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Beech-Nut promises ‘no junk’ added to toddler foods

BY Jenna Duncan

LATHAM, N.Y. Beech-Nut Monday announced the launch of its new Let’s Grow! line of meals and snacks created for toddlers along with a “no junk promise” directed at mothers.

Beech-Nut created a list of criteria to assure that the Let’s Grow! Toddler foods do not contain artificial colors, flavors, MSG, preservatives, or refined sugar and adhere to a simple list of natural ingredients. Additionally, the company said, the Let’s Grow! Line toddler foods contain vitamins and minerals for growth and healthy development.

“At Beech-Nut we recognize that moms need more options for convenient and nutritional food for their toddlers that also taste great,” president and chief executive officer Christoph Rudolf said in a statement. “By introducing Beech-Nut Let’s Grow! we are offering moms all three, along with the added promise that we’re doing our part to cut the unnecessary junk out of their little one’s diet.”

Beech-Nut Let’s Grow! Line’s tummy meals and mini meals boast up to 50 percent less sodium than comparable Gerber Graduates meals, the company said. Also, Beech-Nut Let’s Grow!all-natural fruit nibbles contain a full serving of fruit, and Beech-Nut Let’s Grow! cookies and biscuits contain no refined sugar, the company has said.

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Shareholders of InBev support Anheuser-Busch takeover

BY Jenna Duncan

LEUVEN, Belgium Shareholders of European beverage giant InBev Monday voiced support for the $52 billion buyout offer made for U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch.

InBev shareholders also okayed changing the name of the new-formed mega-company to  Anheuser-Busch InBev, as well as an increase in capital and share issue that could bring in around $10 billion.

On the U.S. side, InBev chief executive officer Carlos Brito assured A-B employees that the new company would take strides to protect U.S. jobs, and not unduly shut down operations at A-B 12 breweries, as long as “there are no new or increased federal tax or state excise taxes or unforeseen extraordinary events that would negatively impact A-B’s business. … We are very pleased to complete this important milestone and we remain on track to close the transaction by the end of the year,” Brito said in a statement.

To close the deal, approval will have to be met by Anheuser-Busch shareholders and market regulators.

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American Licorice Company banks on capital investments to carry it through tough times

BY Jenna Duncan

UNION CITY, Calif. American Licorice Company is counting on its “rainy day” savings funds to carry it through economic hard times, The San Francisco Chronicle this week reported.

The maker of well-beloved licorice treat Red Vines has said that it hopes that the $10 million in capital investments the company has banked in good years will be enough to carry it through the current cash-poor economy.

“We won’t call it recession-proof, but licorice has always held its own. It’s kind of a comfort food,” American Licorice plant manager John Nelson told the Chronicle. Still, touch times lay ahead for many independent companies. “Lines of credit are being frozen or reduced. … Or if they are new requests, may not be approved.”

To help buoy the effects of marketplace money drain, Nelson told the media, American Licorice Company is constantly seeking ways to improve productivity and efficiency. The company will also continue investing, he said, in order to keep its profit dollars flowing.

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