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
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.
General Mills joins effort to support bee and butterfly habitats

General Mills joins effort to support bee and butterfly habitats

The company is giving $2 million to a pollinator conservation group.
Pilgrim's Pride buys St. Cloud-based Gold'n Plump for $350 million

Pilgrim's Pride buys St. Cloud-based Gold'n Plump for $350 million

The deal puts the largest chicken processor in the Midwest into the hands of the No. 2 chicken firm nationally.
Ex-Cargill worker pleads guilty to defrauding company of millions

Ex-Cargill worker pleads guilty to defrauding company of millions

Accountant in Albany, N.Y., roped customers into scheme that caused $25M in losses.
At Hormel, hitting growth targets means doing more deals

At Hormel, hitting growth targets means doing more deals

Spam can't supply the growth the food company is looking for. For that, it's seeking more acquisitions, large or small.

Body found in Mendota Heights nature preserve identified as missing man

Joseph Michael Hernandez, 35, went missing earlier this month.

Sun Country flight attendants ratify new contract with pay raise

The new contract lasts for three years.
Hormel Foods posts increased profit to close its fiscal year

Hormel Foods posts increased profit to close its fiscal year

The Austin, Minn.-based firm saw gains in all lines but was squeezed in China by pork costs.
Hormel sells two meat brands to pork giant Smithfield

Hormel sells two meat brands to pork giant Smithfield

The $145 million sale to Smithfield Foods includes the Farmer John and Saag's brands.
Hormel joins cancer specialists to develop line of foods for chemo patients

Hormel joins cancer specialists to develop line of foods for chemo patients

Cancer researchers developing recipes for fatigued patients found a partner in Austin
General Mills has surprise growth star: Totino's frozen pizzas and rolls

General Mills has surprise growth star: Totino's frozen pizzas and rolls

Young consumers are flocking to Totino's pizza and its atypical marketing
Trump rally brings controversy for Sun Country

Trump rally brings controversy for Sun Country

The airline said in a statement that it is "apolitical," other than to support the political process.
Delta strikes a balance between economy, upscale in new international seating

Delta strikes a balance between economy, upscale in new international seating

'Premium' rivals an industry trend of aiming between first class, economy seating
Devry Boughner Vorwerk rejoins Cargill to lead global corporate affairs

Devry Boughner Vorwerk rejoins Cargill to lead global corporate affairs

She left the agribusiness giant earlier this year for what turned out to be a brief stint at a law firm.
Delta forges deal for Airbnb lodgers to get air miles

Delta forges deal for Airbnb lodgers to get air miles

The airline is the first major U.S. carrier to partner with the home-stay network.
Pearson's is developing new candy brand named for its St. Paul location

Pearson's is developing new candy brand named for its St. Paul location

Could good old Pearson Candy Co. really be cooking up ghost-chili chocolate squares or banana-bourbon ganache? Pearson’s, known for harnessing nostalgia with its old-timey candies,…
General Mills ends decades-long relationship with two ad firms

General Mills ends decades-long relationship with two ad firms

The food company's U.S. advertising will now be handled by 72andSunny with Redscout.
Big producers like General Mills, Organic Valley get creative with organic food

Big producers like General Mills, Organic Valley get creative with organic food

The U.S. has a shortage of organic milk, and General Mills — in the midst of expanding its organic yogurt business through its Annie's and Liberte brands — is relying on Organic Valley for help.
From MSP, Delta says goodbye to Rome and aloha to Honolulu

From MSP, Delta says goodbye to Rome and aloha to Honolulu

Delta Air Lines is cutting off Twin Cities passengers from the pasta and prodding them toward poi instead.The Atlanta-based carrier is dropping its short-lived nonstop…
General Mills to make Girl Scout cookie cereals in 2017

General Mills to make Girl Scout cookie cereals in 2017

Food giant taps into the popular cookies to boost lagging sales of cereal.
Macy's might close downtown Minneapolis store, a retail landmark

Macy's might close downtown Minneapolis store, a retail landmark

Sources say the landmark department store may be sold or significantly downsized.
Pepper partisans can keep fighting about tin sizes, judge says

Pepper partisans can keep fighting about tin sizes, judge says

Judge allows Watkins to proceed with action against rival McCormick.
Delta goes purple with new uniforms for crews on and off planes

Delta goes purple with new uniforms for crews on and off planes

  Delta Air Lines revealed Tuesday new uniforms for its flight attendants and ticket agents, updating the wardrobe for 60,000 employees for the first time…
Twin Cities becomes a no-antibiotics-ever market for Perdue Farms chickens

Twin Cities becomes a no-antibiotics-ever market for Perdue Farms chickens

It is an early leader among big producers to transform sourcing and processing.
General Mills taps into the ingenuity of start-up companies

General Mills taps into the ingenuity of start-up companies

General Mills made a critical business decision: Rather than compete with innovative food start-ups, the corporate giant is investing in them.
Beermaking supplier Northern Brewer bought by world's largest beer company

Beermaking supplier Northern Brewer bought by world's largest beer company

The venture capital arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev has acquired Roseville-based Northern Brewer, the nation’s largest home-brewing supplier, and its sister company ­Midwest Supplies. Northern Brewer…
KLM will start flying between MSP and Amsterdam again

KLM will start flying between MSP and Amsterdam again

It's a return after 16 years to MSP for one of Europe's biggest carriers.

Oaktree takes strategic stake in SunOpta for $85 million

The maker of organic foods still grapples with the effects of listeria contamination at a seed plant.
General Mills international chief O'Leary to leave company

General Mills international chief O'Leary to leave company

O'Leary spent nearly two decades in leadership roles at the food giant.
Cargill will start getting non-GMO ingredients verified by third-party group

Cargill will start getting non-GMO ingredients verified by third-party group

It plans for more tests to verify natural product.
Cargill sees profit jump in summer months, driven by meat business

Cargill sees profit jump in summer months, driven by meat business

Executives saw a payoff from strategic changes.
As coffee demand grows, Cameron's morphs from regional distributor to national brand

As coffee demand grows, Cameron's morphs from regional distributor to national brand

Cameron's is choosy on beans, prudent on costs to deliver specialty coffee at lower prices
As soup sales fall, General Mills updates Progresso ingredients, look

As soup sales fall, General Mills updates Progresso ingredients, look

While canned soup doesn't resonate as it once did with consumers, General Mills is making several changes to the signature soup line that executives hope will stem or reverse the decline.
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