FOODSERVICE MARKET MANEUVERS

Darden Restaurants suppliers listen up! The Orlando, Fla., company is considering more foreign locations for its popular Olive Garden and Red Lobster units, reported theOrlando (Fla.) Sentinel.

Speaking at a company conference, CEO Clarence Otis told analysts, "International's something that has really been off the table for us for quite a while," he said. "We think the time has come."

Mexico and the Persian Gulf states would be the most likely markets, Otis said. "It would be a … joint venture type of approach," he said.

When an analyst asked about the time frame, Otis said discussions are early enough that there wouldn't be any openings next year, the newspaper reported.


FOCUS Brands'Cinnabon Inc. chain, Seattle, joined the cupcake craze.

"After 25 years of making our world famous cinnamon roll, we're kicking off the next 25 years by introducing the world's best cupcake!," the company says.

"We brought back the creator of our famous Classic Roll to develop our new cupcake product line. And, after testing 556 different recipes, each one containing the same secret ingredient, we have created a high quality treat, well worthy of the Cinnabon name. Baked fresh daily, they're perfect for parties, gifts or any time you need to put a little frosting on your day. If you haven't seen Cinnabon Cupcakes just yet, they should be near you soon. So, contact your local bakeries to find out when you can treat your loved ones and yourself to our latest baked deliciousness."