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As Old-Guard Food Companies Stumble, Milk, Sugar and Cheese Take Hits

  • Kraft misses on profit, while Dean Foods contemplates a sale
  • Prices falling for food that dominated dinners for decades
Beef to Tomato Send July 4 Food Cost to Record

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

With many old-guard food companies teetering on the edge of profitability, 2019 is shaping up as pivotal year for foods that dominated dinner tables for decades.

Last week, Kraft Heinz Co., the owner of Jell-O and Oscar Mayer’s Wienermobile, lost $16 billion in market value after reporting a writedown that reduced the value of some big-name trademarks. Dean Foods Co.’s announcement it is contemplating a sale had some analysts doubting if the top milk company would lure any buyers for its shrinking business.