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General Mills to put nutrition labels on front; also: Alaska begins NWA competition at MSP, and blogger concerned for Regis strategy

The nation’s largest food companies, including General Mills, plan to start putting simple, straightforward nutritional guides on the front of some packages. General Mills said the easy-to-read labels will go on “qualifying products” including cereals, yogurt, snacks, vegetables and soup. (Reuters, Associated Press)

Northwest Airlines has new competition at MSP as of Sunday, when Alaska Airlines kicked off its MSP-to-Seattle service. Flights arrive twice daily from Seattle at 12:45 p.m. and 5:50 p.m. and depart at 1:45 p.m. and 6:50 p.m. The airline is offering a special one-way fare of $130 through Feb. 12. Southwest Airlines will begin running routes between MSP and Chicago Midway in March.

Northwest Airlines spent $867,873 lobbying during the third quarter, the Associated Press notes. The issues Northwest worked on included airline consolidation, speculation in oil trading and the Passenger Bill of Rights. In a separate report, the AP says Best Buy spent $140,000 lobbying during the same period. The Richfield retailer’s legislative issues included the conversion to digital television, credit card fees and electronics recycling.

Blogger Opinion: James Cullen, portfolio manager for the Boston College Investment Club, blogs at about his worry for Regis, the Edina-based hair care company. Cullen says Regis’ strategy is to get customers in the door with cheap haircuts and then to make its profit by selling higher-margin hair-care products to them. It might work well when people have disposable income, but In a slower economy it could be a tough sell, he speculates.

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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