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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
Memorial Day weekend gas prices lowest in at least seven years

Memorial Day weekend gas prices lowest in at least seven years

Prices ahead of the holiday remain a relative bargain despite a recent increases that reflect rising demand.

Boys on bike hit by car in St. Paul

Two boys riding on one bicycle in St. Paul were hit by a car Sunday, with one suffering critical injuries. The incident occurred about 6…

Fire damages restaurant, coffee shop near Lake Calhoun

Sunday afternoon fire damaged a Noodles & Co. and a Caribou Coffee shop.

Man critically injured in St. Paul bar shooting

Injured suspect called police and was arrested.
Young woman stole squad car, drove it 25 miles, then crashed

Young woman stole squad car, drove it 25 miles, then crashed

An apparently intoxicated young woman stole a University of North Dakota squad car on Sunday, police say, driving it from Grand Forks to Crookston where…
Minn. public company profits down 11%, first big dip since recession

Minn. public company profits down 11%, first big dip since recession

Strong dollar, oil slump are putting a drag on Minnesota corporate profits.
Kraft Heinz to spend $100 million expanding New Ulm plant

Kraft Heinz to spend $100 million expanding New Ulm plant

While Kraft Heinz is closing several plants across the country, the food giant is investing more than $100 million in Minnesota, expanding its New Ulm…
General Mills makes investment in Kite Hill

General Mills makes investment in Kite Hill

California company uses almond milk to make alternatives to traditional dairy products.

Recall of sunflower seed products widens as SunOpta reels in Planters products

All the recalls have been tied to a listeria contamination at a plant in northwest Minnesota.
Famous Dave's posts another 'unsatisfactory' quarter

Famous Dave's posts another 'unsatisfactory' quarter

Sales drop; CEO resolves to turn the situation around.

Hy-Vee recalls frozen fried rice products

The recall is linked to a broader series tied to listeria contamination.
Xcel's profit rises 57 percent on cut in expenses

Xcel's profit rises 57 percent on cut in expenses

Mild weather held down demand for heat during the first three months of the year.
Why Cargill executives are moving out of Lake Minnetonka mansion office

Why Cargill executives are moving out of Lake Minnetonka mansion office

"I want to be near the team," said Dave MacLennan, Cargill's CEO since 2013. The Lake Office "is too quiet."

Sunflower nut recall connected to SunOpta Minnesota plant widens

Recalls linked to possibly listeria-tainted sunflower nuts processed in Crookston have mushroomed, and now appear to involve several major food companies across the nation.
Cargill seeing renewed success in Argentina

Cargill seeing renewed success in Argentina

A new regime has made the country a friendlier place for the export trade.

Planters, other SunOpta sunflower kernel products recalled

Crookston plant is shut down temporarily until the problem is resolved.
Cargill CEO Dave MacLennan: Food consumers are increasingly values voters

Cargill CEO Dave MacLennan: Food consumers are increasingly values voters

Customer choices likely to cause more disruption for companies.
Cereal makers try to win back millennials after soggy sales

Cereal makers try to win back millennials after soggy sales

Cereal isn't just for breakfast anymore as manufacturers pitch it as a snack food.
Beans fueling big expansion at Faribault Foods

Beans fueling big expansion at Faribault Foods

Faribault Foods, launching a big expansion, finds its profit niche in canning – beans in particular

Hormel sells Diamond Crystal Brands to private equity firm in Texas

Hormel Foods has sold its Diamond Crystal Brands business to a Texas private equity firm for an undisclosed price. Diamond Crystal, which is based in…
Some investors hit pause on Buffalo Wild Wings

Some investors hit pause on Buffalo Wild Wings

Stock sinks after company misses on expectations.
As sales slip, Buffalo Wild Wings stock takes a dive

As sales slip, Buffalo Wild Wings stock takes a dive

The restaurant chain's stock fell 11 percent as investors reacted to the financial results that were announced Tuesday afternoon.
Supervalu's profit beats forecasts despite pressure on sales

Supervalu's profit beats forecasts despite pressure on sales

With Supervalu posting another quarter of sagging sales, the company’s new CEO has his hands full — but at least he understands his mission. “Our…

Cargill buys back candle company it sold in 2007

Cargill is getting back into the candle business with the purchase of NatureWax, a market-leading provider of natural waxes. Minnetonka-based Cargill owned NatureWax from its…

Ex-finance officer of Fagen Inc. charged with embezzling $5.7 million

She is charged with embezzling $5.7M from contractor from 2006-15.
North Dakota rig count drops to lowest level in more than a decade

North Dakota rig count drops to lowest level in more than a decade

The number of rigs drilling for oil in the Bakken fields has fallen nearly 90 percent from a May 2012 high.

