business news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Wall Street Journal reports that General Mills has hired celebrity chef Mario Batali to join its “innovation network” and create frozen pasta dinners that it hopes will capitalize on the trend toward increased sales of frozen Italian entrées.

• The Boston Globe reports that Monsanto has asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a number of dairies’ advertising claims that “there are health and safety risks associated with milk from cows treated with the artificial growth hormones.” Monsanto makes the artificial growth hormone recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rBST, which was approved for use by the FDA in 1993. However, numerous dairies advertise that they do not use it, with the implication that it can cause cancer or premature development in children.

Advertising Age reports that “7-Eleven has begun selling coffee with an herbal boost of ginseng, guarana and yerba mate to attract consumers hooked on Starbucks and Red Bull. Called Fusion Energy, it's the first mass-marketed java to capitalize on the swelling popularity of functional drinks. The newest entry in the competitive $18 billion coffee-to-go market is just the beginning of what promises to be a new platform for the convenience-store chain of juiced-up joes that enhance immunity, mental focus and appetite control.”

Advertising Age reports that “Kellogg is taking its multibrand Healthy Beginnings program to the Hispanic market with a national tour that sets up booths in retailers' parking lots and offers tests by bilingual nurses for several conditions Hispanics are particularly likely to suffer: diabetes, high blood pressure and lactose intolerance.”
KC's View: