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
JetBlue says it will begin MSP-Boston flights starting in May

JetBlue says it will begin MSP-Boston flights starting in May

Airport officials say they worked for several years to persuade the low-fare carrier to enter the Twin Cities market.
Cargill takes new steps to ensure integrity of cocoa supply

Cargill takes new steps to ensure integrity of cocoa supply

The giant agriculture processor is trying to halt child labor and deforestation practices on African farms.
Cargill's profit jumps 14 percent amid growth in beef and chocolate

Cargill's profit jumps 14 percent amid growth in beef and chocolate

Demand for beef helped Cargill overcome pressure on grains and other commodities.
Post sues General Mills over the look of bagged cereal displays

Post sues General Mills over the look of bagged cereal displays

Firm says its bigger rival is taking advantage of its success in bagged cereals.
Conagra buys Boomchickapop maker Angie's Artisan Treats

Conagra buys Boomchickapop maker Angie's Artisan Treats

A popcorn maker journeys from a Mankato garage into the hands of multinational conglomerate.
Vivid, colorful original Trix is returning to stores

Vivid, colorful original Trix is returning to stores

General Mills is bringing back the original formulation of Trix, after creating one that didn't use artificial colors and flavors.
Sun Country's bosses: We're still going to have a human touch

Sun Country's bosses: We're still going to have a human touch

New fees, including one to use the overhead bin But more warm destinations for the leisure traveler
Caribou Coffee buys Bruegger's Bagels for undisclosed price

Caribou Coffee buys Bruegger's Bagels for undisclosed price

It's the latest in a series of rapid acquisitions for Caribou's parent company, JAB Holding Co., which also owns Panera Bread and retail brand Keurig Green Mountain.
Hormel's Applegate bacon goes sugar free

Hormel's Applegate bacon goes sugar free

Applegate Naturals No Sugar Bacon will start appearing in grocery stores this month.
Sun Country pivots to no-frills style pricing, seating on flights

Sun Country pivots to no-frills style pricing, seating on flights

Sun Country Airlines' new boss is overhauling how it operates — and customers will feel the changes, including more fees and seats, similar to Spirit Airlines, and flights beyond its Twin Cities hub.
Schwan's invests in large-scale shrimp operation among Minnesota cornfields

Schwan's invests in large-scale shrimp operation among Minnesota cornfields

Schwan's hopes to make a splash with first big prawn farm in landlocked fields.
EEOC sides with fired Muslims at Cargill meatpacking plant

EEOC sides with fired Muslims at Cargill meatpacking plant

The federal commission found Muslim workers were denied their rights.
Longtime president of Annie's organic foods John Foraker leaves to join food start-up

Longtime president of Annie's organic foods John Foraker leaves to join food start-up

Foraker will leave his role at the biggest organic brand in General Mills' portfolio to pursue a new "disruptive" organic food venture.

TreeHouse Foods to close Brooklyn Park plant, idle 90

The Chicago-based foodmaker produced boxed dinners and side dishes at the site.

Cargill to buy animal feed business in southeast U.S.

The deal expands Cargill's presence in animal nutrition across southern, eastern and northeastern U.S.
General Mills' new CEO says food giant is ready to grow

General Mills' new CEO says food giant is ready to grow

Jeff Harmening, 50, steps into his new job at a time of immense challenge and change for a firm that goes back to the early days of Minneapolis.
Judge dismisses suit against General Mills over 'natural' oats label in granola bars

Judge dismisses suit against General Mills over 'natural' oats label in granola bars

Judge found General Mills was referring to an ingredient, not the bars.
Meat fuels Cargill's surge in profits

Meat fuels Cargill's surge in profits

U.S. beef consumption increased after a long decline, helping the global agribusiness giant post an 85 percent profit jump in 2017.
July 10: Sun Country names Jude Bricker as new CEO

July 10: Sun Country names Jude Bricker as new CEO

Jude Bricker, formerly of Allegiant Air, hired after a former executive was reassigned.
Sun Country Airlines CEO ousted and owner steps in

Sun Country Airlines CEO ousted and owner steps in

The Eagan-based airline is seeking a new president and CEO to replace Zarir Erani.
Paleopathology pioneer Mary Aufderheide, dead at 94, excelled in medicine and music, too

Paleopathology pioneer Mary Aufderheide, dead at 94, excelled in medicine and music, too

The accomplished =nurse and a professional violinist had a life defined by adventure, curiosity and an ever-expanding network of friends.
Yogurt Wars: Chobani steps up competition with General Mills for 'classic' consumers

Yogurt Wars: Chobani steps up competition with General Mills for 'classic' consumers

Yoplait's new Oui hasn't even hit store shelves yet.
After solid profit growth, General Mills will try to get sales growing again

After solid profit growth, General Mills will try to get sales growing again

The company's profit margin still strong despite two years of soft sales.
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.
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