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Nov 21, 2012

US food banks raise alarm as drought dents government supplies

LOS ANGELES, Nov 21 (Reuters) – The worst U.S. drought in
more than half a century has weakened the safety net for the 50
million Americans who struggle to get enough to eat, and the
nation’s food banks are raising the alarm as the holiday season
gets into full swing.

Demand for food assistance – unrelenting as the U.S. economy
slowly recovers from the worst recession since the Great
Depression – ticks higher during the winter holidays.

Nov 14, 2012

Starbucks buying Teavana, eyes repeat of coffee success

By Lisa Baertlein and Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday announced plans to buy Teavana Holdings Inc (TEA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for $620 million in cash, with the goal of replicating the success it has had with its namesake coffee shops.

Teavana has about 300 shopping mall stores that sell loose-leaf, exotic teas. In addition to opening stand-alone Teavana stores in the United States and abroad, Starbucks will add tea bars that serve prepared drinks in existing Teavana stores, Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz told Reuters.

Nov 8, 2012

McDonald’s posts rare sales drop, promotions questioned

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp’s first monthly global restaurant sales decline in nine years is likely to force the world’s biggest hamburger chain to increase promotions for its value menu, but some analysts doubt whether a hyper focus on low prices is the right strategy.

The loss of customers to rival chains such as Burger King and Taco Bell is a huge test for CEO Don Thompson, who took over in July when the chain was enjoying a multi-year run of rising sales and profits.

Nov 8, 2012

McDonald’s posts first monthly global sales drop in nine years

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported a global 1.8 percent drop in sales at established restaurants for October – its first monthly sales fall since March 2003 – sending its shares to a year low and presenting big challenges to the fast-food chain’s new CEO.

McDonald’s is likely to answer the challenge with stepped-up promotions in response to resurgent rivals such as Burger King Worldwide Inc (BKW.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Wendy’s Co (WEN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Yum Brands Inc’s.N> Taco Bell, analysts said. Those chains have re-done their menus and beefed up “value” offerings to compete with McDonald’s popular Dollar Menu.

Nov 8, 2012

McDonald’s posts first monthly global sales drop in 9 yrs

Nov 8 (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp reported a global
1.8 percent drop in sales at established restaurants for October
- its first monthly sales fall since March 2003 – sending its
shares to a year low and presenting big challenges to the
fast-food chain’s new CEO.

McDonald’s is likely to answer the challenge with stepped-up
promotions in response to resurgent rivals such as Burger King
Worldwide Inc, Wendy’s Co and Yum Brands Inc’s
.N> Taco Bell, analysts said. Those chains have re-done
their menus and beefed up “value” offerings to compete with
McDonald’s popular Dollar Menu.

Nov 7, 2012

US GMO labeling efforts change course after California defeat

Nov 7 (Reuters) – The failure on Tuesday of a California
ballot initiative that would have mandated labeling of
genetically modified foods is not a death knell for those
seeking nationwide labeling, U.S. labeling proponents said.

President Barack Obama’s re-election could be a boost, as he
is seen, in general terms, as being supportive of labeling.
Still, efforts to force change at a federal level could face an
uphill climb.

Nov 7, 2012

Calif. voters reject labelling genetically altered food

LOS ANGELES/KANSAS CITY, Nov 7 (Reuters) – California voters
rejected a ballot measure that would have made the state the
first in the nation to require special labeling of foods with
genetically modified ingredients.

The measure was defeated 53 percent to 47 percent, according
to final results from Tuesday’s election.

Nov 7, 2012

Soda tax ballot measures fizzle in California

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Voters in two California cities rejected measures that would have imposed the nation’s first penny-per-ounce taxes on businesses that sell sodas and other sugary drinks in an effort to boost municipal revenue and fight obesity.

In El Monte, 76.8 percent of voters said no, while in Richmond, 66.9 percent opposed the measure, according to final results from Tuesday’s election.

Nov 7, 2012

California seen rejecting push to label genetically altered food

LOS ANGELES/KANSAS CITY (Reuters) – California voters appeared poised early Wednesday to reject a ballot measure that would have made the state the first in the nation to require special labeling of foods with genetically modified ingredients.

With 64 percent of the state’s precincts reporting, the measure was losing by a 55-45 margin, according to the California Secretary of State. Political observers familiar with the state’s voting dynamics saw little chance that the deficit could be made up.

Nov 5, 2012

California GMO measure may fail after food industry fights back

By Lisa Baertlein and Carey Gillam

(Reuters) – Major food and seed companies appear to be on the verge of defeating a California ballot initiative that, if passed on Tuesday, would create the first labeling requirement for genetically modified foods in the United States.

In a campaign reminiscent of this summer’s successful fight against a proposed tobacco tax in California, opposition funded by Monsanto Co, DuPont, PepsiCo Inc and others unleashed waves of TV and radio advertisements against Proposition 37 and managed to turn the tide of public opinion.

    • About Lisa

      "Lisa writes about restaurants and grocery stores. She is based in Los Angeles and previously has covered computer software, Internet companies, video games, prescription drugs and municipal bonds."
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