News that private equity investors Partners Group Holding and Charlesbank Capital Partners were close to buying Hearthside Food Solutions in a deal valued at more than $2.4 billion was the most clicked story among SmartBrief food and beverage readers this week. The companies agreed to the deal following publication of that story, and the investment group will take ownsership of Hearthside, which is the largest independent bakery in the US. Grocery and CPG brands dominated the most-clicked this week, with Nestle's plan to relocate the Gerber headquarters from New Jersey to Virginia taking the No. 2 spot. News that Campbell Soup took the top spot on RepTrak's 2018 list of the 100 most-reputable companies in America also drew readers' attention. An effort by the former CEO of Necco to save the struggling candy brand through crowdfunding and an announcement that Hostess Brands named former Tyson executive Andrew Callahan as its new CEO rounded out the top 5.
Team USA's win in the Americas qualifying round for the prestigious Bocuse d'Or culinary competition made headlines this week. The three-person team took first place out of 11 countries in the Bocuse d'Or Americas and will go on to compete at the Bocuse d'Or in Lyon, France, in January 2019. Whole Foods Market's announcement that it will shut down its rewards program and online accounts on May 2 and roll the benefits into the Amazon Prime program was the week's most clicked story in grocery retail.
Here’s the full list of this week's 10 most popular food and beverage stories from SmartBrief:
- Report: Private equity firms close to paying $2.4B for Hearthside Food
- Nestle investing $5M to move Gerber HQ from N.J. to Va.
- Survey: Campbell Soup is America's most-reputable brand
- Former Necco CEO launches crowdfunding campaign to save the company
- Tyson vet Callahan named Hostess Brands CEO
- Team USA wins top spot at Bocuse d'Or Americas
- Cracker Barrel's antique buyer carries on the family business
- Coca-Cola launches major brand refresh for Fresca
- Whole Foods to merge rewards program into Amazon Prime
- Quickserves raise the bar with new restaurant designs
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