Industry News

Hearthside Food Solutions says it is buying Standard Functional Foods Group, a unit of privately held Standard Candy Company, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. SFFG, a contract manufacturer of nutritional and functional bars, is located in Nashville, TN.

Unilever is acquiring the TAZO tea brand from Starbucks for $384 million.

The Ferrero Group is buying the Ferrara Candy Co. from private equity firm L Catterton.

Kellogg Company is acquiring the Chicago Bar Company LLC, maker of RXBAR, a line of clean-label protein bars, for $600 million.

Inventure Foods, Inc., a leading specialty food marketer and manufacturer, and Utz Quality Foods, LLC, the largest privately held and family-managed branded salty snack manufacturer and marketer in the US, are merging as part of a deal worth $165 million.

MamaMancini’s Holdings, Inc., a marketer of specialty pre-prepared, frozen and refrigerated all-natural food products, has closed its previously announced acquisition of Joseph Epstein Food Enterprises, Inc., a manufacturer of food products.

Wind Point Partners and portfolio company Evans Food Group, a leading global producer of branded and private-label pork rinds, have announced that Evans has acquired Gaytan Foods Inc., a leading producer of pork rinds on the West Coast.

Endress+Hauser has acquired Blue Ocean Nova AG, a manufacturer of inline spectrometers for monitoring quality-relevant process parameters.

Alpha Packaging Inc. has acquired a plant in the Netherlands, from Graham Packaging Company.

People News

Haskell, a global architecture, engineering, construction and consulting firm, has named John Paul Sáenz executive vice president and chief operating officer after former COO Jim O’Leary was appointed president. The company also has promoted William “Bill” Rudder to vice president/director for the Livermore, CA office and Dave Auchter to vice president of corporate marketing for the Haskell enterprise.

The Coca-Cola Company announced that J. Alexander “Sandy” Douglas Jr. will retire as president of Coca-Cola North America and will be succeeded by James L. “Jim” Dinkins, who currently serves as president of the Minute Maid business unit and chief retail sales officer for CCNA.

General Mills announced that Ken Powell will be retiring as chairman of the board, effective at the end of the year, and CEO Jeffrey Harmening has been elected to serve as chairman of the board upon Powell’s retirement. Harmening will continue to serve as the company’s CEO.

Mondelez International announced that Glen Walter is joining the company as executive vice president and president, North America. He has held a variety of leadership positions at The Coca-Cola Company over the past decade.

Sky Valley Foods, which makes the Sky Valley, Organicville and Bella’s brands, announced that Rodrigo Troni has joined the company as its new president and CEO. Most recently, Troni was chief marketing and innovation officer of Snyder’s-Lance

The Fremont Company, producers of Frank’s Kraut and Mississippi BBQ Sauce, has hired Mary Bellerose as director of quality assurance to oversee quality optimization at all three of its Ohio plants.