April's top stories: Nestle Dreyer's to improve ingredients, Adam Foods to buy Groupo Bimbo brands

Nestle Dreyer's decided to improve the primary ingredients in six of its ice cream brands, and Adam Foods signed an agreement with Groupo Bimbo to purchase Panrico bread and pastry brand in Spain, Portugal and Andorra. Foodprocessing-technology.com wraps up key headlines from April 2016.


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McCormick buys 100% shares of Botanical Food Company

US-based herbs and flavourings manufacturer McCormick & Company acquired all the shares of Botanical Food Company for $114m.

Based in Australia, Botanical Food produces and sells the Gourmet Garden brand of packaged herbs.

Gourmet Garden complements to McCormick's current branded herb portfolio.

McCormick intends to increase sales of the Gourmet Garden brand by expanding its worldwide distribution and increasing brand marketing.

McCormick & Company president and chief executive officer Lawrence Kurzius said: "As a global market leader in chilled convenient packaged herbs, Gourmet Garden exports its products to 15 countries with the largest market being the US."

Mars acquires Ecuador's 485ha cocoa farm

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US food company Mars Chocolate completed the acquisition of the 485ha Hacienda La Chola farm in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

An agricultural subsidiary of Naturisa, Hacienda La Chola is known for its cocoa yield and farm management practices.

The farm will be used by Mars to conduct its plant science research, as well as expand the company's network of research farms with facilities in Brazil and Indonesia.

The acquisition will help the company progress in its Sustainable Cocoa Initiative, which aims at ensuring an enhanced supply of high-quality cocoa.

Hacienda La Chola uses latest technology and farm management techniques to cultivate a wide variety of cocoa.


Adam Foods to acquire Panrico Brand in Spain, Portugal and Andorra

Spanish food manufacturer Adam Foods signed an agreement with Mexico-based baking firm Groupo Bimbo to purchase the Panrico bread and pastry brand in Spain, Portugal and Andorra.

This deal will enable Adam Foods to gain control of the Panrico brand in these markets, reported Esmmagazine.com.

It will gain access to patents on production, as well as licences to sell similar products in other European markets such as Germany, France and Italy.

Arla launches Lurpak Spreadable Infusions in UK

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Arla Foods introduced Lurpak Spreadable Infusions in the UK, as it focuses on expansion through new product innovations.

Lurpak is a £295m butter and spreadable brand, with spreadable growing by 9.5% in volume and 1.4% in value.

Lurpak Spreadable Infusions will be available at retail outlets in May in three flavour combinations, namely Chilli & Lime; Smoked Chipotle; and Sea Salt & Pink Peppercorn. The products are claimed to be a blend of Lurpak butter and rapeseed oil with added herbs and spices, lightly whipped for easy spreading.

They can be used in wraps, pittas and flatbreads.

Hershey acquires barkTHINS snacking chocolate brand

Hershey Company in the US acquired Ripple Brand Collective, a New-York-based privately held firm that owns the barkTHINS snacking chocolate brand.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Hershey president for North America Michele G Buck said: "This acquisition is a great addition to our Hershey chocolate portfolio and enables us to expand our mass premium offerings into this growing and on-trend category.

"Since its launch in 2013, barkTHINS has quickly become a favorite snack brand due to its commitment to using simple ingredients, fair trade cocoa, non-GMO certification, and no artificial flavours or preservatives.

Peak Rock to acquire Diamond Crystal Brands

Texas-based private equity firm Peak Rock Capital signed a definitive agreement to purchase Diamond Crystal Brands (DCB), a manufacturer and distributor of portion control and single serve food and beverage products, from Hormel Foods.

The financial details of the transaction have not been revealed.

Set up in 1980, DCB is a manufacturer and distributor of customised foodservice solutions, including sauces, dressings, condiments, drink mixes, salt, pepper, sweeteners, and other food and beverage products.

Its customer base includes blue chip foodservice distributors, national restaurant chains and convenience stores.

BRF signs agreement to acquire remaining stake Oman's Al Khan Foodstuff

Brazilian poultry exporter BRF signed an agreement to purchase the remaining interest in Oman-based Al Khan Foodstuff (AKF).

BRF owned a 40% stake in AKF. This stake is estimated to be worth $64m.

The latest move is part of its strategy to expand its processed foods business in the Middle East and Asia.

The acquisition of the remaining interest expects to improve access to the local market, which will help in bolstering its brands and distribution networks.

AKF serves retail, food service and wholesale clients.

Nestle Dreyer's to make ice cream ingredients better and simpler

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US-based frozen dessert manufacturer Nestle Dreyer's decided to improve the primary ingredients in six of its ice cream brands.

The six ice cream brands that will use improved ingredients include Häagen-Dazs, Skinny Cow, Outshine, Nestle Ice Cream, Dreyer's and Nestle Drumstick.

The initiative is part of a multi-year approach to remake Nestle Dreyer's existing products using simpler ingredients that would help address the changing consumer demand while retaining their original tastes.

The company aims to eliminate the use of artificial colours and flavours, GMO ingredients and high-fructose corn syrup.

Nestlé India launches new products to cut down reliance on Maggi noodles

Nestle India begun introducing new products as it makes an effort to reduce its reliance on Maggi noodles, which contributed to 30% of its total sales in 2014.

As part of the product diversification effort, it launched a range of greek yoghurts under the brand name of NESTLÉ a+ GREKYO.

NESTLÉ a+ GREKYO is available in several variants such as strawberry, mango, pineapple and orange.

Positioned as a healthy and indulgent snack, it is low in fat and contains real fruit bits. It has 70% more protein and calcium as compared to NESTLÉ a+ Nourish Toned Dahi.