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Mike Hughlett

Reporter | Food industry
phone: 612-673-7003
Mike Hughlett covers the food industry for the Star Tribune,.including General Mills and Supervalu. Previously, he was a food reporter for the Chicago Tribune.
Recent content from Mike Hughlett
SunOpta buys fruit processor Sunrise Growers for $450 million

SunOpta buys fruit processor Sunrise Growers for $450 million

The deal is the latest by the fast-growing food company that has a sizable Minnesota operation.
Cargill's Black River closes four hedge funds

Cargill's Black River closes four hedge funds

Black River, based in Hopkins, will pay out about $1 billion of the more than $7 billion it has under management to investors, including Cargill.
Bird flu vaccine for turkeys could be near

Bird flu vaccine for turkeys could be near

Experts in front of Congressional ag subcommittee also talked about continued economic effects of flu.
Buffalo Wild Wings' stock shoots up despite tepid earnings report

Buffalo Wild Wings' stock shoots up despite tepid earnings report

Analysts cite same-store sales increases as a good sign.
Buffalo Wild Wings shares soar despite 2Q miss

Buffalo Wild Wings shares soar despite 2Q miss

Buffalo Wild Wings’ second quarter profits were down more than 9 percent and fell short of stock analysts’ estimates, as the restaurant chain coped with…
Supervalu shares climb after it reveals plan to spin off Save-A-Lot

Supervalu shares climb after it reveals plan to spin off Save-A-Lot

The decision came as the food wholesaler reported quarterly earnings that beat expectations.
Consumer angst at forefront of GMO labeling debate

Consumer angst at forefront of GMO labeling debate

Regulators long ago blessed the use of genetically modified organisms to grow such staple foods as corn and sugar beets. But in an age of “Big Food” skepticism, consumers have increasingly become wary of GMOs.

Minnesota poultry industry slowly coming back from bird flu losses

Kandiyohi County has been released from quarantine by state animal health regulators.
Hy-Vee has plan for aggressive growth in the Twin Cities

Hy-Vee has plan for aggressive growth in the Twin Cities

If Hy-Vee has its way, the grocery chain’s first two Twin Cities stores set to open in September will be the beginning of a long-term shake-up of the area’s supermarket business.
General Mills says it will close plants in West Chicago, Missouri

General Mills says it will close plants in West Chicago, Missouri

The plants make cereal, dry dinners and snacks.
Famous Dave's hit with another board shake-up

Famous Dave's hit with another board shake-up

Activist investor Joseph Jacobs of Wexford now is chairman.
SunOpta, deeply rooted in Minnesota, is a big player in organic, non-GMO food

SunOpta, deeply rooted in Minnesota, is a big player in organic, non-GMO food

The organic food processor is the first to have the USDA verify that it uses non-modified ingredients
General Mills works toward animal welfare goals, including using cage-free eggs

General Mills works toward animal welfare goals, including using cage-free eggs

General Mills is working toward using only cage-free eggs in its products, joining several other large food manufacturers and retailers.Golden Valley-based General Mills’ cage-free egg…
General Mills shifts resources away from Green Giant

General Mills shifts resources away from Green Giant

The fourth quarter capped a fiscal year in which General Mills — like packaged food makers generally — slogged through with a mediocre U.S. performance.
Cargill selling pork unit to JBS USA Pork

Cargill selling pork unit to JBS USA Pork

The deal, subject to regulatory approval, is worth $1.45 billion.
General Mills plans to cut about 700 more jobs

General Mills plans to cut about 700 more jobs

Most of the 700 trims will be of salaried positions abroad; the company will reinvest savings in global growth strategies.

