Duracell Battery Line Sold From P&G To Berkshire Hathaway

Following its prior announcement of plans to exit the Duracell business, Procter & Gamble (P&G) exchanged Duracell Company for Berkshire Hathaway’s shares of P&G stock.

“I have always been impressed by Duracell, as a consumer and as a long-term investor in P&G and Gillette,” said Warren E. Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway chief executive officer. “Duracell is a leading global brand with top quality products, and it will fit well within Berkshire Hathaway.”

P&G said it expects to contribute approximately $1.8 billion in cash to the Duracell Company in the pre-transaction recapitalization and expects to close the Duracell transaction in the second half of calendar year 2015 pending necessary regulatory approvals. As part of the exit of the battery business, P&G announced that it closed the sale of its interest in a China-based battery joint venture.

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Gluten-Free Foods Surge 63 Percent In Last Two Years

A recent research on the sale of gluten-free foods has found the gluten-free food market is estimated to reach sales of $8.8 billion in 2014, representing an increase of 63 percent from 2012.

"Overall, the gluten-free food market continues to thrive off those who must maintain a gluten-free diet for medical reasons, as well as those who perceive gluten-free foods to be healthier or more natural," said Amanda Topper, food analyst at Mintel. "The category will continue to grow in the near term, especially as FDA regulations make it easier for consumers to purchase gluten-free products and trust the manufacturers who make them. Despite strong growth over the last few years, there is still innovation opportunity, especially in food segments that typically contain gluten."

All gluten-free food segments increased in the past year, though the snacks segment increased the most. Gluten-free snacks increased 163 percent from 2012-14, reaching sales of $2.8 billion. Sales increases were mainly due to a 456 percent increase in potato chip sales. Meanwhile, the meats/meat alternatives segment is the second-largest gluten-free food segment in terms of sales, reaching $1.6 billion in 2014, a 14 percent increase from 2012. What's more, the bread products and cereals segment saw gains of 43 percent during that same time period, and is set to reach $1.3 billion this year. Bread and cereal are ripe for gluten-free growth with only 1 percent of the overall segment termed gluten-free.

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Goya Foods Donates 300,000 Pounds To Catholic Charities

Goya Foods has donated 300,000 pounds of food to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York's Feeding Our Neighbors campaign. The donations will support a vast network of food pantries and emergency food programs throughout the archdiocese.

This year, with the help of Goya, Feeding Our Neighbors is extending its reach beyond the New York area to support other Catholic Charities agencies in communities that are providing services to unaccompanied minors arriving from Central America. In total, 100,000 pounds of the donation will be distributed to agencies of Catholic Charities located throughout New York, Texas, Washington D.C., and Arizona. Food will also be distributed to the regions of Central Florida and Southern California by agencies of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition.

"We have been blessed to be able to help those who need it the most and to support organizations like Catholic Charities that have a tremendous impact on so many lives," says Bob Unanue, president of Goya Foods. "We thought it was important to not only provide food to help feed thousands of New Yorkers in need during the holiday season, but to also send food to the unaccompanied children throughout the country."

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Latest Word in New Channels...

Stop & Shop of Simsbury, Conn., recently opened another health services clinic allowing customers to receive a vaccine or a camp physical. A nurse practitioner is on hand to treat walk-up patients for routine medical problems. The health services clinic is in partnership with FastCare clinics. Two future health service centers are planned for Stop & Shop stores in Manchester and Glastonbury, Conn. The first health clinic opened in Fairfield, Conn., in May.

• In conjunction with America Recycles Day on Nov. 15, Weis Markets and its 18,000 associates pledged to reduce the company’s greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by the year 2020. Weis Markets is asking all of its associates to sign the “20% by 2020” pledge, acknowledging the company is committed to sustainability practices that minimize its impact on the environment.

• Where permitted, more big-box retailers are preparing to open on Thanksgiving Day, including Sears-Kmart, Macy’s, JC Penny, Walmart and Target. Remaining closed are Costco, Nordstrom and Dillard's.

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