Staff Directory 276895091

Kristen Leigh Painter

Reporter | Food industry
phone: 612.673.4767
Kristen Leigh Painter covers the food industry, including General Mills, Cargill and Hormel. She also writes about airlines, and previously was a business reporter for The Denver Post. She can be reached at kristen.painter@startribune.com or 612.673.4767.
Recent content from Kristen Leigh Painter
General Mills takes the wraps off Oui, aiming to retake yogurt market

General Mills takes the wraps off Oui, aiming to retake yogurt market

The company developed a French-style yogurt that is thicker than regular yogurt and less sour than Greek
FDA delays labeling requirements touted by Michele Obama but had drawn industry opposition

FDA delays labeling requirements touted by Michele Obama but had drawn industry opposition

The agency said it would delay the July 2018 requirement but it didn't say until when.

Cargill to sell power and gas business to Macquarie

Cargill Inc. is selling its North America Power and Gas business to Macquarie Group, the Australian investment bank, in the second transaction between the two…
Mpls.-based Surly goes international with foray into Canada

Mpls.-based Surly goes international with foray into Canada

The Minneapolis craft-beer maker is now on tap in Winnipeg.

Cargill buys chicken company in Colombia

Bucanero adds 5,000 employees to Cargill's Latin American protein operations.
General Mills will ditch the Tiny Toast name, but the cereal lives on in Crunch line

General Mills will ditch the Tiny Toast name, but the cereal lives on in Crunch line

Launched last year, the product was General Mills' first attempt at a new cereal line in 15 years.

Hormel Foods sues Purina over 'Black Label' use in dog treats

The Austin-based food company says the pet-food company is infringing the trademark of its popular bacon line.
Hormel earnings weaker than expected as turkey lags

Hormel earnings weaker than expected as turkey lags

The Austin-based company reported a sluggish second quarter as the marketplace faces an oversupply of turkey.
Americans are eating more organic food than ever, survey finds

Americans are eating more organic food than ever, survey finds

The Organic Trade Association said sales of organic food and goods grew more than 8 percent last year, reaching its highest-ever level.

Jennie-O will build new facility to replace aging processing plant

The new $137 million facility in Melrose will be installed with updated food safety technology.
Developer eyes Bloomington near Mall of America for Hilton Tru brand hotel

Developer eyes Bloomington near Mall of America for Hilton Tru brand hotel

The budget-friendly hotel has submitted plans to build near Mall of America.
Fulton releasing beer celebrating Star Tribune's 150th anniversary

Fulton releasing beer celebrating Star Tribune's 150th anniversary

Mpls. brewer will release a special beer to honor the 150th anniversary.
Delta to use biometrics to test MSP self-service baggage drop

Delta to use biometrics to test MSP self-service baggage drop

Customers will need to stop at the check-in kiosk to print their bag tags. They will then move to the self-service bag drop machines where they will scan their boarding pass or face.
Sun Country Airlines to fly nonstop from MSP to Aruba

Sun Country Airlines to fly nonstop from MSP to Aruba

The Eagan-based carrier said Wednesday it will begin winter seasonal service to Aruba and Tucson in December.
Pentair to split company into two separate businesses

Pentair to split company into two separate businesses

Managed out of Golden Valley, the company will separate water, electrical operations for smoother path to growth.
Kellogg to lay off more than 200 Twin Cities workers

Kellogg to lay off more than 200 Twin Cities workers

The cutbacks in the Twin Cities are part of the company's national cost-cutting effort.
General Mills announces new CEO effective June 1

General Mills announces new CEO effective June 1

Jeffrey L. Harmening, who joined General Mills 23 years ago as a marketer, on Wednesday was named chief executive, taking the lead of one of…
Sun Country will serve a Jimmy John's sub, with delivery before takeoff

Sun Country will serve a Jimmy John's sub, with delivery before takeoff

The sandwich offering is part of the airline's efforts to improve its food and beverage offerings.
Direct flights from Minnesota to Cuba are stuck at the gate

Direct flights from Minnesota to Cuba are stuck at the gate

Sun Country plays a waiting game while President Trump's Cuba policy unfurls.

