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Advertising Age reports on the surprising success of oatmeal as a new food item being offered at Starbucks, “despite unseasonably warm weather in many markets.” The paper writes that company executives concede that they’re not even sure why “oatmeal has become the best-selling food item throughout Starbucks' entire system, knocking reduced-calorie coffee cake from the top spot.”

But a number of analysts suggest that Starbucks is enjoying oatmeal success at least in part because of the product’s appeal to health-conscious women … which could have implications elsewhere in the food business.

• Published reports say that Archway & Mother's Cookies has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization and has shut down its Michigan headquarters and Ohio bakery. The company blamed high raw materials and energy costs for its financial plight.

• Starbucks reportedly will roll out a new loyalty card for its best shoppers on November 4 that will give these shoppers 10 percent off most purchases.

According to USA Today, “The loyalty card, which costs $25, has been tested in Denver and Vancouver. Holders get 10% off most items, except gift cards and digital downloads. Several thousand free cards already were mailed to the chain's best customers, Schultz says. Each store manager will be given three gold cards to hand out to customers deemed the best.”

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