News briefs: Sara Lee, Dunkin Donuts and Dorset Cereals
focus on core brands, Dunkin' Donuts increases franchises in
Tennessee, and Dorset Cereals is purchased by Wellness Foods.
Sara Lee Sara Lee has announced it is selling its 49.9 per cent stake in the Mexican Food business Qualtia Alimentios to its joint venture partner Xignux to focus on its core international businesses. "This move enables us to more closely focus on the continued growth and expansion of our core brands in the US and around the world, and is part of our ongoing efforts to streamline our business," said C.J. Fraleigh, chief operating officer of the North America division. Sara Lee had announced earlier this year it was planning to concentrate on core brands such as Senseo coffee and Sara Lee bakery products, after commodity costs rose dramatically over the course of 2007. Qualtia Alimentios sells meats and cheeses under brand names such as Zwan, Kir, Duby, Riojana and Alpino across South America as well as in the US. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, and the completion of the transaction is expected to occur within a month. Dunkin' Donuts Dunkin' Donuts last week announced plans to open 50 new franchises stores across Tennessee over the next few years, as part of the US bakery store's plans for expansion across the country. The firm currently has plans for 50 new stores in the state town of Memphis, as well as five each in Knoxville and Nashville. "To fulfil our national expansion goals, Dunkin' Donuts is looking for developers with a strong organization and the ability to manage multiple restaurants effectively and successfully in the Memphis market," said vice president of franchising Lynette McKee. Dunkin Donuts has adopted an aggressive expansion policy in recent years, and now has 7,900 shops in 31 countries. As well as the US, UK and Australia, the company also has stores in China, Indonesia and South Korea, where the firm sells local delicacies such as green tea and mochi rings and well as the more Western-style coffee and doughnuts. Dorset Cereals Dorset Cereals, one of the top muesli breakfast cereal brands in the UK, has been purchased by Wellness Foods, the Financial Times today reported. The firm produces a range of eight different mueslis for supermarkets across the country, as well as products such as cereal Chunky Slices and Naturally Light Flakes. According to the FT, the company was purchased by Wellness Foods, a health food group backed by two Irish horseracing tycoons, for £50m (€101m).