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Thursday morning news headlines include…

  • Hannaford Bros., a division of Delhaize, announced that it will begin selling irradiated ground beef in its 117 stores. The irradiation will be achieved through the use of SureBeam electron beam technology.

  • The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) applauded the decision by Oregon voters to reject mandatory labeling for all biotech foods. "This vote is precedent-setting. The question of mandatory biotech labeling has been put to the test with voters in Oregon and it has failed," said GMA President and CEO C. Manly Molpus. "Oregonians faced a clear choice. They were asked directly whether they would favor mandatory labeling of all biotech foods, and they said no. Instead, they chose to rely upon the FDA labeling requirements and the new USDA organic certification program to provide consumers who prefer to avoid biotech with the options to do so.”

  • According to a survey conducted by the International Mass Retail Association (IMRA), this year holiday shoppers predict that they will spend an average of $863 on gifts this year – exactly the same amount they predicted they would spend during the holidays last year. However, IMRA points out that last year consumers spent 31 percent more than they predicted, which provides some hope for this year.

  • reports this morning that its first five hypermarkets in Italy will be opened under the Leclerc/Conad agreement finalized earlier this year. “Five stores currently under the Pianeta banner are to be rebadged under the E.Leclerc-Conad fascia with the remaining five Pianeta hypermarkets to be rebadged during the first half of next year. Ultimately the aim is to build a 30 strong hypermarket network in Italy,” according to the report.

  • Aurora Foods Inc. announced that by early next year it hopes to sell one or more of its brands, which include Duncan Hines baking mixes, Mrs. Butterworth's and Log Cabin syrups, Lender's Bagels and Mrs. Paul's frozen seafood to one of 50 potential suitors. Aurora was created to buy and nurse ailing brands back to health, but now it just needs capital to shore up shaky finances.

  • Bloomberg reports that Pfizer Inc. got received at least two offers, from Cadbury Schweppes and Nestle, for its Adams candy business. The business is expected to generate as much as $4 billion for Pfizer.

And the beat goes on...
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