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Valspar develops solar coating, also: Target tests bioplastic, Famous Dave’s menu surveyed, Caribou offers free drinks

Minneapolis paint company Valspar says it’s come up with a solar reflective coating for aluminum siding that will help building owners cut cooling costs and conserve energy. The Flurospar coating deflects some of the heat regular siding would ordinarily absorb. The coating isn’t yet recognized by Energy Star or the U.S. Green Building Council, but the company tells Cleantech it hopes the product will eventually get those endorsements.

Imagine a plastic that would break down like a coffee filter in your compost bin after you were done using it. BusinessWeek reports on a bioengineer who’s come up with just the thing, and the article says Target is one of the companies testing out the new bioplastic material, which is made from plants instead of oil.

Is Famous Dave’s menu in need of an overhaul? Tickermine researchers polled data from 22 locations of the Minneapolis-based restaurant chain. They found – no surprise – that the ribs sell best. But they also noticed a handful of menu items such as catfish, barbeque burgers and chopped pork are much less popular and have “been around forever.”

Free drinks! Caribou Coffee celebrates the start of summer by giving away free samples of its blended ice, fruit and tea drinks. Anyone visiting a Caribou Coffee shop between 3-4 p.m. Saturday will get a 12-ounce sample in their choice of white tea and peach, red tea and raspberry or green tea and mango flavors.

Do you have an inside scoop or news tip about a Minnesota company? Spotted something interesting in your RSS reader? Drop Business Agenda a note at dhaugen [at] minnpost [dot] com.

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