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The Supply Side: Wal-Mart supplier news briefs

• Acosta Sales & Marketing acquired three foodservice companies
Acosta Sales & Marketing announced the acquisition of three foodservice companies: Wolff Group, Basic Sales & Marketing and Progressive Marketing.

The combined organizations will integrate with Acosta’s rapidly growing foodservice division, and will extend the coverage of the company’s sales and marketing services across the United States.

Acosta entered the foodservice channel in March 2012 and since that time has steadily built a strong presence across the country. Complemented by these acquisitions, Acosta’s foodservice division now spans almost the entire country.

“We are pleased these leading regional companies will be joining our rapidly growing foodservice division,” said Mark Hayden, Acosta’s foodservice division president. “The addition of these three organizations will help us to continue to build the leading foodservice platform in the U.S., and provide our clients with superior talent, experience and robust sales and marketing services.”

Acosta is a service provider to Wal-Mart and has a sales office in Rogers.

• B&G Foods tagged by Forbes among best in U.S.
B&G Foods, manufactures and distributes products under several brands including Ortega, Maple Grove Farms of Vermont, Cream of Wheat and Mrs. Dash made the Forbes 100 list of Best U.S. small companies.

B&G Foods saw revenue at the company increase to $633.8 million in 2012, from $487 million in 2008. Net income rose to $59.3 million, from $9.7 million.

Its biggest customer is Wal-Mart, representing around 19.7% of its total revenue.

• Kraft and Cracker Barrel legal battle continues
The legal fight between Kraft and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store expanded, with the food company now challenging several of the restaurant chain's trademarks.

Kraft is petitioning federal regulators to restrict Cracker Barrel trademarks for various products. The petition, filed last month with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, seeks to limit those items' sale to the chain's stores, website and mail-order catalog.

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Kraft is a supplier to Wal-Mart with a local sales office in Northwest Arkansas.

•Top management team to take American Greetings private

Chairman Morry Weiss and his sons, CEO Zev Weiss and chief operating office Jeffrey Weiss, aim to take digital greeting card seller American Greetings private in a deal valued at $878 million.
The deal, which still requires board approval, calls for the buyout group to pay $18.20 per share to non-family shareholders, plus a dividend if the deal closes by July.

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