In The News

In The News: McDonald’s to Offer Customizable Menus and much more

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 Today’s In The News segment covers Hershey’s latest acquisition and other news from the food industry, including McDonald’s plan to offer customized menus and a $3 billion investment aimed at making healthy food taste better. Hoping to take advantage of China’s burgeoning market, confectionery manufacturer The Hershey Company has reportedly acquired a Shanghai-based candy maker.

McDonald’s to Offer Customizable Menus

McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson said the company plans to simplify its menu to allow its restaurants to customize their offerings according to their customers’ preference. McDonald’s profit reportedly sank 30 percent in the third quarter of this year, with global sales down 3.3 percent. To help lift its declining profits and offer greater customization, Thompson said the company also planned to expand its “Create Your Taste” offering that lets people pick the buns and toppings they want on McDonald’s burgers by tapping a touch screen. The pilot program is already being tested in more than 120 locations in the San Antonio area. (Argus Leader)

Hershey Acquires Chinese Candy Maker SGM

The Hershey Company, a global confectionery manufacturer, has reportedly acquired an 80% stake in Chinese candy maker Shanghai Golden Monkey Food Joint Stock Co. (SGM), Ltd. for approximately $394 million. The remaining 20% stake in the business is expected to be acquired by Hershey for approximately $98 million at a second closing, which is scheduled to occur on the one-year anniversary of the initial closing. Having identified China as its number one growth market in the world, Hershey has increased its investment in the country over the past several years. The company said it will work SGM with leaders on integration and distribution synergies that should enable the companies to deliver double-digit net sales growth in China.  (Food Business News)

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Oil Scandal Hurts Taiwan’s Food Exports

Eleven countries and regions have barred certain food products from Taiwan due to the current edible oil scandal. The markets include China, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Chile and the Netherlands. Two oil processing units of Ting Hsin International Group have been found to have been using fats and oils intended for animal feed in many of their products sold downstream to food makers, which eventually made their way onto consumers’ plates.Taiwan Economics Minister Duh Tyzz-jiun said the incident had caused at least $395 million in losses to Taiwan’s food sector as of last week. (The China Post)

ADM Wants to Make Healthy Food Taste Better

Agricultural processing company Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is investing about $3 billion in order to make healthy food taste better. The investment was enough for ADM to acquire Wild Flavors GmbH, in hope of improving profit margins by moving up the food chain. ADM scientists are working to add tasty and healthy ingredients such as fiber, protein and nutrients into their products. “We can make it healthy but what we are really focusing on is also making it tasty,” said Mark Matlock, the company’s senior vice president for research. (Bloomberg)


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