Famous Dave's hires Dexter Newman as CFO

Restaurant chain hires former Best Buy executive as chief financial officer.

Report faults Xcel's handling of solar garden project

A state-commissioned review reports energy company is to blame for slow approval process.
Cargill's adjusted profit jumps 13 percent despite broad pressure on commodity prices

Cargill's adjusted profit jumps 13 percent despite broad pressure on commodity prices

The third-quarter jump occurred despite pressure on commodity prices.
Campbell challenges some of General Mills' Progresso soup ads

Campbell challenges some of General Mills' Progresso soup ads

Campbell Soup has challenged the accuracy of some General Mills’ TV ads for Progresso soup, and an industry self-regulating group has issued a split decision…
Minn. entrepreneur hopes for win with gun sized and shaped like a cellphone

Minn. entrepreneur hopes for win with gun sized and shaped like a cellphone

Monticello man worked with engineering firm on a handgun that is shaped like a cellphone.
Supervalu joins cage-free egg movement

Supervalu joins cage-free egg movement

Supervalu said Tuesday it plans to sell only cage-free eggs by 2025, the latest food company to make such a pledge.
General Mills earnings tops forecasts despite lagging sales

General Mills earnings tops forecasts despite lagging sales

Earnings have topped forecasts but U.S. sales struggle to bounce back.
General Mills to start using GMO labeling nationwide

General Mills to start using GMO labeling nationwide

With Vermont's labeling law looming, the company said it needed to find a cost-effective solution.

Pizza Ranch linked to E. coli outbreak that sickened five in Minnesota

Of 13 people sickened, five were Minnesotans.
U study: Rural areas could have shortage of groceries in decade

U study: Rural areas could have shortage of groceries in decade

Aging buildings and thin profit margins pose challenges at a time when 62 percent of small-town grocers said they plan to leave the business within 10 years.
Jack Link's purchases snack business, launches higher-end jerky brand

Jack Link's purchases snack business, launches higher-end jerky brand

Jack Link's has purchased the meat snack business of Grass Run Farms, a deal coming soon after Link's introduction of a new jerky brand call Lorissa's Kitchen.

General Mills speeds up timeline to help increase organic ingredients

The company says it will double acreage devoted to organic food by 2019.
Somali workers in Colorado file EEOC complaint against Cargill

Somali workers in Colorado file EEOC complaint against Cargill

Dispute stems from December incident in which Muslim employees said they were not allowed prayer breaks.
General Mills invests in cottage cheese maker Good Culture

General Mills invests in cottage cheese maker Good Culture

General Mills’ venture capital arm is one of two lead investors in a $2.1 million financing round for cottage cheese maker Good Culture. The investment…

Applegate recalls some packaged chicken nuggets

About 9,000 packages of Applegate chicken nuggets have been recalled after some consumers found pieces of plastic in the product. The chicken nuggets were made…

Old Country Buffet files for third bankruptcy; only 1 left in Twin Cities

The smorgasbord of Old Country Buffets is now down to one selection in the Twin Cities: Burnsville.In concert with another planned bankruptcy filing, the national…
Deal raises wages of Twin Cities janitors by 12% over four years

Deal raises wages of Twin Cities janitors by 12% over four years

A deal reached early Monday averted a second walkout and will be voted on this weekend.
Cargill looks to the future with an eye on costs

Cargill looks to the future with an eye on costs

Acquisitions and cuts are on the table for the agribusiness giant.
Obituary: Air Force Col. Jerry Driscoll not bitter about time as Vietnam POW

Obituary: Air Force Col. Jerry Driscoll not bitter about time as Vietnam POW

Driscoll, a 24-year Air Force veteran who lived in Wayzata, died Feb. 20 at age 75, after a six-year battle with the neuromuscular disease primary lateral sclerosis.

Government sues Land O'Lakes over Oklahoma Superfund site

The U.S. government sued Land O’Lakes this week, saying the company must pay $23.4 million in cleanup costs for an oil refinery it never actually…
Despite another loss, Famous Dave's new CEO sees signs of progress

Despite another loss, Famous Dave's new CEO sees signs of progress

Comparable store sales dropped nearly 11 percent at company-owned outlets.
Cargill, Ukraine finalize plans for $100 million port on Black Sea

Cargill, Ukraine finalize plans for $100 million port on Black Sea

Cargill plans to move about 70 percent of its Ukrainian grain through the port.
2015 was record year in Minnesota for salmonella cases

2015 was record year in Minnesota for salmonella cases

There were 973 people in Minnesota with state-confirmed cases of salmonella, the most since health officials started tracking in the early 1990s.
General Mills unveils line of Annie's branded cereals

General Mills unveils line of Annie's branded cereals

General Mills will roll out Annie’s branded organic cereals this spring, the latest new product line to be sold under the Annie’s brand. Well, new…
Hormel raises profit outlook after a jump in quarterly earnings

Hormel raises profit outlook after a jump in quarterly earnings

Lower pork prices drove a jump in quarterly earnings at the company's biggest unit.

