In the spotlight
Which manufacturers, retailers or issues are grabbing the headlines?
Uncertainty is the watchword as the UK and the EU digest British voters plumping for Brexit in yesterday's (23 June) referendum. In an exclusive column, analysts at Rabobank set out how they think the UK's departure could impact certain parts of the food sector.
Amazon has launched its online grocery delivery business AmazonFresh in the UK, one of the most significant moves in the country's food retail sector for a number of years. The introduction of AmazonFresh in the UK is a further sign of the online giant's ambitions in grocery. Keith Anderson, vice president of strategy and insights at e-commerce consultants Profitero, reflects on what Amazon's latest offensive could mean for the industry.
The US government has announced plans to cut the country's salt intake, a move some in campaign circles have been urging for nearly 40 years. The Food and Drug Administration's voluntary targets attracted support from NGOs and parts of the industry, although, as Ben Cooper writes, the reaction was not entirely positive.
Hormel Foods is continuing to bolster its presence in the on-trend natural and better-for-you categories with its latest acquisition of nut-butter products maker Justin's. But how far will the elevated focus on these areas go to alleviating pressure in Hormel's refrigerated foods and pork units? Hannah Abdulla explores.
The UK’s Committee of Advertising Practice has launched a public consultation on new self-regulatory rules governing the advertising of food and drink to children through non-broadcast media. The extent to which non-industry views are reflected in the eventual rules, Ben Cooper writes, will have a direct bearing on their credibility.
Despite Hain Celestial lowering the top end of its forecasts for annual net sales and earnings yesterday (4 May), the US group earned praise from Wall Street for the steps it is taking to cut costs and zero-in on health and wellness trends in the US. On an investor call, Hain Celestial's management team talked at length about what it is taking to position itself for future growth. Hannah Abdulla reports.
Nestle and R&R Ice Cream have finalised plans to combine their ice cream businesses. The new joint venture brings a number of benefits and is likely to see an increased focus behind Nestle's ice cream brands. Katy Askew reports.
Yildiz Holding is restructuring its confectionery and biscuit businesses, uniting the likes of United Biscuits, Ülker and Godiva under a single umbrella subsidiary. The Turkish conglomerate has some ambitious growth targets for the new unit. Katy Askew takes a look at whether it can deliver.
Either side of Christmas, General Mills turned to M&A to try to inject some growth into its business. On 23 December, the company announced a move to buy Brazilian yoghurt maker Carolina to bolster its operations outside the US. Last week, General Mills swooped again, this time domestically, snapping up fledgling US meat snacks firm Epic Provisions, another sign of the attractiveness of protein, snacks and sustainability for food majors. However, the Cheerios maker will have to be judicious in the way it manages the new asset. Dean Best reports.
General Mills' latest numbers have put the US food giant under scrutiny once more. Last week, the company reported lacklustre second-quarter sales and cut its forecasts for annual sales and earnings. The group's domestic business, which has been under pressure for a number of years now, saw sales fall, leading industry watchers to ponder what lies ahead in 2016 and beyond for the company. Dean Best reports.
Nordic food group Orkla is expanding its presence in central Europe through the acquisition of Czech Republic-based Hamé. The deal offers cost and revenue synergies and expands Orkla's presence in categories that are complementary to its portfolio. It also feeds into Orkla's strategy of focusing on regional categories and markets where it can build scale but which have, on the whole, gone under the radar of multinational competitors. Katy Askew reports.
There has been more consolidation in the US food industry, with another big player largely focused on stagnant categories moving for a business in a growing area of the sector. Pinnacle Foods, the business behind the Birds Eye brand in the US, as well as products like Duncan Hines baking mixes and Wish-Bone salad dressings, has struck a deal to buy Boulder Brands - a business in gluten-free but one that has struggled in recent quarters. Dean Best reports.
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.
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