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Lindt gets into the holiday spirit with seasonal packaging for its chocolates

BY Melissa Valliant

KILCHBERG, Switzerland Lindt just made the holidays a little sweeter. The Swiss chocolate manufacturer has refashioned its premium chocolate packaging with holiday designs and prices affordable enough to pick up a few for relatives and friends with a sweet tooth.

Lindt’s Holiday Tree, for $7.99, is filled with a bag of Lindor Truffles, and their red poinsettia box, for $6.99, brings to mind the holiday flower often used for decoration this time of year. The milk or dark chocolate Santa Claus, wrapped in brightly colored foiled, is available for only $3.99, as are the reindeer, which are wrapped in gold foil and are available in milk, dark and white chocolate.

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Farmer Bros. buys Sara Lee’s coffee business

BY Melissa Valliant

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. Farmer Brothers Company is acquiring Sara Lee Corp.’s U.S. Direct Store Delivery Foodservice coffee business for $45 million. The deal, which is expected to close in the beginning of 2009, will provide the coffee, tea and spice foodservice manufacturer with more than 20,000 more customers, Sara Lee’s Foodservice DSD coffee business sales and distribution staff, 60 “branch” facilities, a major Houston manufacturing plant and an Oklahoma City distribution and spice facility.

Purchased brands include Superior Coffee, Cain’s, Ireland, Justin Lloyd, McGarvey, Metropolitan, Prebica, Suntipt [U.S. only], Wechsler, Cafe Royal and Royal Kona. The two companies have agreed on a reciprocal co-pack plan for the supply of certain coffee and tea products.

“We are pleased to announce the sale of our Foodservice DSD coffee business, which is consistent with our commitment to simplifying our business to focus on areas where we have a clear, sustainable point of difference and can leverage our scale,” said C.J. Fraleigh, chief operating officer of Sara Lee Corporation in North America. “We remain committed to growing our Foodservice beverage business, with its leading liquid and roast and ground coffee positions, through our strong national sales force and distributor network.”

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Mother’s Cake & Cookie Co. recipes bought by Kellogg Co.

BY Melissa Valliant

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. Kellogg Co. has purchased Mother’s Cake and Cookie Co.’s recipes and trademarks and plans on incorporating the cookies in its snacks business unit that already includes popular cookie brands like Chips Deluxe and Fudge Shoppe, the company announced Thursday.

The breakfast and snack food giant wants to expand the cookie sales of Mother’s Cookies, according to Kellogg president and chief executive officer David Mackay, and will be reintroducing various Mother’s Cookies products.   

Mother’s Cake & Cookie Co. had filed for bankruptcy protection in October, due to unaffordable food and fuel costs, and Archway & mother’s Cookie Co. Inc. did not intend to continue U.S. operations. Its iced animal crackers, sandwich cookies and wire cut cookies were some of its most popular products, and the brand was popular many Western states.

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