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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.

Focus: Why ABF is making bread better-for-you

Associated British Foods this week announced the launch of a high-protein bread from its Australasian arm George Weston Foods. The company l...

Comment: Act now to cut antibiotics in meat

All signs are pointing to a growing public awareness of – and concern about – the use of human antibiotics in animals that will subsequently...

Comment: How dairy can leverage nutrition

Consumer awareness of nutrition is on the rise and globally. While salt and sugar reduction have grabbed the headlines, with campaign groups...

IRI: Promos must not be only path to growth

Despite signs economic conditions in Europe are improving, competition on price remains fierce in a number of markets. However, manufacturer...


Editor's viewpoint: PepsiCo's Nooyi underlines the challenge on health 24 Apr 2015

Dean Best

PepsiCo yesterday (22 April) reported a set of solid underlying first-quarter results. But it was away from the numbers that the US food and drinks giant stirred more interest, with Indra Nooyi's comments on the need to adapt to the changing ways consumers define health attracting attention.


Comment: Nestle reacts to world of 3G and Buffett 17 Apr 2015

Katy Askew

Nestle must adapt to emerging consumption trends and consolidation in the food sector with an “acceleration” of its portfolio adjustment efforts, chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe indicated yesterday (16 April).


Editor's viewpoint: Too early to call Unilever food revival 16 Apr 2015

Dean Best

Today was a positive day for Unilever in some ways. The FMCG giant's first-quarter sales beat expectations and its shares rose steadily in London. Broadly, however, it is too soon to say whether Unilever can enjoy sustained growth from its food business.


Comment: Splenda buy would fit Ajinomoto strategy 8 Apr 2015

Katy Askew

Japanese food maker Ajinomoto is said to be interested in acquiring the Splenda sucralose business from UK food ingredients group Tate & Lyle. While Splenda has seen sales and profits hit by heightened global competition, the business nevertheless represents a good fit for Ajinomoto's own ingredients arm, which includes artificial sweetener aspartame.


Comment: Science, not Ashton, could get us chewing gum 8 Apr 2015

Dean Best

Wrigley dominates chewing gum - its market share in the UK for example is north of 80% - but in a bid to keep growing (and indeed freshen up slowing sales) here, the Mars-owned business has embarked on a series of initiatives. But could emphasising the link between sugar-free gum and oral health in a more direct way give a bigger boost to sales?


Editor's viewpoint: Why Heinz-Kraft merger could herald more deals 30 Mar 2015

Dean Best

The US food industry is going through a period of significant change and the major names have struggled to come up with the answers to meet new consumer habits. There have already been signs some are turning to M&A - think of the sales of Bolthouse, of Annie's and even Krave jerky last month - and the Kraft/Heinz mega-merger suggests deal-making could accelerate.


IRI's inside track: The challenge of digital marketing and ROI 26 Mar 2015

Carl Carter, IRI

Digital media is becoming the marketing method of choice for FMCGs, Carl Carter of industry analysts IRI writes. But can manufacturers truly measure if digital media is helping drive shoppers on the path to purchase?


Consuming issues: Living by a (grocery) code 26 Mar 2015

Ben Cooper

Codes governing the relationships between retailers and manufacturers have made headlines in the UK and Australia. However, recent headlines in the UK have shone a spotlight on dealings between manufacturers and their suppliers - and Ben Cooper mulls whether the scrutiny could move towards that part of the supply chain.


Editor's viewpoint: Faber-led Danone gets realistic 19 Mar 2015

Dean Best

At the Consumer Analyst Group of Europe conference in London, Danone's recently-appointed CEO Emmanuel Faber gave a presentation to the investors and analysts in the audience that gave a sense of seriousness, of realism at the French food giant.


Comment: US legacy brands still have pulling power 18 Mar 2015

Katy Askew

Up-and-coming categories and companies are increasingly setting the pace in the US food sector. Demand for natural, healthy, fresh and sustainable products is on the rise. This has left legacy brands facing slumping sales. But, as yesterday's Kraft Foods Group recall shows, there is still considerable interest in the old brands, Katy Askew suggests.


Consuming issues: Why US Dietary Guidelines report deserves praise 24 Feb 2015

Ben Cooper

With a call for nutrient taxes and linking the impact of diet on the environment, the advisory committee's recommendations for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans has been met with criticism by parts of the food industry. Ben Cooper argues the committee deserves praise.


Comment: Why "simple" and "real" will be industry buzzwords this year 23 Feb 2015

Hannah Abdulla

If there's one thing the industry is sure of, it's that consumer demand for cleaner, simpler food is on the rise in the US. This was underlined by the repeated mention of the topic through the course of the Consumer Analyst Group of New York event last week, Hannah Abdulla notes.


Editor's viewpoint: Upheaval in the US 16 Feb 2015

Dean Best

It was a bumper week of 2014 financial results, particularly from the US, but a flurry of announcements - including some surprise admissions - from across the pond on Thursday perhaps best served to underline the challenges facing mainstream food manufacturers in the country.


Comment: Prepare for emerging market e-commerce 9 Feb 2015

Katy Askew

Consumer goods conglomerate Hindustan Unilever is changing the operating model of its business-to-consumer direct sales arm in India, Hindustan Unilever Network, prompting speculation it is paving the way for an e-commerce debut in the country.


Comment: Implications of Tesco probe could be minimal... or very far reaching indeed 5 Feb 2015

Katy Askew

The Grocery Code Adjudicator launched a probe into Tesco's supplier payments today (5 February). Given Tesco has already taken moves to address issues in its supplier dealings, this investigation could appear to be more symbolic than consequential. However, with calls for regulation of supplier payments starting to mount in the UK, the attention it is sure to draw could nevertheless prove significant, Katy Askew suggests.


Comment: Manufacturers should tread carefully over extended payment terms 29 Jan 2015

Katy Askew

Food manufacturers are catching some flack for extending payment terms to their suppliers. The growing tension in the supply chain points to the pressure manufacturers are themselves facing in the current trading environment - and their need to free up cash flow in the balance sheet. But, in a charged political atmosphere, manufacturers should tread carefully, Katy Askew suggests.


Editor's viewpoint: Global factors hold sway over UK milk prices 23 Jan 2015

Dean Best

The price farmers are paid for milk has again made national headlines in the UK - and again it is the country's supermarket chains in the firing line. Even David Cameron has weighed in on the issue. But, UK farmers, like their counterparts around the world, are at the mercy of global factors.


Consuming issues: Why US dietary guidelines should consider environment 22 Jan 2015

Ben Cooper

The possibility environmental criteria might form the latest version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans has provoked intense debate in the US, with the meat industry in strong opposition. The guidelines will be updated this year and politics may mean green issues are not considered. Ben Cooper argues ultimately that must change.


Comment: New Zealand drought could hit dairy sector 16 Jan 2015

Katy Askew

The possibility New Zealand could be facing another year of drought conditions is a serious concern for the country's massive dairy industry - and one which has global implications.


Editor's viewpoint: Plant closures point to pressure at General Mills 9 Jan 2015

Dean Best

More General Mills plants look set to shut as the US food giant wrestles with falling domestic sales. The closures will help profitability but the company will likely have to turn again to M&A to get its top line growing again.


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