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The best views and opinions in food industry publishing, all in one place, from food's monthly columnists and in-house experts.

Editor's viewpoint: Chiquita right to stand firm

Chiquita Brands International still appears set on its proposed merger with Fyffes – and the US produce giant is, at the moment, right to do...

Comment: Paying the price for eating healthily

Research suggesting the price gap between healthier and less healthy foods is widening will have been greeted with concern by public health...

M&A Watch: Emmi shareholders should consider sale

The recent sale of Italian unit Trentinalatte confirms growth through acquisition is not something Emmi is always successful at. Would, Stef...

FrieslandCampina in China: right place, right time

FrieslandCampina made two announcements last week that it was re-jigging its European operations, demonstrating it was well on its way to ri...


Comment: US food giants slow to react to changing attitudes to health, sustainability 8 Oct 2014

Katy Askew

Some of the largest food manufacturers in the US have been sluggish to react to a consumer-led revolution around attitudes to health,wellness and sustainability. In a soft consumption environment they are now paying the price: struggling to make inroads into an area of growth in the US and losing market share to challenger brands, Katy Askew argues.


Editor's viewpoint: Emmi scales back in Italy's sour dairy market 6 Oct 2014

Dean Best

Emmi's move to sell Italian yoghurt business Trentinalatte, announced this morning (6 October), was the latest example of the challenges facing companies doing business in the country's dairy sector.


Editor's viewpoint: Baptism of fire for new Tesco CEO Lewis 22 Sep 2014

Dean Best

Tesco's dealings with suppliers appear to be at the centre of the latest problem to emerge at the UK's largest retailer. And it is an issue that has left many industry watchers left shaking their heads in bewilderment today (22 September).


just-food's pick: Natural Products Expo East ... in tweets 22 Sep 2014

Katy Askew

Nothing gives you the experience of being on the ground at a trade show - without actually being on the ground - as well as social media. The buzz and activity of the event, the networking and discussion points, the emerging trends and product innovations, are all highlighted on social media pages. So, for those of you that couldn't make it to the Natural Products East Expo in Baltimore last week (18-20 September), here is our pick of the highlights from Twitter.


just-food's pick: Top ten on-trend products at Natural Products Expo East 19 Sep 2014

Katy Askew

just-food's picks of products at the Natural Products Expo East that tap into the hot trends in US grocery.


Editor's viewpoint: US health food in play - but could be pricey 11 Sep 2014

Dean Best

General Mills' move for Annie's has further fuelled the belief US natural and organic food companies, including Hain Celestial and WhiteWave Foods, could become takeover targets for mainstream groups searching for growth. But the price General Mills has agreed to pay for Annie's also underlines such deals would likely be expensive.


Comment: Kingsmill "youth" appeal bodes well for ABF 10 Sep 2014

Katy Askew

In the UK branded bakery space, Associated British Foods-owned Kingsmill has youth appeal. The brand, which is operated by ABF's bakery unit Allied Bakeries, over-indexes with consumers under the age of 35. As long as Kingsmill can maintain its relevance, this bodes well for its long-term health, Katy Askew suggests.


Consuming issues: Elliott puts FSA back in the spotlight 8 Sep 2014

Ben Cooper

Amid the headlines about the UK's plan to set up a food crime unit, Professor Chris Elliott's full report into the UK supply chain has reignited what was a fierce debate - the role of the Food Standards Agency, writes Ben Cooper.


Editor's viewpoint: Do not expect huge change at Danone 4 Sep 2014

Dean Best

Looking at Danone's share price yesterday, one is left with the impression there is an expectation of changes at the French food group now Frank Riboud is to step down as CEO. However, those expecting wholesale change at Danone should perhaps not be so hasty. The executive moves at the top of the yoghurt maker suggest Riboud will still be central to the company's overall strategy.


Comment: Competition to rise as dairies invest in whey production 1 Sep 2014

Katy Askew

Arla Foods is wise to invest in its whey protein production capacity. However, the company is far from alone in pursuing this strategy, with various dairy firms stepping up production to meet growing global demand. As activity increases so too could competition, Katy Askew suggests.


Consuming issues: The hunger-obesity paradox 26 Aug 2014

Ben Cooper

It may seem cruelly ironic the UK faces what is frequently dubbed an "obesity epidemic" while hospital admissions for malnutrition have risen by 19% over the past year. Ironic perhaps, but not surprising. Ben Cooper argues food education and cooking skills would be a simple measure to tackle the issue.


Comment: Holistic approach to obesity issue needed 19 Aug 2014

Katy Askew

The Institute of Economic Affairs, a UK think tank, raised an important issue yesterday (18 August) when it insisted a decline in physical activity is the "root cause" of the obesity epidemic. The IEA research aims to debunk the widespread belief that our widening girths can largely be attributed to calorie consumption. However, while lifestyle factors are central to the obesity issue, Katy Askew suggests that a holistic approach - in which the food industry plays a central role - is needed to combat the problem.


M&A Watch: Why Raisio should sell to private equity 14 Aug 2014

Stefan Kirk, M&A advisors Glenboden

Raisio, the Finland-based group behind brands including Benecol, Honey Monster cereals and Fox's confectionery, has, in recent years, tried to grow via M&A. However, Stefan Kirk of M&A advisors Glenboden questions the company's strategy and believes it should be sold to a private-equity firm to unlock value.


Comment: Definitive action needed if poultry industry to win consumer confidence 6 Aug 2014

Katy Askew

The UK's Food Standards Agency has issued the results of its first set of quarterly campylobacter tests, part of a year-long study into the prevalence of the bacteria in the UK poultry supply. The results reveal that around three-fifths of chicken sold in UK supermarkets are contaminated with the bacteria and the regulator has conceded that more must be done to win over consumer trust. After a personal brush with the issue, having found offal in pre-packed supermarket chicken, Katy Askew would strongly concur.


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

Dean Best

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?


Shopper trends: The World Cup - a victory for retailers? 25 Jul 2014

Tim Eales, IRI

Now that the football World Cup has come and gone, Tim Eales, director of strategic insight at IRI, examines whether it provided a much-needed boost to UK retailers and food manufacturers, or if England’s early demise meant they lost out too.


Comment: Danone could be preparing strategic shake-up 24 Jul 2014

Katy Askew

The spotlight will turn on Danone's strategy to grow its sales and profits tomorrow (25 July) when the group reports its second-quarter results. With what looks set to be a disappointing first half in store, questions could well be asked about whether Danone is on the path to long-term sustainable growth, Katy Askew suggests.


Editor's viewpoint: Why whole sector should take heed of UK, China meat allegations 24 Jul 2014

Dean Best

The meat supply chain is in the spotlight this week, with allegations in the UK and China of poor and potentially unsafe practices at firms supplying retail and foodservice giants including Tesco and McDonald's. But the entire industry needs to pay attention: consumer interest in what they eat is at its highest-ever level.


Comment: ConAgra's TaiMei buy fails to address core problems 17 Jul 2014

Katy Askew

ConAgra Foods believes its latest acquisition - Chinese potato group TaiMei - will help further unlock the growth potential in its Lamb Weston unit. However, the move fails to address the issues dogging ConAgra's private-label and branded businesses and will do little to boost results in the near-term, Katy Askew suggests.


Consuming issues: No candy-coated arguments at sugar summit 14 Jul 2014

Ben Cooper

Last week, medical professionals, industry representatives, policy advisors and others gathered in London to discuss the health impacts of sugar consumption and what government and food companies can do to mitigate them. Ben Cooper was there.


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