Watkins broadens pepper deception claims against rival McCormick

The Winona company alleges misdeeds extend to pepper jars.
Dairy Queen celebrates 75 with new "DQ Bakes” menu items

Dairy Queen celebrates 75 with new "DQ Bakes” menu items

Dairy Queen announced Monday what it calls the largest new menu rollout in its 75-year history, complete with new hot sandwiches and hot desserts a…
Artificial colors, flavors to be nixed from General Mills cereals

Artificial colors, flavors to be nixed from General Mills cereals

General Mills appears to be the first major U.S. cereal maker to systemically extract artificial colors.
Former Cargill president and chief operating officer Heinz Hutter dies at 85

Former Cargill president and chief operating officer Heinz Hutter dies at 85

He was known for building new businesses and his love of opera.
Still struggling, Famous Dave's changes CEOs again

Still struggling, Famous Dave's changes CEOs again

Ed Rensi, who was CEO for about 18 months, is the third chief executive to depart the barbecue restaurant chain in the last three years.
FDA ruling means 'final nail in the coffin' for trans fat

FDA ruling means 'final nail in the coffin' for trans fat

After years of activism by food groups, the FDA has ordered food companies to phase out the fat within three years
USDA: Biosecurity lapses likely played a role in spread of bird flu

USDA: Biosecurity lapses likely played a role in spread of bird flu

Many have stepped up biosecurity since virus hit.
No new bird flu cases in Minnesota; USDA plans update Monday

No new bird flu cases in Minnesota; USDA plans update Monday

Industry is encouraged after a week of no new bird flu outbreaks in Minnesota, the nation’s No. 1 turkey-producing state

McCormick says it is not deceiving customers with product labeling

The spice giant says there is no truth to competitor Watkins’ claims

Watkins sues McCormick and Co. over pepper tins, claiming deception

Lawsuit claims amount of pepper in tins has been cut back.

General Mills nixes 'Nibblr' snack service

The company will ‘focus our resources on other projects.’
General Mills starts selling Yoplait in China

General Mills starts selling Yoplait in China

General Mills wants a piece of the country’s $10 billion yogurt market.
Obituary: Ruth Reister, trailblazer, business exec, researcher

Obituary: Ruth Reister, trailblazer, business exec, researcher

Armed with an education in law and business, Ruth Reister joined the corporate world at a time when women and high commerce didn’t often mix.She…

Cargill lays off 45 IT workers in Hopkins

The Hopkins workers received a severance package.

Renville County farm with young hens is latest to get bird flu

The latest farm hit was raising young hens, potentially affecting the industry’s rebuilding process.

Cargill road salt unit agrees to pay $7.7M to settle Ohio antitrust lawsuit

Cargill and Morton Salt will pay $11.5 million.
Egg shortage from bird flu trickling down to consumers

Egg shortage from bird flu trickling down to consumers

The bird flu that’s squeezing the nation’s egg supply is creating headaches for food companies all along the supply chain — from agribusiness colossus Cargill…

Hormel agrees to buy organic and natural meat maker Applegate Farms

Applegate will operate as an autonomous standalone subsidiary of Hormel’s refrigerated foods division.

Bird flu hits six more Minnesota farms after a week of no cases

After more than a week of no bird flu incidents, six new outbreaks at Minnesota turkey farms were disclosed Tuesday by animal health regulators.The six…
Minnesota county hit hard by ripple effects of state's bird flu epidemic

Minnesota county hit hard by ripple effects of state's bird flu epidemic

In Kandiyohi County, which is the largest turkey producer in the nation’s biggest turkey-producing state, losses are adding up from the feed mill to the grocery store.
General Mills, with Nestle, is trying to make cereal bigger overseas

General Mills, with Nestle, is trying to make cereal bigger overseas

General Mills Inc.’s global cereal partnership with Nestlé, Cereal Partners Worldwide, turns 25 years old this year, and is as important as ever.
Hormel CEO sees fall as 'wild card' because of bird flu

Hormel CEO sees fall as 'wild card' because of bird flu

Hormel’s other businesses, from bacon to muscle milk, are performing well and its latest profit rose solidly.
Twin Cities grocers have temporary egg shortages because of bird flu

Twin Cities grocers have temporary egg shortages because of bird flu

Temporary supply gaps hit Cub Foods — the metro area’s biggest grocer — and Lunds & Byerlys and Kowalski’s.
Famous Dave's sees profits, revenue decline after ending discounts