Former Cardiovascular Systems Inc. employee awarded $25 million in whistleblower lawsuit

The company will appeal the California judgment of $2.7 million for wage loss and $22.4 million in punitive damages.
Cargill is selling two cattle feedlots, exiting that portion of the beef industry

Cargill is selling two cattle feedlots, exiting that portion of the beef industry

Cargill's $36.7M deal will complete its exit from this area of beef production
Michael Fanuele will leave General Mills as chief creative officer

Michael Fanuele will leave General Mills as chief creative officer

Departure of the chief creative officer follows that of the top marketer in an apparent shift.
Home food delivery is hot, but Minnesota's Schwan's has done it for 65 years

Home food delivery is hot, but Minnesota's Schwan's has done it for 65 years

Home meal delivery services are hot right now, but it isn't often that Schwan's Co. is mentioned as one of the innovators in this growing space.
Rally demanding that Trump release tax info draws crowd to State Capitol

Rally demanding that Trump release tax info draws crowd to State Capitol

The rally, one of many nationwide, also called for more accountability in political financing.
Sun Country to name each plane after a Minnesota lake

Sun Country to name each plane after a Minnesota lake

Sun Country Airlines passengers may soon hear "Welcome aboard Lake Minnetonka!" when boarding a plane. The Eagan-based airline is honoring its home state by naming each of its airplanes after a different Minnesota lake.
Rod Wallace, who built the Thunderbird Motel and backed Gopher football, dies at 92

Rod Wallace, who built the Thunderbird Motel and backed Gopher football, dies at 92

One evening in the early 1960s, Rodney Wallace invited Frank Sinatra over to his home on Lake Minnetonka's St. Albans Bay. The two men "ran…
12-ounce cans? Crafty Surly goes retro with packaging

12-ounce cans? Crafty Surly goes retro with packaging

Xtra-Citra and seasonal brew #Merica will be the first varieties to hit retail shelves in 12-ounce 12-packs, followed by its Hell, Surlyfest and the much-beloved Furious brews.
General Mills invests $3 million in granola maker Purely Elizabeth

General Mills invests $3 million in granola maker Purely Elizabeth

Its venture capital arm sees potential in foods with health benefits.
How what looked like a PR win for Cargill turned into a kerfuffle

How what looked like a PR win for Cargill turned into a kerfuffle

Farmers and scientists bristled when the Minnesota-based food giant agreed to have ingredients certified by a critic.
Could General Mills be a buyer for Stonyfield? Some analysts think so

Could General Mills be a buyer for Stonyfield? Some analysts think so

Stonyfield, the large U.S. organic yogurt company, is up for sale and General Mills is considered by analysts as a potential buyer.France's Danone agreed in…
Chocolate, other sweeteners lifted Cargill's profit this winter

Chocolate, other sweeteners lifted Cargill's profit this winter

Grain and oilseeds, hampered by weather in South America, were the only weakness for the agriculture giant.
Two years later, Post is settled into the home of Malt-O-Meal (and Cheerios)

Two years later, Post is settled into the home of Malt-O-Meal (and Cheerios)

Tucked into a small, beige business park in south Lakeville, the headquarters for the nation's third-largest cereal company is easy to miss.
After several years of work, Caribou drops artificial ingredients from drinks

After several years of work, Caribou drops artificial ingredients from drinks

Minnesota-based coffee chain is first in its industry to take leap.
General Mills invests in kraut and fermented veggie company

General Mills invests in kraut and fermented veggie company

301 Inc., the investment arm of General Mills, leads $6.5-million funding round for Farmhouse Culture to help grow the business.
Sun Country to offer flights between MSP and Calif. wine country

Sun Country to offer flights between MSP and Calif. wine country

The carrier will also start a weekly flight between MSP and Austin, Texas, during the fall months.
General Mills, Cascadian Farm back development of Kernza wheatgrass

General Mills, Cascadian Farm back development of Kernza wheatgrass

The soil-saving qualities of Kernza are a big advantage, but it also has more bran, more fiber and a nuttier taste than common wheat.

