Archive for January, 2013

Flowers Foods looking at Hostess brands, report says

According to the Associated Press,the makers of Thomas’ English muffins and Tastykake snacks are emerging as the two of the bidders for Wonder Bread and other Hostess bread brands as the company tries to sell off its assets under bankruptcy-court oversight, The Wall Street Journal reported.

It said Hostess Brands Inc. could reveal as early as next week that Thomasville-based Flowers Foods Inc. and Grupo Bimbo SAB are in discussions to acquire the bread brands, which also include Nature’s Pride.

Grupo Bimbo’s brands include Arnold breads, Thomas’ English muffins and Entenmann’s cakes. Flowers Foods Inc.’s brands include Nature’s Own breads and Tastykake snacks.

Hostess sells Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos, along with Dolly Madison cakes, which includes Coffee Cakes and Zingers. Hostess also sells Devil Dogs, Funny Bones, and Yodels under the Drake’s brand.

Hostess, which is based in Irving, Texas, announced in November that it was shutting down its business and …

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No money boo boos for Honey Boo Boo

You’ve probably chuckled at the financial misfortune that’s come to so many overnight celebrities who’ve stumbled upon a wad of cash only to blow it all in a glorious spending spree.

Well, there’s one modern pop culture wonder you may not see broke and broken in a couple of years.

Honey Boo Boo. Her siblings, too.

This from omg! via TMZ…

“Honey Boo Boo is going to be just fine financially when she gets older, thanks to wise financial planning from Mama June.  The reality TV mother has revealed she siphons the majority of the family’s “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” earnings into trust funds for her daughters.

“The family receives between $15,000 – $20,000 per episode, which is divided equally into accounts for Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, 7; Lauryn, 12; Jessica, 15; Anna, 18, and baby Kaitlyn, the reality matriarch told TMZ.

“The girls will not be able to access the funds for anything other than schooling (and) medical emergencies until they reach the age of 21, June …

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Newell Rubbermaid CEO: ‘Decide what you want to be famous for’

How do you run a big company with unrelated brands? It’s not easy, even for a Ivy League-educated branding veteran like Michael Polk.

Polk, 52, became CEO of Newell Rubbermaid 18 months ago when the Sandy Springs-based company was going through tough times. The company, Georgia’s 12th largest publicly traded firm with $6 billion in revenue, is made up of three dozen global brands, from Sharpie markers and Paper Mate pens to Irwin tools, Calphalon pans and Graco car seats. But it was suffering from a variety of problems, including inconsistent revenue and earnings, a beaten-down stock price, high debt load and too much autonomy in each of its business units.

Michael Polk

Michael Polk

Polk is reshaping the company by making some hard choices, including cutting costs — 2,500 layoffs have been announced — while investing more in the brands with the most growth potential. So far, the company’s profit and stock price have improved significantly.

For nearly three decades, Polk sharpened …

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Want a refill? Starbucks hopes you use its new cup

Starbucks Reusable CupsFollow us on Twitter @AJCBiz

Starbucks has begun selling $1 reusable cups for refills as part of its goal to cut back on waste.

The new white cups with the familiar Starbucks logo are marked for 12-ounce and 16 ounce refills. The refills come with a 10-cent discount, the same reduction customers get if they bring in their own tumblers. Starbucks, however, hopes you’ll start using its cup.

The reusable cups are cleaned with boiling water each time a patron brings one in. The company said they have been a hit in the Pacific Northwest, which is why it was rolled out to all of its locations on Thursday, including metro Atlanta.

On its website, the company said nearly 2 percent of all beverages served at company-owned stores in 2011 were served to customers in their own personal tumblers. The goal is to increase that to more than 5 percent by 2015, which is down from an original aggressive goal of 25 percent.

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Your wallet will squeal more this year

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(Becky Stein, Special)

(Becky Stein, Special)

Your tax refund will be a little late this year, and more money is coming out of your paycheck to satisfy Uncle Sam. The last thing you’ll want to hear is that prices are going up on everything from sandwich meat to satellite TV, but brace yourself.

There are various reports out there on how much deeper you’ll be digging to make it through the year:

Food: Steak, hamburger, bacon and other favorite meats are expected to cost 3 percent to 4 percent more this year, according to CNN Money’s list of top price increases, citing forecasts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The meat price hikes result from lower livestock inventories and the higher cost for grains farmers use for feeding following last year’s U.S. drought, which also pushed prices higher for eggs, cheese and milk. The price of milk is expected to rise 3 to 4 percent this year.

College: Higher education in Georgia will cost more this fall. The State …

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Don’t be surprised if tax refund comes a little later

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(Bob Andres,

(Bob Andres,

You might have to wait a little longer for your tax refund this year to pay off those Christmas gifts.

Revisions to income tax forms needed to file your 2012 returns haven’t been made to reflect changes in the new fiscal cliff legislation that just passed Congress, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

That means new forms will go out later and the usual mid-January start for filing – and subsequent refunds – will be delayed, according to a CNN Money report on the IRS scramble:

While the IRS has published Form 1040 for 2012, several lines are listed as “reserved.” The designation is a “placeholder” for several fiscal cliff provisions, an agency spokesman said. The IRS has yet to publish an instruction booklet for filling out the tax forms, leaving tax preparers in a holding pattern.

Meanwhile, employers won’t have to wait to start withholding 6.2 percent of wages to satisfy a higher Social Security …

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Report: Apple already testing ‘iPhone 6′, iOS 7 (and watches?)

Associated Press

Associated Press

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Four months after launching its latest smartphone, there is a report that Apple is already testing a new iPhone that will be powered by a new operating system.

In addition, a Wall Street analyst is bullish on Apple’s stock, which traded higher Wednesday, and he says the company is trying to develop “wearable” computers.

The report on the new iPhone comes from the website The Next Web, which cites software development app usage logs that it says contain references to a new iPhone “identifier” and operating system update, “i0S 7.”

The website suggests members of Apple’s software development and app teams have been requesting apps for compatibility testing for the new device. The website said the originating IP address on app usage logs can be traced to Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.:

One developer showed us that Apple has been testing hardware relating to a new ‘iPhone6,1′ …

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