Austin, Texas: Whole Foods Market is planning to test a convenience store format in the US. It will convert an 18,500 sq ft Wild Oats store in Boulder, Colorado, to the new format, to be called Whole Foods Market Express. The store would offer value-orientated goods and 'grab-and-go' products, the company said, and would cater for the high concentration of students in the surrounding area.
FDA in talks over nutrition labelling
Washington DC: The Food and Drug Administration has held a meeting to discuss the use of front-of-pack nutrition labels on food products. It invited food companies, trade organisations and medical experts to examine how front-of-pack labels could improve public health. Kellogg's and General Mills are expected to introduce their own labels to packs of US breakfast cereals next month.
Back-to-school boost for Wal-Mart
Bentonville, Arkansas: Wal-Mart has reported a 9.3% increase in sales to $28.2bn (£13.8bn) for the four weeks to 31 August. Like-for-like sales in its US stores rose 3.1%, excluding fuel, during the period, and were up 2.8% in Wal-Mart Stores and 5.2% in Sam's Club stores. The increase was driven by back-to-school items including laptops and calculators, Wal-Mart said.
Wesfarmers sweetens Coles bid
Tooronga, Australia: A revised AUS$18bn (£7.3bn) offer from Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers for Coles Group has been recommended by the supermarket chain's board. As part of the sweetened deal, Coles Group shareholders will receive AUS$4 cash (£1.60), plus 0.14 Wesfarmers ordinary shares, plus 0.14 Wesfarmers WPPS shares, for each Coles Group share. Wesfarmers' offer was revised after its share price fell nearly 20% following the announcement of its original cash-plus-shares bid for Coles in July. "This modification of our offer reflects our confidence in the value of the transaction to shareholders of both companies," said Wesfarmers MD Richard Goydor. Shareholders will vote on the proposal in November.
ConAgra acquires Lincoln Snacks
Omaha, Nebraska: US packaged foods giant ConAgra Foods has acquired popcorn snacks manufacturer Lincoln Snacks for an undisclosed sum. Lincoln Snacks' brands include Poppycock and Fiddle Faddle, and generated around $45m (£22.2m) in sales last year. "This acquisition positions ConAgra Foods to further meet consumer demand for snacks," said Gary Rodkin, chief executive officer of ConAgra Foods. "We plan to grow Poppycock and Fiddle Faddle through our marketing expertise and operating infrastructure, and we're pleased to welcome the brands into the ConAgra Foods portfolio."
Pizzey's Milling sold to Glanbia
Angusville, canada: Irish dairy and ingredients group Glanbia has acquired Canada-based nutritional business Pizzey's Milling for an undisclosed sum. Pizzey's produces and markets nutritional ingredients predominantly derived from flax seed.