Milder strain of bird flu found at Jennie-O farm in Wisconsin

It's the second bird flu case in the U.S. this week, but it is not as deadly as a strain on Tennessee farm.
Small airports, Minn. towns fear privatizing air traffic control

Small airports, Minn. towns fear privatizing air traffic control

Big airlines, Trump administration support privatization, but small airports and towns back the status quo.
General Mills takes stake in D's Naturals, maker of performance snacks

General Mills takes stake in D's Naturals, maker of performance snacks

Since its start, D's Naturals has reached nearly $10M in revenue.
Hormel profit squeezed by competition, lower prices in turkey

Hormel profit squeezed by competition, lower prices in turkey

Executives lowered their profit outlook for the rest of the fiscal year. Investors sold off Hormel stock.
In drive to reduce food waste, 'use by' labels to be simplified

In drive to reduce food waste, 'use by' labels to be simplified

Trade groups join USDA in reducing phrases, making them more uniform.
Soon, schoolkids will be able to gobble up better turkey in their lunches

Soon, schoolkids will be able to gobble up better turkey in their lunches

Districts work with food companies to raise quality while maintaining affordability
General Mills shares fall on reduced outlook, bid by Kraft Heinz for Unilever

General Mills shares fall on reduced outlook, bid by Kraft Heinz for Unilever

The company also lowered its sales estimate for the year by 4 percent.
Delta makes another big profit-sharing payout; MSP workers average $11,500 bonus

Delta makes another big profit-sharing payout; MSP workers average $11,500 bonus

The payout is smaller than last year's record but still among the best in corporate America.
Anderson, former Delta chief, says MSP is asset Twin Cities must protect

Anderson, former Delta chief, says MSP is asset Twin Cities must protect

He warns that the airport's operation should not be "politicized"
General Mills, other major food companies, to see fruits of cost-cutting programs this year

General Mills, other major food companies, to see fruits of cost-cutting programs this year

Moody's projects a short-term bump, but the ratings agency's optimism comes with concern.
Former MN chicken plant worker charged in contamination incident

Former MN chicken plant worker charged in contamination incident

Worker at Gold'n Plump plant in Cold Spring accused of putting sand and dirt on chicken meat.
Cargill, dependent on trade and immigration, criticizes Trump's stance

Cargill, dependent on trade and immigration, criticizes Trump's stance

CEO speaks out for his private company that usually keeps a low profile.
Hormel annual meeting is a January tradition in Austin: fast, friendly, filled with questions and a gift

Hormel annual meeting is a January tradition in Austin: fast, friendly, filled with questions and a gift

Company's annual meeting is still Austin's biggest social event of the year
Hormel suspends Okla. supplier after video alleging pig mistreatment

Hormel suspends Okla. supplier after video alleging pig mistreatment

Buying from Maschhoffs is now suspended as inquiries begin.

Frontier will soon go to two Ohio cities from MSP

Low-cost carrier will fly to Cleveland and Cincinnati from the Twin Cities.
Cargill, 3M keep close eye on U.S. travel ban

Cargill, 3M keep close eye on U.S. travel ban

Minnesota's most-diverse employers count on global movement of employees.
Fractious time for airlines and online sites that sell airfare

Fractious time for airlines and online sites that sell airfare

Lack of disclosure means consumers are left guessing on how to get the best deal. It also has left airlines and independent travel websites accusing one another of unfair business practices.
United tests no-frills fares at MSP because we follow rules so well

United tests no-frills fares at MSP because we follow rules so well

United Airlines, which will soon launch no-frills basic economy fares, chose Minneapolis-St. Paul as a test market in part because Minnesotans tend to follow rules.
Cargill joins other multinationals in eliminating deforestation for food production

Cargill joins other multinationals in eliminating deforestation for food production

Wal-Mart, Mars and other major companies join the effort that focuses on the Amazon.
General Mills again invests in kale chip firm

General Mills again invests in kale chip firm

$6 million investment comes from venture-capital arm 301 Inc.
Cargill deep in exploration for alternative sources of fish feed

Cargill deep in exploration for alternative sources of fish feed

People want to eat more fish, and the fish need better food to grow.
Pilgrim's Pride closes GNP purchase, lays off 30 people

