This week in supplier news

O'Charley's honors Anheuser-Busch, North Coast Seafood, Sargento, Ken's Foods and Squirrel Systems with the Inukshuk awards. Also this week: Solo Cup Co., InnoWare Plastic, Pathfinder Products International, Kraft Foodservice, The Schwan Food Co., United Fresh Produce Association, MenuTrinfo LLC.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Casual-dining company O'Charley's Inc. has named the 2009 winners of its annual Inukshuk Business Partner Awards.




The recipients are:

  • Beverage Partner of the Year: Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Ninety Nine Restaurants Research and Development Supplier of the Year: North Coast Seafood, Boston
  • O'Charley's Research and Development Supplier of the Year: Sargento, Plymouth, Wis.
  • Supply Chain Management Partner of the Year: Ken's Foods, Marlborough, Mass.
  • Enterprise Support Partner of the Year: Squirrel Systems, Burnaby, British Columbia



The Inukshuk awards recognize business partners that display exceptional performance in four areas financial impact, innovation, quality and service.




At the end of its fourth quarter, O'Charley's Inc. operates or franchises 368 restaurants under the O'Charley's, Ninety Nine Restaurants and Stoney River Legendary Steaks casual-dining brands.




LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Solo Cup Co., the provider of single-use products, said it has entered into a stock purchase agreement to acquire InnoWare Plastic Inc. Innoware is based in Georgia and manufactures a line of take-out containers. Solo will acquire InnoWare for $24 million in cash from InnoWare LLC.




PORTLAND, Ore. -- Pathfinder Products International in Costa Mesa, Calif., has inked a deal with McCormick & Schmick's to supply the casual-dining chain with its Flameless Candle eco-friendly candles at all 90 of its restaurants. McCormick & Schmick's regional manager Kathryn Henderson said the flameless candles, which are rechargeable, are "a step toward going green. The bonus is we are not burning fuel and there are no plastic fuel containers further impacting landfills." Henderson said the company expects to see an annual savings of approximately $540,000, or $6,000 per store, from the switch to the energy-efficient table decor candles.




GLENVIEW, Ill. -- Kraft Foodservice received the SOAR Award at the Women's Foodservice Forum in Las Vegas earlier this month. The award was named in honor of Jackie B. Trujillo and is presented each year to an outstanding organization that is a Standard-Setter for Opportunity, Advancement and Recognition for women within their organization. It honors companies with demonstrable corporate initiatives that result in a history of attracting, developing, retaining and promoting women to the highest levels. Past recipients are The Coca-Cola Co. and Sodexo.




MARSHALL, Minn. -- The Schwan Food Company has named Andy Dismore research and development senior director for foodservice national accounts. Dismore previously worked for Denny's, where he helped develop the rock-star-inspired Plain White Shake, which won a 2009 Nation's Restaurant News MenuMaster Award for Best Limited Time Offer.




FAIRFAX, Va. -- The United Fresh Produce Association has selected Fred Raynaud, Guest Services' corporate executive chef, as Business and Industry Chef of the Year. The awards program honors chefs for their use of fresh produce. Criteria include the ability to incorporate produce into culinary trends, knowledge and use of proper fresh produce handling procedures, and recognition among peers and/or by the company.




FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- To help address new menu labeling initiatives across the country, MenuTrinfo LLC said it has formed a new company that will provide menu nutrition information services to the foodservice industry. The company said it is targeting nonchain operators to provide accurate and cost-effective analysis for menu items.