In the spotlight
Which manufacturers, retailers or issues are grabbing the headlines?
ConAgra Foods CEO Sean Connolly, fresh from securing the sale of the US group's own-label business, has made another strategic move - splitting the business in two. A largely branded business, Conagra Brands, and a frozen potato products supplier, Lamb Weston, are set to be created. Dean Best analyses what could lie ahead for both companies.
Distribution synergies and access to a wider better-for-you portfolio are two of the reasons industry experts have backed the move from Synder's-Lance for fellow US snacks group Diamond Foods. However, with Diamond having had a challenging few years financially, is the US$1.91bn cash-and-shares deal all Snyder's-Lance has made it out to be? Hannah Abdulla reports.
Unilever is building on its push into branded ice cream retail with the acquisition of Italian gelato group Grom. And Unilever is not the only manufacturer working to expand its branded retail presence, particularly in "treat" or gifting categories. Katy Askew looks at the benefits branded retailing offers food manufacturers.
The speculation over Green Giant was this week confirmed with US group B&G Foods announcing it had struck a deal to buy the the canned and frozen vegetables business from General Mills. Green Giant's sales are under pressure but B&G believes it can reinvigorate the business. Hannah Abdulla reports.
Flowers Foods last week announced the acquisition of organic bread maker Dave's Killer Bread, a move which accelerates its growth in the organic bread space and extends its geographic reach in the US, two things it has had on its wish list for some time. Hannah Abdulla explores.
This Sunday, Greece will decide whether to accept a proposal from its creditors following the breakdown of negotiations over its EU1.6bn debt repayment with the International Monetary Fund. If voters reject the proposal, Greece risks exiting Eurozone. Concerns over what this will mean for the food industry are rife and food manufacturers have started taking measures to prepare for the worst.
Italian confectioner Ferrero has made a surprise move for UK chocolate maker and retailer Thorntons. One cannot ignore the fact Thorntons has had some challenges, not least in recent quarters with sales to UK multiples under pressure. What could be behind Ferrero's decision? Hannah Abdulla explores.
WhiteWave Foods' deal to buy of Canadian firm Vega last week will mean the US group adds plant-based nutritional powders and snack-bars to its range, products industry watchers expect to show promising growth in the near future. But low awareness among mainstream consumers of plant-based proteins could prove a challenge. Hannah Abdulla reports.
Nestle has announced two changes in the last week to try and boost sales of its frozen business in the US. Both moves play into rising consumer trends of healthier eating and convenience. But with Nestle's frozen business still reeling from the effects of a consumer shift towards fresh due to perceptions of it having greater goodness, are the moves enough to win consumers back? Hannah Abdulla explores.
Hormel Foods swooped to acquire natural and organic meat processor Applegate Farms earlier this week in a US$775m deal. In financial terms, the deal does not bring much to the table. Industry experts, however, have reacted favourably due to the long-term growth prospects of the natural and organic meat category. Hannah Abdulla explores what the deal means for Hormel.
Dean Foods this week announced it was bringing its 31 fluid milk brands under one label - DairyPure - and appears to be pushing the latest "hormone-free" trend in its marketing. But, after two quarters of falling profits, and fluid milk still unfavourable with US consumers, is the move enough to put it back on the road to recovery? Hannah Abdulla reports.
Associated British Foods this week announced the launch of a high-protein bread from its Australasian arm George Weston Foods. The company looks to be weighing up options to increase sales in the highly pressured bakery sector. Is its move into the better-for-you category in New Zealand one that will pay off? Hannah Abdulla explores.
France's new health bill, which subject to two further votes could be ratified later this year, includes provision for a voluntary colour-coded front-of-pack nutritional labelling scheme. The debate this has sparked, Ben Cooper writes, mirrors closely that seen in the UK, with food manufacturers sternly opposed to the use of colours.
Bakery giant Aryzta got the market speculating over its next move when, just a week ago, it announced plans to sell shares in Ireland-based agribusiness Origin Enterprises. But what has been the reaction to its planned investment in French frozen food retailer Picard?
General Mills is reported to be considering putting its canned and frozen vegetable business Green Giant on the block. The US food group has refused to comment but, given its sales are under pressure and with US consumers turning away from more processed foods, it seems plausible the company would be weighing up a sale. Dean Best reports.
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