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Schnucks to receive award for food safety, quality

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS An international food-safety organization will award a Midwestern supermarket chain to recognize its focus on food safety and quality.

The International Association for Food Protection, which comprises more than 3,400 food safety officials from 50 countries, will give St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets its 2009 Black Pearl award for “corporate excellence” in food safety and quality at its annual conference in Dallas in July.

“The Black Pearl is a tremendous for our company and for our food safety team and one we are pleased to share with associates, suppliers, vendors and health department partners across seven states,” Schnucks chairmand and CEO Scott Schnuck stated. “Their combined talents and willingness to acquire and share knowledge has helped us grow tremendously in efforts to protect the health and welfare of our customers.”

In other news, Schnucks announced that director of food safety Dianna Pasley would serve as chairwoman for the Food Marketing Institute’s Food Protection Committee, which addresses food-safety issues and legislation at the national level. The company did not mention how long Pasley’s term would last.

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Purple Beverage Co. appoints new CEO

BY Allison Cerra

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Purple Beverage Company, Inc. announced that it has appointed a new CEO to move the company forward.

Geoffrey Winters will take over the helm as the CEO and chairman of the board of directors of Purple Beverage Company, Inc.

Purple founder Ted Farnsworth, who will be stepping down as the Company’s CEO and Chairman, said, “After going through a very difficult time over the last several months, we are now re-energized. This is a positive move for the company, the brand, and the shareholders. We feel Geoff is the perfect fit to take Purple to the next level.”

Winters was managing director of Lehman Brothers Brokerage & Investment Banking in New York where he structured over $2 billion in private and public offerings. He also served as managing director for the New York firms of Paine Webber Equity & Investment Banking and Gruntal & Co. Equity & Investment Banking.

“I believe Purple was just one more victim of the current financial environment, but now the company will position itself for the future,” said Winters. “I think the brand has great value and I look forward to the challenge. We will be looking at various options for the company including joint ventures and acquisitions.”

Introduced in late 2007, Purple is a unique and tasty blend of seven antioxidant-rich fruits, including the exotic acai berry, black cherry, pomegranate, black currant, purple plum, cranberry and blueberry. The health benefits of these fruits are blended into an all-natural, no-sugar added beverage that is perfect as an on-the-go drink, as part of a healthy fruit smoothie or as a mixer for cocktails.

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Molson Coors reports Q1 earnings

BY Allison Cerra

DENVER, Colo. Brewing company Molson Coors reported its first-quarter earnings Tuesday.

The international brewer reported that its total worldwide beer volume declined 2.7% on a pro forma basis. Meanwhile, worldwide Coors Light volume grew more than 4%, compared with the year-ago period.

Net income attributable to Molson Coors increased $41.4 million, or 120.6%, to $75.7 million for the first quarter 2009.

Net income (after tax) increased $98.8 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, up from $56.4 million, or $0.31 per diluted share a year ago. This strong earnings performance was driven by increased beer pricing and substantial cost reductions across the company, which more than offset continuing commodity inflation, unfavorable currency movements, and lower worldwide volume.

The company reports results associated with its former Brazilian unit, Cervejarias Kaiser (“Kaiser”), as discontinued operations. The company reported a loss of $3.9 million from discontinued operations during the quarter primarily due to the impact of foreign exchange movements on the Kaiser indemnity estimates.

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