Famous Dave's sees profits, revenue decline after ending discounts

The barbecue chain’s first-quarter earnings slid 62 percent, missing analysts’ expectations.
Jennie-O idles 233 Minn. workers as bird flu cuts turkey supplies

Jennie-O idles 233 Minn. workers as bird flu cuts turkey supplies

The division of Hormel Foods cited bird flu for the reduction, which takes effect May 26.
Minn. farm with 1.1M hens, largest yet, gets bird flu

Minn. farm with 1.1M hens, largest yet, gets bird flu

Lethal virus found at egg farm in Nicollet County with 1.1 million hens.
Rembrandt Foods egg farm could be largest hit by bird flu

Rembrandt Foods egg farm could be largest hit by bird flu

The bird flu has struck an egg-laying operation in Iowa owned by prominent Minnesota businessman Glen Taylor, with an estimated 5.5 million birds.
Buffalo Wild Wings stock takes a beating after earnings disappoint

Buffalo Wild Wings stock takes a beating after earnings disappoint

Some investors fled after higher chicken, labor costs hurt first-quarter earnings
Bird flu strikes 11 additional turkey farms in Minnesota

Bird flu strikes 11 additional turkey farms in Minnesota

The bird flu has surfaced at 11 more Minnesota turkey farms, bringing to 67 the number of state poultry flocks afflicted by the virus, state…

Supervalu shares tumble after big shareholder begins sale

Private equity firm is now free to sell grocer’s shares.
Lunds and Byerly's stores get new name: 'Lunds & Byerlys'

Lunds and Byerly's stores get new name: 'Lunds & Byerlys'

The re-branding will kick off Thursday at the Byerly’s store in Woodbury, when new signage will be revealed, new employee uniforms and grocery bags will carry the new name.
Supervalu's stock down after posting a mixed quarter

Supervalu's stock down after posting a mixed quarter

Cub’s owner beat Wall Street estimates, but stock sank more than 7 percent.
Buffalo Wild Wings shares tumble after weak quarter

Buffalo Wild Wings shares tumble after weak quarter

The company's shares fell 13% in early trading this morning.

Michael Foods egg supply hit by bird flu

About 10 percent of the Post-owned company’s eggs were affected.
New bird flu cases push state's losses to over 3 million birds

New bird flu cases push state's losses to over 3 million birds

The H5N2 virus also hit four more Iowa egg-laying operations.
Bird flu epidemic takes toll on health of Hormel's Jennie-O

Bird flu epidemic takes toll on health of Hormel's Jennie-O

At least 29 turkey suppliers to the Hormel unit have been hit by the virus, forcing cuts in production.
Loss of flock from bird flu is a shock to Minn. turkey farmer

Loss of flock from bird flu is a shock to Minn. turkey farmer

"You realize they are sick, and three days later they are dying and you can’t do anything about it. It’s a helpless feeling,” John Burkel said of the bird flu ravaging Minnesota birds.
Dayton declares state of emergency over bird flu

Dayton declares state of emergency over bird flu

A third-generation egg producer in northwestern Minnesota has been hit by the bird flu, marking the first time since this outbreak began that the disease has been detected in the state in commercially-raised chickens.
Minn. turkey deaths to top 2M with new outbreaks

Minn. turkey deaths to top 2M with new outbreaks

Three more farms in Minnesota were hit on Tuesday.
Federal scientists working on bird flu vaccines

Federal scientists working on bird flu vaccines

The work on a human vaccine is purely a preventive measure.
5.3 million hens to be destroyed as bird flu spreads to NW Iowa chicken farm

5.3 million hens to be destroyed as bird flu spreads to NW Iowa chicken farm

About 5.3 million chickens will be lost. Also, Hormel warned that turkey losses could hurt profits.
Caribou Coffee launches mobile app that benefits repeat customers

Caribou Coffee launches mobile app that benefits repeat customers

The coffee chain’s customers can also get updates on loyalty program features.
Caribou Coffee finally launched a mobile app

Caribou Coffee finally launched a mobile app

Customers can pay by phone and see new features of loyalty program.
Bird flu may persist for several years in Minnesota, rest of U.S.

