retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal reports that Hy-Vee is expanding its relationship with Caribou Coffee, which currently has kiosks in 18 of its stores. By this fall, the companies announced, that number will grow to more than 230, and Hy-Vee will offer be selling Caribou products on store shelves.

“We researched dozens of coffee brands. Caribou Coffee’s product, personality and commitment to Rainforest Alliance certification, the most comprehensive sustainability certification available, ultimately made this an easy choice,” Greg Frampton, Hy-Vee’s assistant vice president of food service said in a statement.

Full disclosure: Caribou Coffee is a valued MNB sponsor. But we didn’t think we should hold that against Caribou, and we would have reported this deal even if it were not a sponsor.

• Alimentation Couche-Tard has increased its hostile offer for c-store chain Casey’s General Stores to about $1.9 billion, from the previous offer of $1.85 billion. The offer already had been extended to August 9, from the previous deadline of July 6.

• Cracker manufacturer Lance and pretzel maker Snyder’s of Hanover said yesterday they plan to merge their operations,with shareholders of each company owning 50 percent of the new entity. The two companies had combined revenue of about $1.6 billion during the last fiscal year.
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