Schwan's fined for OSHA violations at Kansas frozen pizza plant

The incidents occurred at a frozen pizza plant in Kansas.

Hormel recalls some cans of Dinty Moore beef stew

Hormel Foods Tuesday voluntarily recalled 450 pounds of Dinty Moore canned beef stew because of possible contamination with pieces of a broken flashlight. The 40…
Old Country Buffet abruptly closes 74 stores, 7 in Twin Cities

Old Country Buffet abruptly closes 74 stores, 7 in Twin Cities

The Twin Cities has just three Old Country Buffet restaurants left after its parent company abruptly shut down seven locations Thursday part of a national restructuring that closed a total of 74 restaurants.
Buffalo Wild Wings misses on fourth-quarter expectations

Buffalo Wild Wings misses on fourth-quarter expectations

The Golden Valley-based restaurant chain missed on analysts' expectations.
Supervalu names grocery executive Mark Gross as new CEO

Supervalu names grocery executive Mark Gross as new CEO

Eden Prairie-based Supervalu has been looking for a new leader for the past few months after current CEO Sam Duncan announced plans to retire.
Judge bars Chobani ads critical of other yogurts after General Mills suit

Judge bars Chobani ads critical of other yogurts after General Mills suit

General Mills filed a false advertising suit against the yogurt competitor.

Phaseout of Cargill's Black River Asset Management completed

The new Garda Capital Partners will take over fixed income hedge fund business.
University of Minnesota study says farmers may have aided bird flu's spread

University of Minnesota study says farmers may have aided bird flu's spread

A study from the U cites the use of wash stations, tilling nearby fields as possible epidemic aids.

Police investigating four armed robberies near University of Minnesota

Minneapolis police are now investigating four armed robberies near the University of Minnesota in less than a week, the latest occurring at 1:45 a.m. Saturday.…

Twin Cities janitors authorize strike if no pact reached by Feb. 14

Stalled negotiations led to Saturday's unanimous vote, the union said.
Cargill's foray into Ukrainian banks cautionary international business tale

Cargill's foray into Ukrainian banks cautionary international business tale

It appears Cargill was able to divest itself of any interest in Delta Bank before its failure, but the company's Ukrainian banking foray offers a cautionary tale of international business risk.

A strong finish for Minnesota employment in December

State gained 9,100 jobs during December, and added more than 42K for all of 2015.

Cargill closing London transportation office

Global shipping business conditions forced the move, company said.
Schwan teams with up-and-coming chefs to update menu

Schwan teams with up-and-coming chefs to update menu

Schwan, best known for delivering frozen meals to consumers' doorsteps, has assembled a team it calls the "future stars of the culinary world" to help introduce new products and update existing ones.
Annie's yogurt another milestone for natural foods division of General Mills

Annie's yogurt another milestone for natural foods division of General Mills

Natural, organic food company has grown since General Mills acquired it.
Supervalu stock takes hit for second day in a row

Supervalu stock takes hit for second day in a row

Analysts issued critical reviews and the company's stock plunged again on Thursday.
Sales fall in Supervalu units, but profit comes in line with expectations

Sales fall in Supervalu units, but profit comes in line with expectations

Stock dropped 15 percent as investors reacted to the third-quarter posting.

General Mills invests in Texas natural foods company

General Mills is the lead investor in a $3 million financing round for a Texas company known for its kale chips and other natural and…
General Mills sues Chobani over ad that likens Yoplait to bug spray

General Mills sues Chobani over ad that likens Yoplait to bug spray

Lawsuit says an advertising campaign falsely claims Yoplait Greek 100 contains a pesticide.

Cargill changes hiring policy following dispute involving Muslim workers

Ex-employees can reapply for work sooner now after the dispute in Colorado.

Supervalu lays out some terms of a Save-A-Lot spinoff

The company would keep about a 20 percent stake.
Cargill's adjusted profit falls for its second quarter

Cargill's adjusted profit falls for its second quarter

Two big sales bumped the bottom line as trouble hit the company elsewhere.
General Mills buys Texas maker of snack bars with meat in them

General Mills buys Texas maker of snack bars with meat in them

Epic Provisions, known for mixing meat with fruit and nuts for creative combinations, will operate under Annie's.

Argentem Creek Partners first to spin off from Cargill's Black River Asset Management

The first of three companies to be split off from Cargill’s Black River Asset Management has opened for business under the name Argentem Creek Partners.…
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