Bird flu may persist for several years in Minnesota, rest of U.S.

USDA, state officials testified before Minnesota House agriculture committee on Thursday.
Bird flu has become 'epidemic,' with 1.4M Minn. turkeys affected

Bird flu has become 'epidemic,' with 1.4M Minn. turkeys affected

Highly lethal bird flu is taking on epidemic proportions, hitting eight more Minnesota turkey farms and bringing the number of birds affected in the state to more than 1.4 million.
Wisconsin chicken farm hit by bird flu afflicting Minnesota turkeys

Wisconsin chicken farm hit by bird flu afflicting Minnesota turkeys

It’s the first case in Wisconsin; three more Minnesota turkey farms have confirmed cases.

Coborn's grocery chain buying Marketplace Foods in Wisconsin

The St. Cloud-based Coburn’s will gain four stores.
Minnesota turkey farmers could take devastating hit from bird flu

Minnesota turkey farmers could take devastating hit from bird flu

Minnesota, home of the nation’s largest turkey industry, is the epicenter of the worst U.S. outbreak of highly pathogenic bird flu in at least 30 years. The outbreak baffles scientists.
Minnesota's food expertise reaches across the ocean

Minnesota's food expertise reaches across the ocean

General Mills and Cargill workers are spearheading Partners in Food Solutions, an effort to improve food production and distribution in Africa.
Bird flu hits four more Minnesota farms, three new counties

Bird flu hits four more Minnesota farms, three new counties

Outbreak spreads to three more counties, with 13 farms affected in all
Hormel farm in Meeker County is latest in Minnesota with bird flu

Hormel farm in Meeker County is latest in Minnesota with bird flu

The highly lethal bird flu has struck a ninth Minnesota farm in the most deadly outbreak yet, upping the total turkey death count in the state by 91 percent.
Eighth Minnesota turkey farm hit with bird flu

Eighth Minnesota turkey farm hit with bird flu

It is the second farm hit in Kandiyohi County, the state's largest turkey-producing county.
Bird flu hits two more Minnesota turkey farms; total now at 7

Bird flu hits two more Minnesota turkey farms; total now at 7

Two more turkey farms — including another in Stearns County — have been hit by bird flu, bringing to seven the number of Minnesota farms afflicted by the virus, state animal health officials announced Monday.
Bird flu hits biggest Minnesota turkey farm so far

Bird flu hits biggest Minnesota turkey farm so far

The farm was the fifth hit in Minnesota and the second in Stearns County.
Bird flu strikes another commercial turkey facility in Minnesota

Bird flu strikes another commercial turkey facility in Minnesota

The fifth case adds a second Stearns County operation; 170,000 birds have been destroyed already.
Famous Dave's founder is opening a new barbecue restaurant

Famous Dave's founder is opening a new barbecue restaurant

Famous Dave Anderson isn’t Famous Dave anymore. And he’s launching a new restaurant — Jimmie’s Old Southern Smokehouse BBQ — to prove it.
"Famous Dave" Anderson opening new BBQ restaurant

"Famous Dave" Anderson opening new BBQ restaurant

Famous Dave Anderson isn’t Famous Dave anymore. And he’s launching a new restaurant — Jimmie’s Old Southern Smokehouse BBQ — to prove it.
General Mills looks to put a fresh face on its Green Giant brand

General Mills looks to put a fresh face on its Green Giant brand

Rumored to be on the block, Green Giant is looking to get in on the nation's rekindled romance with vegetables.
Bird flu hits second Minnesota turkey farm

Bird flu hits second Minnesota turkey farm

Regulators have quarantined a farm in Lac qui Parle County, where the disease wiped out a flock of 66,000 birds.
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