Editor

Editor's viewpoint

By: Dean Best

Dean Best's views on the industry's hot issues.



Editor's viewpoint: Waitrose's personalised promos will stir industry 17 Jun 2015

UK grocer Waitrose has got industry watchers talking this afternoon (17 June) with the launch of a promotional programme that lets consumers choose which products they want to buy on offer. Rivals and suppliers will be watching very closely.


Editor's viewpoint: Expect Campbell to follow Garden Fresh with more deals 15 Jun 2015

Campbell Soup Co. has again moved to inject growth into its business through M&A, snapping up US salsa-to-houmous maker Garden Fresh Gourmet. And the odds are more deals in categories like fresh food and snacks will follow.


Editor's viewpoint: Campbell working hard but challenges remain 27 May 2015

Campbell Soup Co.'s third-quarter results included some positive news. Sales from the US group's baking and snacking arm grew solidly, while the company's profitability beat analyst expectations amid productivity savings and a pull back on promotional spending. However, Campbell's top line remains under pressure and it may have to turn to other measures to get sales growing.


Editor's viewpoint: Why FMCG background vital for next Thorntons CEO 19 May 2015

In some ways, Jonathan Hart will leave the UK chocolate maker and retailer Thorntons next month in a better position than he found the business when he joined in January 2011. However, when Hart steps down on 27 June, a decision announced yesterday (18 May), Thorntons should be looking for - or be set to install - a new chief executive with more experience in FMCG and in selling branded products to UK and international grocers.


Editor's viewpoint: It's tough but industry needs to act on water 14 May 2015

California is, in its own words, "facing one of the most severe droughts on record" and food and beverage companies are under scrutiny. The situation has served to bring a serious issue facing the industry to wider attention - and that may spark more companies into action in an area where environmental advocates say its record is mixed.


Editor's viewpoint: Kellogg cautiously positive but questions remain 6 May 2015

There were some cautiously positive noises coming out of Kellogg yesterday (5 May) as the US food group announced its first-quarter results - but a number of questions still hang over the Special K and Pringles maker.


Editor's viewpoint: PepsiCo's Nooyi underlines the challenge on health 24 Apr 2015

PepsiCo yesterday (22 April) reported a set of solid underlying first-quarter results. But it was away from the numbers that the US food and drinks giant stirred more interest, with Indra Nooyi's comments on the need to adapt to the changing ways consumers define health attracting attention.


Editor's viewpoint: Too early to call Unilever food revival 16 Apr 2015

Today was a positive day for Unilever in some ways. The FMCG giant's first-quarter sales beat expectations and its shares rose steadily in London. Broadly, however, it is too soon to say whether Unilever can enjoy sustained growth from its food business.


Editor's viewpoint: Why Heinz-Kraft merger could herald more deals 30 Mar 2015

The US food industry is going through a period of significant change and the major names have struggled to come up with the answers to meet new consumer habits. There have already been signs some are turning to M&A - think of the sales of Bolthouse, of Annie's and even Krave jerky last month - and the Kraft/Heinz mega-merger suggests deal-making could accelerate.


Editor's viewpoint: Faber-led Danone gets realistic 19 Mar 2015

At the Consumer Analyst Group of Europe conference in London, Danone's recently-appointed CEO Emmanuel Faber gave a presentation to the investors and analysts in the audience that gave a sense of seriousness, of realism at the French food giant.


Editor's viewpoint: Upheaval in the US 16 Feb 2015

It was a bumper week of 2014 financial results, particularly from the US, but a flurry of announcements - including some surprise admissions - from across the pond on Thursday perhaps best served to underline the challenges facing mainstream food manufacturers in the country.


Editor's viewpoint: Plant closures point to pressure at General Mills 9 Jan 2015

More General Mills plants look set to shut as the US food giant wrestles with falling domestic sales. The closures will help profitability but the company will likely have to turn again to M&A to get its top line growing again.


Editor's viewpoint: Why a sale of Unilever's spreads arm is unlikely to be imminent 8 Dec 2014

Unilever's move to internally spin off its spreads unit was seen by many company and industry watchers as a pre-cursor to a sale. However, an imminent sale in unlikely, with the business under-pressure and a paucity of suitors standing buy.


Editor's viewpoint: Why UK food firms must look to export 28 Nov 2014

Tough trading conditions in the UK can make it difficult for food companies to find the time and resources to build a presence overseas. However, Dean Best argues it is that market landscape that makes it imperative more companies look to exports for growth.


Editor's viewpoint: Imminent Hostess Brands sale would be surprise 17 Nov 2014

The private-equity owners of Hostess Brands are, according to reports, mulling a sale, just a year after buying the US snacks business. There is speculation Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos are planning for to sell Hostess early next year. However, that looks unlikely.


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