Pilgrim's Pride closes GNP purchase, lays off 30 people

The deal combines Minnesota's largest poultry firm with the nation's second-largest.
General Mills rolls out a new Cheerios, brings back custard-style yogurt

General Mills rolls out a new Cheerios, brings back custard-style yogurt

New flavor of Cheerios among offerings aimed to fit consumer demand.
Cargill's operating profit jumps strongly as all segments rise

Cargill's operating profit jumps strongly as all segments rise

Strong turkey sales before Thanksgiving and a beef rebound led gains across the company.
Delta cancels hundreds of flights amid Florida shooting, storm in Atlanta

Delta cancels hundreds of flights amid Florida shooting, storm in Atlanta

Cancellations rippled through Delta network; MSP de-icing crew went to Atlanta to help.
Macy's sells downtown Mpls. store, will close it in March

Macy's sells downtown Mpls. store, will close it in March

The move will bring an end to more than a century of department store retailing in the heart of the city.
Airline classes turn into segments with greater variety of prices, features

Airline classes turn into segments with greater variety of prices, features

Delta, with an eye on revenue and profit, moves quickly to break in its new segments.
State tells Norseman to stop selling Leathered Aquavit

State tells Norseman to stop selling Leathered Aquavit

After getting a complaint, Agriculture Department issues a consumer notice.
Grace Mary Ederer, U microbiologist and lifelong learner shared all she knew

Grace Mary Ederer, U microbiologist and lifelong learner shared all she knew

Everything Grace Mary Ederer learned, she shared with others.Sometimes she did this in her formal role as professor of clinical microbiology at the University of…
Delta to move forward with Aeromexico joint venture

Delta to move forward with Aeromexico joint venture

Delta Air Lines is proceeding on a joint venture with Mexico's largest airline, Aeromexico, accepting the federal government's antitrust conditions placed on the alliance.
Hormel Foods settles discrimination case by hiring women at Nebraska plant

Hormel Foods settles discrimination case by hiring women at Nebraska plant

Labor Department found the firm may have discriminated against women at Neb. plant.
General Mills executives suggest spending cuts went too far

General Mills executives suggest spending cuts went too far

Profit, sales fall as leaders suggest that some cuts might have gone too far.
Gophers' boycott would barely register in U's big-money athletic budget

Gophers' boycott would barely register in U's big-money athletic budget

While a bonus to the U, it is a relatively small one for an athletic program with an annual budget exceeding $70 million that chronically runs a deficit of several million dollars.
Old Dutch recalls some potato and tortilla chips over seasoning worry

Old Dutch recalls some potato and tortilla chips over seasoning worry

Virginia dairy supplier to the St. Paul firm recalled some ingredients over fears of Salmonella contamination.
USDA says use-by labels aren't really needed on foods

USDA says use-by labels aren't really needed on foods

The agency, in hoping to reduce waste, suggests new phrasing for food packaging.
Is General Mills ripe for a takeover? Speculation intensifies

Is General Mills ripe for a takeover? Speculation intensifies

A Brazilian billionaire who helped merge Kraft and Heinz last year could have General Mills in his sights next.
General Mills to cut up to 600 jobs in global restructuring

General Mills to cut up to 600 jobs in global restructuring

The food giant is eliminating the top international post and hundreds of jobs along with it in an effort to save money.
Macy's in talks about downtown Mpls. site; no decision made on closing

Macy's in talks about downtown Mpls. site; no decision made on closing

The downtown Minneapolis Macy's — known best locally as the longtime flagship of the Dayton's ­Department Store chain — has been the source of speculation and real estate dealings for several years.

Delta pilots ratify contract that yields 30 percent pay increase over four years

The approval rate was the highest ever seen in a deal between Delta and its pilots.
Read our comment standards

StarTribune.com welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in substantive, mutually respectful exchanges over news topics. Commenters must follow our Terms of Use.

  1. Keep it civil and stay on topic.
  2. No profanity, vulgarity, racial slurs or personal attacks.
  3. Comments with web links are not permitted.
  4. Comments that violate the above will be removed. Repeat violators may lose their commenting privileges on StarTribune.com.

Comments will be reviewed before being published.

More from Star Tribune