Food Business News - Nov 13, 2007 - (Page 1)

FoodBusinessNews ® NEWS, MARKETS AND ANALYSIS FOR THE FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY President outlines import safety plan 20 Dairy costs hinder Kraft Foods 22 Bankruptcy courts sets I.B.C. timeline 26 MARKET WATCH November 13, 2007 Fruit, vegetable supply swings have prices jumbled KANSAS CITY - Domestic production of fruits and vegetables vary widely from a year ago, resulting in large price swings and trade prospects, while unusual weather has caused short-term supply disruptions in some key growing areas. Although the 2007 apple crop is down from a year ago, production of most other fruits is up and prices are mixed. In its latest Agricultural Prices report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the preliminary index of prices received by farmers for fruits and nuts in October was 171% of the 1990-92 base, up 5% from September but down 1% from October 2006. The average price of apples was about even with last year, grape and lemon prices were higher, and grapefruit, orange, pear and strawberry prices were lower. Vegetables, meanwhile, truly were a Continued on Page 37 On-highway diesel prices U.S. average, per gallon Nov. 5, 2007 Oct. 29, 2007 Nov. 6, 2006 Oct. 24, 2005 $3.303 $3.157 $2.506 $3.157 Source: Energy Information Administration Diesel prices surged to record highs on heels of record high crude. Convenience holds its own Amid avalanche of health and wellness products, 'easy' is still appealing Following a brief lull, new product introductions featuring convenience as a salient benefit continue to attract consumer interest, according to analysts interviewed by Food Business News. Driven by a range of factors, though, the face of convenience in food products is changing and will continue to evolve. The increasing successful melding of convenience with health and wellness into single products has been a particularly compelling growth driver, said Lynn Dornblaser, director of consulting, Mintel, Inc., Chicago. "Health and wellness is never going to go away, and neither is convenience," Ms. Dornblaser said. "Sometimes these two trends seem to be working in opposition to one another, but they actually work very well in partnership. Where would low-fat meals be without single-serve packaging, for example? What are 100-calorie packs but the perfect marriage between convenience and health?" An increase in new products offering convenience represented a return to historical averages, Information Resources, Inc. said. At 23%, the proportion of new Continued on Page 29

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Food Business News - Nov 13, 2007