison, previously Macy’s executive vice president for omnichannel strategy, assumed the newly-created role of chief omnichannel officer. He also joins the company’s executive committee.

Karen Hoguet, Macy’s chief financial officer, will assume additional responsibility for credit and customer services, real estate, non-merchandise purchasing and sustainability.

Peter Sachse, Macy’s chief stores officer, will assume additional responsibility for store planning, design and construction.

All four executives report to Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren.

• Procter & Gamble partners with crowdfunding site
Procter & Gamble Co. is teaming up with CircleUp, a crowdfunding website that connects startup consumer brands with investors, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

The partnership will get companies on CircleUp in front of P&G executives who are looking for new brands.
Most of the companies on CircleUp have $1 million to $10 million in yearly sales and are working to raise about $1 million from individual investors

Companies that raise funding from CircleUp’s investors are worth keeping an eye on, according to Andrew Backs, manager of new business creation at P&G.

“If it’s a bad idea, then it’s just simply not going to get funded,” Backs told Bloomberg Businessweek.

Procter & Gamble is a supplier to Wal-Mart and has a large office in Fayetteville.