» Calorie disclosure rule enforcement expected 2012
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdrew its draft guidance for calorie disclosure rules for vending and its intention to complete the notice-and-comment rulemaking process before initiating enforcement activities based, in part, on comments on the draft guidance submitted to the agency.
Ned Monroe, senior vice president of government affairs at the National Automatic Merchandising Association, said FDA staff confirmed that no calorie disclosure guidance will be issued for vending. Vending calorie disclosure rules will be released by March 23, 2011. Monroe said final rules won’t be put into place in 2011, so vending is unlikely to have any enforcement of calorie disclosure requirement before the middle of 2012. Beverage firms
» Commit to front-of-pack calorie labels
The country’s leading beverage companies have voluntarily committed to make calories more visible to consumers in response to First Lady Michelle Obama’s efforts to help families make informed choices. The companies are adding the new calorie labels to the front of every can, bottle and pack they produce and displaying the total calories per container on all beverages 20 fluid ounces or smaller.
The labels began appearing on beverages last fall. The companies expect to have the calorie label on the front of all of their major brands and more than half of their product volume by June of this year and on all packages by early 2012 as committed.
Sara Lee will split into separate meat and beverage companies
» Sara Lee Corp. has agreed to divide into two separate, publicly traded companies.
Sara Lee’s North American retail and North American foodservice businesses (excluding the North American beverage business) will be spun off into a new public company that will retain the “Sara Lee” name. Its brands will include Sara Lee, Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, Chef Pierre and State Fair. The company will have approximately $4.1 billion in revenue in fiscal 2010. The yet-to-be-named other company will consist of Sara Lee’s current international beverage and bakery businesses, including the North American beverage business. Brands will include Douwe Egberts, Senseo, Pickwick, Maison du Café, L’OR, Café Pilão, Marcilla and Bimbo. It will have approximately $4.6 billion in 2010 revenue.
» Obama pledges to repeal 1099 reporting requirement
In his State of the Union address, President Obama said he will support repealing the requirement in the health care reform law that requires employers to fill out a 1099 tax form every time they spend $600 on goods and services, a repeal the National Automatic Merchandising Association sought.
» Betson, ASI, Choice Equipment expand in Southeast region
Betson Enterprises has expanded its strategic marketing and sales agreement with Automated Services International (ASI) and Choice Equipment Sales (CES), distributors of used and reconditioned vending machines. Betson, ASI and CES entered into an agreement in September 2010, the terms of which granted Betson sole sales and marketing rights for its Mid Atlantic and Northeast branches. The companies have added Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida to their marketing and sales agreement. CES, based in Charlotte, N.C. since 1989, will continue to work directly with its current customers, with growth support provided by Betson branches in Marietta, Ga. and their new location scheduled to open in Florida.
» Lessing’s buys Next Generation’s manual feeding business
Next Generation Vending and Food Service Inc., the Canton, Mass.-based vending and foodservice operation, sold its manual foodservice division to Lessing’s, a foodservice and hospitality company based in Great River, N.Y. Dave MacIsaac, chairman and CEO of Next Generation, said his company continues to operate a commissary. John Ioannou, president of Next Generation, left the company, MacIsaac noted. MacIsaac remains chairman and CEO and Joe Rogan remains chief operating officer.