American craft breweries increased their sales volume by 18% last year, and their beers now account for more than 10% of all beers sold in the U.S., according to the Brewers Association. There were 3,464 breweries in operation in the U.S. in 2014, and all but 46 were craft breweries.
California is geared to surpass Wisconsin as the leading cheese producer in the U.S. in the next year or so, based on the current growth rate of pounds per billion. The state is not focused on quantity alone, though Hilmar Cheese Co.'s giant manufacturing facility produces 1.4 million pounds of cheese a day. Some of its cheese companies hold world-record titles, including Fiscalini Cheese Co. for its extra-mature traditional cheddar.
Wells' Dairy Inc. has signed former figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi for an endorsement deal for its new Blue Bunny Lite 85 Superfruit yogurt. Yamaguchi is a "a huge fan of yogurt" and eats the Lite 85 products for their health benefits, a Wells' Dairy spokeswoman said.
Hershey needs to focus on new product innovation and further diversify away from chocolate in order to compete with Mars Inc. and Nestle, analysts say. The company plans to ramp up advertising and sell more products through nontraditional distribution channels.
Folgers' newest coffee, Simply Smooth, is marketed as a coffee for those whose stomachs need something gentler than a traditional brew. It's the first major manufacturer tapping into the niche market of easy-on-the-stomach coffee.