Milling & Baking News - October 12, 2004 - (Page 1)

Theinewsweeklyiofigrain-basedifoods CRACKERS industry perspective Weighing In Story on Page 23 MGPI sees weak results in quarter as low-carb product demand wanes ATCHISON, KAS. - MGP Ingredients, Inc. last week said its fiscal first-quarter earnings would not meet expectations amid declining orders for its low-carbohydrate products. The company, which rode a wave of demand from low-carbohydrate food manufacturers in fiscal 2004, said it expected to post a break-even or slightly more than break-even profit performance in the quarter ended Sept. 30, results for which MGPI plans to release Nov. 9. In the same period last year, the company earned $2.47 million, or 16c per share on the common stock. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected the company to earn 19c per share in the recently completed quarter. Last week's news sent MGPI's shares Continued on Page 9 / OCTOBER 12, 2004 Sara Lee brand just one side of multi-faceted growth strategy CHICAGO - Having already been catapulted in just two years from obscurity in fresh baked foods to the industry's second-bestselling brand in its categories, Sara Lee soon will become the nation's leading brand in these markets, said Richard A. Noll, chief executive officer of the Sara Lee Bakery Group. Mr. Noll spoke Oct. 4 to securities analysts at the Sara Lee Corp. "Meet the Analysts Day," at the Inter-Continental hotel in Chicago. He described a range of dramatic steps the company is facing to boost profitability. In 2002 and 2003 presentations, Mr. Noll spoke hopefully of the potential for Sara Lee to become a leading brand in the fresh baked foods category. Last week, he updated analysts on this progress and also briefed the group on the bakery group's overall strategy going forward. In the presentation, Mr. Noll delved into a number of key issues for Sara Lee Bakery Group, including the company's cost-cutting strategies, newly disclosed plans for a geographic expansion, ongoing efforts to shift sales from regional brands to the company's national brands, the challenges of achieving adequate profitability in nonbranded business and the importance of new product innovation. Mr. Noll also touched upon a number of Continued on Page 14 Kraft looks to clarify nutrition facts on certain food packages NORTHFIELD, ILL. - In a move designed to make it easier for consumers to understand the portion size of foods they eat, Kraft Foods Inc. has launched improved nutrition labels on its snack and beverage products that contain two to four servings. The new labels will provide nutrition information for the contents of the entire package and will accompany a tag on the LATE front of the package detailing the total number of servings. Kraft's action comes in response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's call for clearer nutrition communications on smaller packages. "We encourage manufacturers to provide the most accurate and useful nutrition information to consumers by taking Continued on Page 13 NEWS PARSIPPANY, N.J. - B&G Foods, Inc., which last year purchased the Ortega taco shell brand from Nestle Prepared Foods, last week set the price of its initial public offering of a new type of hybrid securities. Called Enhanced Income Securities, the securities offer a blend of equity and debt, and B&G priced them at $15 per share. They began trading at $15, beneath the range of $15.50 to $17 that had been anticipated ahead of the offering. A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said the shares represent Continued on Page 8 B&G Foods sets price on offering inside THIS WEEK Ingredient Diageo selling General Mills shares Cargill, Bunge move in 'low-lin' soybeans Larger 2004 wheat crop than thought Week 10 13 20 31

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Milling & Baking News - October 12, 2004