Kraft Foods is suing Cracker Barrel Old Country Store over the restaurant chain's plans to use the “Cracker Barrel” name on packaged ham, bacon and other foods.
Kraft notes that it started using the “Cracker Barrel” name on cheese in 1954. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc., which is based in Lebanon, Tenn., and operates 620 locations around the country, was established in 1969.
Kraft said it never took formal legal action until now because the chain had sold only a limited number of mixes, candies and sauces through its shops and website. But Kraft said Cracker Barrel Old Country Store's recent licensing agreement to sell foods including “assorted lunch meats, glazes, jerky and summer sausage” could give the products a much broader audience at supermarket and big-box retailers such as Walmart and cause confusion among consumers.
Auto sales off to strong start in '13
American consumers ignored tax increases and trudged through winter weather to buy new cars and trucks at an unusually strong pace last month. “(January) was like a sprinter out of the starting blocks,” said Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation Inc., the country's largest auto dealership chain. Toyota posted a 27 percent increase, and Ford sales jumped 22 percent. GM and Chrysler reported 16 percent gains compared with a year earlier.
Exxon's '12 earnings nearly set record
Exxon Mobil Corp. said Friday that fourth-quarter earnings rose 6 percent to $9.95 billion with help from higher refining profit margins. The oil giant barely missed a record for full-year earnings. It earned $44.88 billion in 2012, about $340 million shy of its 2008 mark of $45.22 billion, an all-time high for a publicly traded company. Exxon still makes most of its money by producing oil and gas, but that end of the business was less profitable than a year ago because of lower prices and production. Chevron's profit rises 41 percent
Chevron Corp. posted a 41 percent gain in net income for the fourth quarter as the company produced more oil and gas, improved the performance of its refinery business and realized a gain from swapping assets in an Australian natural gas field. Chevron posted net income of $7.2 billion for the quarter on revenue of $60.6 billion. That's up from $5.1 billion on revenue of $60 billion a year ago. It was the biggest fourth-quarter profit in the company's history.
Measure of manufacturing activity jumps
U.S. manufacturing activity grew at a faster pace in January behind an increase in new orders and more hiring at factories. The Institute for Supply Management said Friday that its index of manufacturing activity jumped to 53.1 in January from 50.2 in December. It was the highest reading since April, when the index hit 54.1. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.
— From wire reports