Best bits

Best bits

By: Dean Best

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



Editor's viewpoint: Land of the minnows 4 Aug 2014

Size matters, right? Scale - and the economic benefits that come with it - provide a business with clout smaller competitors find hard to battle. However, could large food companies be losing some of the advantage gained from their size?


Editor's viewpoint: Dairy Crest's appeal may grow after deals 3 Jul 2014

Strategically, Dairy Crest's deals with fellow UK dairy group Fayrefield Foods and New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra to serve the global infant formula market are astute moves. But the deals could also catch the eye of some of the world's larger dairy processors about Dairy Crest's new capabilities.


Editor's viewpoint: Nestle deserves praise for living wage 30 Jun 2014

Cynics will scoff a company the size of Nestle can easily afford to become a "Living Wage" employer in the UK. And perhaps there would be an element of truth in that. But the fact the world's largest food maker is willing to invest in its staff should be applauded - and the hope is some of its closest competitors - companies with vast resources of their own - will follow.


Editor's viewpoint: Questions mount for ConAgra 19 Jun 2014

After three profit warnings in a year, it is little wonder the performance of US food giant ConAgra Foods is under scrutiny.


Editor's viewpoint: Premier feeling the pressure 18 Jun 2014

The City has welcomed Premier Foods' moves to spin off parts of its businesses into joint ventures but it is still the performance of the UK group's core brands that moves its shares - and that concerns investors.


Editor's viewpoint: Seeing the value in being lean 29 May 2014

With the bidding war for Hillshire Brands intensifying, it is pertinent to point out just how correct Sara Lee's management - and those on Wall Street that supported the split - were about the shareholder benefits of separating the old business.


Editor's viewpoint: Why sale the best bet for Goodman Fielder 19 May 2014

For the more patriotic sections of Australia's food industry, there is likely to be some dismay at the prospect of another local food company falling into overseas ownership. But the proposed sale of Goodman Fielder, one of the country's largest food manufacturers, looks to be the right move for its shareholders - and for the business as a whole.


Editor's viewpoint: Kellogg yields to yoghurt 14 May 2014

After seeing the boom in yoghurt sales in the US chip away at demand for breakfast cereal, Kellogg has accepted it needs a piece of the action. And about time, too, writes Dean Best.


Editor's viewpoint: Consolidation in sluggish US 12 May 2014

In the US, a market where volume sales have been and remain under pressure, it has been expected in certain quarters that boardrooms would increasingly run the rule over potential acquisitions. Hillshire Brands executives have moved again - this time with a major deal for Pinnacle Foods.


Editor's viewpoint: Morrisons funds cuts but puts price centre stage 1 May 2014

Morrisons today (1 May) gave the first significant details on its plan, announced in March, to lower prices across the store in a bid to stem and revitalise the UK grocer's falling sales.


Editor's viewpoint: Using M&A for growth Stateside 22 Apr 2014

Desperate for growth in a moribund trading environment, there are signs some food manufacturers operating in the US are using acquisitions to bolster their presence in more vibrant parts of the industry. Should others follow?


Editor's viewpoint: Tesco's food-to-go push looks foolhardy 11 Apr 2014

Tesco is reportedly looking at rolling out a food-to-go concept in London in its latest bid to try to find some growth in its domestic market. But, if the move happens, is it really wise to enter such a competitive space?


Editor's viewpoint: Food security and consumer demand 8 Apr 2014

There is a growing consensus that a warming climate has an impact on food production - putting supply firmly at the debate over food security. But the demands of a growing global population are just as important to consider as industry, government and academia wrestle over how to solve the issue.


Editor's viewpoint: Milking emerging market demand 31 Mar 2014

Arla Foods, The Irish Dairy Board and Fonterra have all in the last week announced investments - or hinted at expansion to come - with growing demand for dairy products in emerging markets in mind.


Editor's viewpoint: Glanbia has stamina 18 Mar 2014

The 2013 results posted by Irish food group Glanbia stood out, both for the growth the company achieved last year and its optimism for its prospects this year and beyond.


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