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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
General Mills sells iconic Green Giant vegetable businesses for $765M

General Mills sells iconic Green Giant vegetable businesses for $765M

B&G Foods, the New Jersey-based maker of Cream of Wheat, is paying $765 million for the vegetable business.
Some Cub Foods customers double charged by 'technical issue' Friday

Some Cub Foods customers double charged by 'technical issue' Friday

Processing issues by vendor NCR caused the problems.
Real colors coming to artificial fruit snacks from General Mills

Real colors coming to artificial fruit snacks from General Mills

The company says it will be an easier change than taking artificial colors out of cereals.

General Mills recalls frozen green beans after listeria detected

The Golden Valley-based packaged food giant is the latest of several U.S. food companies to issue listeria-related recalls this year.
Best Buy shatters profit projections in summer months

Best Buy shatters profit projections in summer months

Best Buy Co. said its fiscal second-quarter profit rose 11.6 percent, far exceeding analysts’ forecasts and driven by strong sales in appliances, big TVs and mobile phones.
Fridley math teach Evelyn Vietz had special connection with students

Fridley math teach Evelyn Vietz had special connection with students

For a teacher, there’s no higher praise than kudos from students. And Evelyn “Evie” Vietz got plenty of them after teaching math for 34 years…
DQ Bakes is Dairy Queen's largest-ever menu expansion

DQ Bakes is Dairy Queen's largest-ever menu expansion

Look for a raft of Dairy Queen TV ads next month for its new DQ Bakes menu. The restaurant chain’s largest-ever menu boost is aimed at bolstering its appeal as a food destination, while fortifying its stronghold in sweet treats.
Hormel's latest profit beats forecasts despite bird flu impact, company raises outlook

Hormel's latest profit beats forecasts despite bird flu impact, company raises outlook

Skippy and Spam sales helped offset trouble in the Jennie-O turkey business.

General Mills introduces 'Good Table' brand

General Mills is launching a brand of “gourmet-style” dinner sauce and crust mixes called “The Good Table.” It debuts at a time when the Golden…
Cargill buys Norwegian salmon-feed company for $1.5 billion

Cargill buys Norwegian salmon-feed company for $1.5 billion

Purchase of Norwegian salmon feed producer boosts profile in a rapidly growing market.
Former Pillsbury executives plan to relaunch RyKrisp, but not in Minneapolis

Former Pillsbury executives plan to relaunch RyKrisp, but not in Minneapolis

New owners plan to sell the crackers online, in some stores.
CHS takes $2.8B stake in fertilizer maker CF, drops plan for N.D. plant

CHS takes $2.8B stake in fertilizer maker CF, drops plan for N.D. plant

The move comes after CHS concluded the North Dakota plant was too costly.
Minn. turkey industry struggles to restock after bird flu outbreak

Minn. turkey industry struggles to restock after bird flu outbreak

Optimistic farmers are eager for the rebound even as they prepare for a new outbreak.
HefeWheaties, the brew of champions, will debut at Fulton Beer

HefeWheaties, the brew of champions, will debut at Fulton Beer

Fulton joined General Mills for a limited-edition hefeweizen – but it’s not made with Wheaties.
Cargill reports loss in 4Q, drop in profit for full fiscal year

Cargill reports loss in 4Q, drop in profit for full fiscal year

The company battled software problems, currency meltdowns, occupied plants and even bird flu.
Famous Dave's says many of its changes were wrong

Famous Dave's says many of its changes were wrong

Famous Dave’s of America Inc. on Wednesday reported a 77 percent drop in second-quarter profit and harshly criticized its recently-departed chief executive for changes that upset customers of the barbecue chain.
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.
July 14: Famous Dave's hit with another board shake-up

July 14: 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.
June 18: Still struggling, Famous Dave's changes CEOs again

June 18: 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.
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