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• The Wall Street Journal reports that General Mills “has teamed up with Groupon Inc. to offer a limited deal. It is the first large consumer-products company to test the waters with the popular daily discount website, and early results are promising.

“The Groupon deal offered only in Minneapolis and San Francisco Thursday includes 12 General Mills products, including Fiber One bars, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Kix cereals, Fruit Roll-Ups snacks and other items, for $20 - a discount of more than 50% off the value of the package. The deal also includes a $15 coupon book for General Mills products, all which will be delivered to buyers' homes.

“The company had 5,000 total packages for sale. By late Thursday morning, the offer was sold out in Minneapolis and on its way to doing so in San Francisco.”

• The Chicago Sun Times reports that Yum Brands concedes that there has been a continuing economic impact from the lawsuit - now dropped - charging it with having not enough beef in its taco meat to actually call it beef. The company says that it has not been able to reverse the trend, though it is “working on other solutions” to generate improved sales figures.

Bloomberg reports that “Mead Johnson Nutrition Co., the baby-formula maker that Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. took public in February 2009, lost a bid to overturn a $13.5 million jury verdict in a false-advertising case over its product Enfamil.

“A federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, today affirmed a 2009 finding that the Glenview, Illinois-based company engaged in false advertising in a mailing to more than 1.5 million people that said ‘store brand’ infant formula was inferior to its Enfamil LIPIL.”

“As the litigation history of the parties demonstrates, despite having twice been restrained from disseminating misleading advertising, Mead Johnson continued to do so,” Circuit Judge Andre Davis wrote in his decision. “PBM cannot fairly compete with Mead Johnson unless and until Mead Johnson stops infecting the marketplace with misleading advertising.”

• The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is out with its annual industry survey, revealing that “the organic industry grew at a rate of nearly eight percent in 2010, bucking the current trend whereby ‘flat is the new growth’ for many other segments of the economy. Further, some sectors of the organic market enjoyed annual growth of well over 30 percent ... In 2010, the organic industry grew to over $28.6 billion.”
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