In the spotlight
Which manufacturers, retailers or issues are grabbing the headlines?
14 May 2013
Danone's deal to acquire over 90% of US organic baby food firm Happy Family is a first for the French food giant in the category and appears to strengthen its fast-growing infant-nutrition division. Michelle Russell takes a look at the deal.
23 April 2013
Competition in the French retail scene could be about to heat up, with market leader Carrefour reporting an improvement in its domestic operations. Carrefour says it has been encouraged by the results of its pricing initiative and, if the world's second largest retailer really has pulled its socks up at home, life could become tougher for its competitors.
15 April 2013
Retailers are rationing the amount of infant formula consumers can buy in markets including Hong Kong, Australia and now the UK. The move has been prompted by the huge demand for infant formula in China, with consumers buying products overseas and shipping them home. While you might think that rationing comes in response to supply shortages, in actual fact it is more likely an attempt to protect the power to price the same product differently in different markets. Katy Askew reports.
4 April 2013
Chobani's failure to win a court case in the UK over the labelling of its yoghurts as Greek resulted in an injunction against the firm last week. The result, however, now raises questions as to the importance of the provenance of Greek yoghurt for consumers and whether this could lead to similar cases and, in turn, more formal EU regulation.
5 March 2013
Boparan Holdings, the parent company of 2 Sisters Food Group, has continued its drive to rapidly expand its footprint with the announcement that it has acquired the remaining Vion meat businesses in the UK. Katy Askew takes a look at how ambitious 2 Sisters hopes to succeed in a market where Vion struggled.
27 February 2013
While the emphasis on physical activity included in the recently published Australian Dietary Guidelines has been welcomed by food industry advocates, the inclusion of a recommendation to limit foods containing added sugars was less enthusiastically received. Ben Cooper reports.
15 February 2013
Heinz stunned the global food industry with news it had agreed to a US$28bn takeover offer from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway fund and private-equity firm 3G Capital - purported to be the largest-ever deal in the sector. Dean Best looks at what could lie ahead for the US food giant.
18 January 2013
A report published last week by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers suggesting that up to 50% of food produced globally is not consumed has attracted significant media attention. Ben Cooper reports.
16 January 2013
News of horse DNA in the economy beef burger ranges of some major retailers raises serious questions around corporate food governance, government monitoring and the implications for public confidence.
11 January 2013
Hilton Foods announced yesterday (11 January) it has reached an agreement with Australian grocer Woolworths Ltd to operate a joint venture company. The move will mark Hilton's first foray into the Australian market and could point to further expansion plans in the region. Katy Askew reports.
4 January 2013
Arca Continental's decision to acquire US-based Wise Foods and Ecuadorian snacks firm Inalecsa could come as a surprise, given that the Coca-Cola bottler's interests are primarily in the beverage sector. However, Michelle Russell suggests, the Mexican firm is likely to use the acquisitions to take its Mexican brands into new markets while also leveraging the capabilities of Wise and Inalecsa to boost its Mexican snacks presence.
13 December 2012
Increased exposure to emerging markets? Tick. Boost portfolio with more in-demand products? Tick. Barry Callebaut tried to outline the benefits of its move to buy Petra Foods' cocoa ingredients arm but the market winced at the price paid. Dean Best reports.
18 October 2012
The deal by William Jackson Food Group (WJFG) to purchase organic food group Abel & Cole has garnered a mixed reaction from industry watchers, some of whom were surprised by the deal and others more confident of the fit.
12 October 2012
Zetar's decision to accept a bid from Germany's Zertus raised eyebrows but the UK confectioner and snack firm, frustrated at not being able to grow as quickly as it wanted, sees the sale as a way to fulfil its European ambitions.
1 October 2012
Last week brought further evidence of the difficulties facing food manufacturers as they look to grow their businesses in the developed markets of the US and Europe.
14 September 2012
A chunk of Dole Food Co.'s business could end up in the hands of one of Japan's largest trading houses it was announced this week - and China appears to be central to the potential deal.
31 August 2012
Robust, single-minded and colourful were three words that sprung to mind as Carrefour CEO Georges Plassat discussed his plans for the French retail giant yesterday (30 August). However, some were frustrated at the lack of detail, arguing it will be difficult to judge whether Plassat's strategy will succeed in turning around the world's second-largest retailer.
22 August 2012
Orkla, the Norwegian conglomerate with interests in aluminium and finance as well as pizza and chocolate, wants to focus on consumer goods. This week, Orkla agreed to buy local food group Rieber & Son and, although analysts expressed misgivings at the price it paid, they believe it is a sensible move from the company. Dean Best reports.
10 August 2012
Chiquita Brands International's plans to pursue a new strategic direction with a focus on driving profits in its core businesses garnered a positive reaction from analysts this week.
19 July 2012
UK-based meat packer Hilton Food Group has once again indicated it plans to drive organic growth by expanding in new and existing markets. However, Hilton is facing a number of headwinds this year. Rising materials costs, a constrained consumer environment and currency exchange all look set to weigh on full-year profits.