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• Hy-Vee yesterday said that it is acquiring two Sunshine Foods stores, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and one in Windom, Minnesota, and will convert them to the Hy-Vee banner. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Another Sunshine Foods store, also in Sioux Falls, will be closed as part of the deal. Sunshine will keep a store open in downtown Sioux Falls, and says it will focus on rural markets.

• The Sacramento Bee reports that “Target stores in Sacramento and elsewhere are clearing more space for groceries even as rival Wal-Mart continues its aggressive push into the food business. The renewed assault by big-box stores – coming when many consumers are trying to cut spending – intensifies competition for traditional grocers, including West Sacramento-based Raley's, the local market leader.”

• The Wall Street Journal reports that “prices for fresh pork bellies, from which bacon is made, are at an all-time high of $1.35 a pound, 53% higher than they were a year ago.

“Bacon demand tends to peak during the summer, when supermarkets heavily promote the meat product—sliced from the fatty part of a pig's abdomen—to coincide with a seasonal bump in Americans' consumption of BLTs: bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches. The decision by North American swine producers to cut their losses by trimming their herds back in 2008 and 2009 is now feeding into cost pressures faced by supermarkets.”
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