By: Dean Best
Dean Best's views on the industry's hot issues.
3 June 2013
Investment is flowing into and from the world's emerging markets, as two transactions involving US firms Smithfield Foods and McCormick & Co. highlighted last week.
10 May 2013
US manufacturer Hain Celestial has struck again across the pond. And its latest acquisition in the UK seems to be the one with most potential, writes Dean Best.
1 May 2013
What will Unilever do with its spreads business? After that part of the company's portfolio was a factor in first-quarter sales that missed analyst expectations, the question has returned to the minds of some in the investment community. Dean Best thinks they will stick with the division.
23 April 2013
A decade ago, the conversation around emerging markets was purely about growth. Now, with the developing world accounting for a growing chunk of some businesses, and with some of the faster-growing economies cooling, there is more attention on company performance in the BRICs and beyond. As Nestle found out last week.
25 February 2013
The downgrade of the UK's debt rating will just reinforce the gloom over the country's economic prospects for 2013. Headlines over the debt downgrade will register with UK consumers and likely act as another reason to hold back on discretionary spending.
11 February 2013
In an sector in which profit margins are wafer thin, with retail pressure bearing down on manufacturers and manufacturers bearing down on their suppliers, it really is not a surprise that the best deal will be sought after and snaffled up, writes Dean Best. But the old adage of "if something appears too good to be true, it probably is" has rarely felt so apt.
28 January 2013
Obesity is a global epidemic that is "bankrupting economies and short changing futures", we were told during a round table at the World Economic Forum in Davos this weekend.
21 January 2013
Retailers in the UK and Ireland faced some difficult questions last week, when it emerged that horse and pig DNA had been discovered in beefburgers and "beef" ready meals.
14 January 2013
Last week, a number of the challenges facing food manufacturers and retailers were once again thrown into sharp relief. The industry continued to grapple with the cyclical difficulties of a down global economy and weak consumer sentiment. However, a number of structural issues that, in some respects, represent the greater threat are also becoming increasingly evident.
7 January 2013
Last week may have been the first week back at our desks after the new year, but we hit the ground running with news that Unilever sold its Skippy peanut butter business to Hormel Foods.
17 September 2012
Criticised domestically and internationally for the perceived slow pace of reform, India's PM Manmohan Singh has launched his latest attempt to shake up the country's economy, including a relaxation of regulations on investment in the country's retail sector. Will Singh succeed this time?
6 August 2012
A year on from an announcement that stunned the industry, Kraft Foods has revealed the formal split of its business in two will take place this autumn. There have been concerns over the performance of the company that will focus on the North American grocery sector but Kraft's first-half results indicated some resilience.
16 July 2012
In M&A circles, Campbell Soup Co., the US food giant, has been seen as one of the more cautious multinational companies in recent years but its acquisition of Bolthouse Farms - the largest in its history - was a correct move, writes Dean Best.
25 June 2012
There was a French flavour to the major industry headlines last week. Casino triumphantly announced its control of Brazil's largest retailer CBD. The new CEO at rival French retailer Carrefour made his first public comments about the challenges the company faces, while food manufacturer Danone issued a profit warning, citing problems in southern Europe.
18 June 2012
Dairy giant Arla Foods has announced a significant deal in China with local company Mengniu. The Danish-Swedish co-op says the venture represents a "breakthrough" for its brand in China but, with food safety a concern in the country, there are potential risks, as well as rewards, for the company.
28 May 2012
General Mills, the US food group, last week made two announcements that underlined the macro-economic dynamics consumer packaged goods firms are battling. The company announced job cuts it says will make it more productive and free up resources to invest in the stagnant markets of the West - and further afield in the BRICs and beyond. Dean Best reports.
21 May 2012
This week, two conferences in London will look at how the food industry is trying to alleviate its impact on the environment and the events are timely, with the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio next month.
10 April 2012
Investing in emerging markets carries risk but FMCG companies need to act faster to gain a presence in what will be the economic powerhouses of tomorrow. And for all the uncertainty over Western markets - or perhaps because of it - food manufacturers continue to eye countries from China to Chile with interest.
26 March 2012
It was a week in which bold predictions were made on commodity costs, consumer confidence and M&A but, as Dean Best writes, uncertainty shrouds all three topics.
12 March 2012
It was, in the end, no major surprise. But it did mark the end of a saga that had lasted the best part of two years. A consortium led by Malcolm Walker, founder and chief executive of UK frozen food retailer Iceland Foods, has taken over the company.