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Aug 21, 2014

Colorado voters to weigh in on GMO food labeling

Aug 21 (Reuters) – Colorado voters in November will have
their say on a proposition that would require labels on foods
that contain genetically modified ingredients, or GMOS.

Proponents of GMO labeling initiatives, who say they have
the right to know what is in their food, have been gaining steam
in the United States. Their wins have come despite well-funded
opposition from GMO crop backers ranging from PepsiCo Inc
to Monsanto Co who say GMOs are safe, labels
will confuse consumers and switching to non-GMO ingredients
would significantly increase the cost of food.

Aug 20, 2014

Kroger in cross hairs as U.S. gun fight spills into its aisles

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Kroger Co, the largest U.S. supermarket operator, is the latest high-profile company caught in the battle over gun rights and gun control in the United States.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (MDA), backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is petitioning Kroger to prohibit guns in its more than 2,600 U.S. stores, which include Food 4 Less, Harris Teeter and Smith’s.

Aug 12, 2014

Darden board vulnerable as activists circle -analysts

Aug 12 (Reuters) – Darden Restaurants Inc’s board
looks vulnerable to a key activist shareholder’s push for a
shakeup that could pave the way for broader changes at the
underperforming owner of Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse.

Although the company recently conceded three board seats to
Starboard Value LP, a few more of the remaining nine members
could be voted out at Darden’s Sept. 30 annual meeting if a
settlement is not reached before that time, a half dozen
analysts said.

Aug 8, 2014

McDonald’s casts doubt on sales outlook after China food scare

By Lisa Baertlein and Sruthi Ramakrishnan

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Friday that its global sales forecast for 2014 was at risk after a China food scandal drove away diners and forced the chain to scramble to find new suppliers of ingredients for Chicken McNuggets and Big Macs.

The warning could portend the company’s first full year of global sales declines at established restaurants since 2002, Janney Capital Markets analyst Mark Kalinowski said in a client note.

Aug 3, 2014

McDonald’s CEO Thompson ‘under siege’ at home and abroad

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp CEO Don Thompson sure could use a break.

The head of the world’s biggest restaurant chain, who for much of his two years at the helm has been battling to spark sales growth in the United States and Europe, got battered by headline-grabbing bad news in late July.

Jul 31, 2014

Food scare driving away Yum, McDonald’s diners in China

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – A food safety scare in China is testing local consumers’ loyalty to foreign fast-food brands, including McDonald’s Corp and Yum Brands Inc, which owns the KFC and Pizza Hut chains.

Yum said on Wednesday that the scare, triggered by a TV report earlier this month showing improper meat handling by a supplier, Shanghai Husi Food, caused “significant, negative” damage to sales at KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants over the past 10 days. “If the significant sales impact is sustained, it will have a material effect on full-year earnings per share,” Yum said in a regulatory filing.

Jul 31, 2014

China diners test McDonald’s, Yum says food scare hurts KFC, Pizza Hut sales

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – A food safety scare in China is testing local consumers’ loyalty to foreign fast-food brands, including McDonald’s Corp and Yum Brands Inc, which owns the KFC and Pizza Hut chains.

Yum said on Wednesday that the scare, triggered by a TV report earlier this month showing improper meat handling by a supplier, Shanghai Husi Food, caused “significant, negative” damage to sales at KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants over the past 10 days. “If the significant sales impact is sustained, it will have a material effect on full-year earnings per share,” Yum said in a regulatory filing.

Jul 30, 2014

Yum says China food safety scare hurting KFC, Pizza Hut sales

July 30 (Reuters) – A television expose showing improper
meat handling by one of its Chinese suppliers caused
“significant, negative” damage to sales at its KFC and Pizza Hut
restaurants over the past 10 days, Yum Brands Inc said
on Wednesday.

“If the significant sales impact is sustained, it will have
a material effect on full-year earnings per share,” Yum said in
a regulatory filing.

Jul 29, 2014

U.S. food industry lobbying spikes amid GMO fight: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. food companies spent almost as much lobbying Congress in the first quarter of 2014 as they did in the full year in 2013, a sign the industry may have intensified its fight against state labeling requirements for genetically engineered foods, according to a report released Tuesday.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), along with companies such as PepsiCo Inc and Coca-Cola Co contributed to the $9 million in spending related to such lobbying efforts in the first quarter of 2014, according to an Environmental Working Group (EWG) report.

Jul 29, 2014

Darden CEO steps down amid food fight with investors

July 28 (Reuters) – Darden Restaurants Inc’s food
fight with activist investors Barington Capital Group LP and
Starboard Value LP entered a new phase on Monday, when the
company said Clarence Otis would step down as chairman and chief
executive officer.

In further concessions, Orlando-based Darden said it would
separate the chairman and chief executive roles, and clear the
way for some of Starboard’s proposed directors to be elected at
its annual meeting.

    • 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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