Food Business News - Mar 07, 2006 - (Page 1)

1st ERSARY ANNIV FoodBusinessNews March 7, 2006 NEWS, MARKETS AND ANALYSIS FOR THE FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY Officials struggle to halt global poultry consumption decline 14 Low-carb down but not out 37 Wrigley expands global reach 42 KANSAS CITY - The spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (A.I.) around the world has sharply reduced poultry consumption in the affected regions. As a result, government and industry officials are struggling to communicate to consumers the fact chicken is safe to eat as long as it is handled and cooked properly. The results of their efforts are not showing up in the earnings reports of some of America's leading poultry processors. Financial results reported last week by Sanderson Farms, Inc., Laurel, Miss., indicate A.I. is depressing domestic market prices for poultry. Joe F. Sanderson Jr., cited a "precipitous drop in export demand and more sluggish domestic demand compared with a year ago" for his company's first-quarter loss of $8,606,000. A day after Sanderson Farms announced its first-quarter results, Pilgrim's Pride Corp., Pittsburg, Texas, withdrew its fiscal 2006 second quarter and full year earnings guidance for the second time in two months. The company said the results for the second quarter and full year are expected to be less Continued on Page 20 Chicken little! 50 cents per lb Campbell's reduces sodium in soups 49.00 40 Chicken leg quarters 30 20.50 20 Sept. 21, 2005 Dec. 7, 2005 March 1, 2006 Chicken leg quarter prices have declined 58% since September 2005, according to the Georgia Department of Agriculture. MARKET WATCH Chili pepper consumption lbs per person annually 2003-05 1993-95 5.9 4.3 Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture U.S. chili pepper use has increased 37% in the last 10 years. Health and wellness profit potential stressed at CAGNY Key is attracting consumers who have avoided healthier options SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. - That major food processors are planning health and wellness initiatives is hardly surprising in the face of the mounting pressure being placed on the industry associated with rising U.S. obesity rates and other health problems. In a series of recent presentations before securities analysts, though, top food executives did not focus on how their emphasis on health and wellness would deflect criticism of the healthfulness of their foods. Instead, one speaker after another described health and wellness from another perspective - as the single most important key to igniting profitable growth in the industry. In several of the presentations, a powerful theme emerged: New ways must be found to attract customers who in the past have resisted healthier choices. The presentations were made Feb. 2124 at the Consumer Analyst Group of New Continued on Page 31

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Food Business News - Mar 07, 2006