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  • Dean Foods reportedly is in settlement negotiations with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as the dairy processor looks to resolve a probe into its financial relationship with now-bankrupt Fleming Cos.

    Dean is just one manufacturer (the others include PepsiCo and Kraft) being investigated because of allegations that it might have helped the wholesaler inflate its revenue numbers by allowing the wholesaler to book as much as $2.7 million in future revenue as current, which made its financial situation look less precarious than it actually was.

  • Borden is bringing back its longtime mascot, Elsie the Cow, in an effort to build its reputation for freshness and quality. The effort will consist of print advertising that will run in a number of women’s magazines.

  • Motown legend Smokey Robinson is launching a line of frozen foods, starting with a gumbo that contains chicken sausage and seafood but no red meat, and is low in cholesterol and sodium. The product is expected to be national by year’s end.

  • Kmart reports that that since March, when Martha Stewart was convicted of obstruction in a stock trade scandal, sales of products bearing her name at the discounter are up 6.5 percent.

    Both Kmart and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia reportedly are beginning the evolutionary process of distancing themselves from Martha Stewart the personality and convicted felon, and focusing instead on the branded products that have retained their reputation for quality.

KC's View:
Will anyone else be surprised if sales spike even more once Martha gets incarcerated? If that happens, expect manufacturers to come out with a line of Al Capone and John Dillinger products under the slogan, “Killer products to die for.”