News Watch

WEGMANS SELLS EGG FARM ROCHESTER, N.Y. Citing economies of scale, Wegmans Food Markets here has sold the Wayne County, N.Y.-based egg farm that had produced the chain's private-label eggs. There has been a lot of consolidation in the egg industry, and for us to remain competitive, we would have had to expand our egg capacity beyond our own needs, Wegmans spokeswoman Jo Natale told the Rochester Democrat

WEGMANS SELLS EGG FARM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Citing economies of scale, Wegmans Food Markets here has sold the Wayne County, N.Y.-based egg farm that had produced the chain's private-label eggs. “There has been a lot of consolidation in the egg industry, and for us to remain competitive, we would have had to expand our egg capacity beyond our own needs,” Wegmans spokeswoman Jo Natale told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. The farm was purchased by Kreher's Family Fresh Egg Farms of Clarence, N.Y., on Oct. 24. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

QUICK CHEK LAUNCHES SOUPER RECIPE CONTEST

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Quick Chek, a chain of 100 prepared food, pharmacy and convenience stores based here, has launched the Quick Chek Souper Chef Cooking Contest, challenging shoppers from New Jersey and New York to incorporate one of the 14 soups in the chain's fall menu into a broader recipe. Entries will be evaluated for innovation and originality by officials from the Center for Food Development and Manufacturing Technology at Rutgers University, as well as chefs from the H.J. Heinz Co. Five finalists will compete at Quick Chek's South Plainfield, N.J., location on Dec. 15 for prizes including All-Clad cookware and gifts from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

GREENHOUSE GROWER MELONES LAUNCHES LABEL

NOGALES, Ariz. — Finalizing its summer split with Chiquita, Melones Internacional, a grower with over 500 covered acres in Sinaloa, Mexico, here has launched its own line of greenhouse-grown tomatoes, bell peppers and seedless cucumbers under the new “Plain Jane” brand name. “We have a history of bringing top-quality greenhouse vegetables to market through the well-known Chiquita label, and it worked well for us over the last 10 years,” said Alejandro Canelos Jr., founding partner and chief operating officer of the company. “Today's consumers are also savvier about produce, so we decided to break out with our own label to let people know who we are and what we provide.”

RESEARCH: salmon BENEFITS PREGNANT WOMEN

MIAMI — Salmon of the Americas (SOTA) is spreading the word that there's research that shows eating 12 ounces of fish each week benefits pregnant and nursing women. For years, women have been given conflicting advice about eating fish, with health professionals and the consumer media frequently warning that fish may contain mercury and other pollutants, making it risky to eat during pregnancy. As a result, a large percentage of these women have stopped eating fish or eat much less than they previously had, for fear that they will harm their unborn or developing child. Now medical researchers from the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition are saying the benefits of eating fish far outweigh the risks. SOTA officials point out that New York University Medical Center researchers say women who eat a minimum of 12 ounces of fish a week are actually aiding in their child's brain development and helping to improve motor and cognitive skills in their unborn or developing child.

MEAT SUPPLIER RECEIVES CONSERVATION AWARD

VINA, Calif. — Rancher Darrell Wood, president of Panorama Meats Inc., has received one of three 2006 National Wetlands Conservation Awards from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior. Wood received the award for his management of the Pete's Creek Wetland and Riparian Restoration Project on 1,262 acres of the partnership's ranch just north of Susanville, Calif. Wood is one of 43 family ranchers who raise Panorama grass-fed beef, which is offered by Whole Foods Markets on the West Coast, selected H.E. Butt stores in Texas, and at 188 Trader Joe's stores.