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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.

Comment: Hain Celestial cognisant of US challenges

Irwin Simon, the founder, president and CEO of Hain Celestial, often comes across as one of the more forthright chief executives in the US f...

Why Campbell's move on GMOs is savvy

The decision by Campbell Soup Co. to back nationwide mandatory labelling of the genetically modified ingredients in food on sale in the US,...

Why L Catterton will stir interest in M&A circles

A striking transaction has been announced in the private-equity world, with US buy-out house Catterton to join forces with the investment ar...

Food industry in 2016 - Don't give up on Europe

Europe's recent economic woes may have dampened enthusiasm for the region but IRI believes there are numerous ways to grow for food manufact...

Why General Mills' home discomforts raise strategic questions 21 Dec 2015

Dean Best

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.

The food industry’s vital role in realising COP21 vision 17 Dec 2015

Ben Cooper

The COP21 agreement marks the start of a huge concerted effort in which the food industry will have a leading role to play, Ben Cooper writes.

Muller Quaker Dairy did not stand out in US yoghurt crowd 11 Dec 2015

Dean Best

Just three years after PepsiCo and Muller launched their bid to capture part of the US yoghurt market, the companies have thrown in the towel. Dean Best believes the companies did not create distinct enough products to succeed in a competitive category.

How US foodservice is getting more ethnic flavour 7 Dec 2015

David Henkes, Technomic

The broader tastes of younger consumers is fuelling the expansion of chains focused on ethnic food in the US. David Henkes, vice president at foodservice analysts Technomic, looks at which types of outlet are on the rise and hints at the trends to watch.

Why there is a ceiling to discounter growth 1 Dec 2015

José Carlos González-Hurtado, president, IRI International

Discount retailers are a major force in grocery retailing in a number of European markets, forcing supermarkets to adapt and prompting suppliers to revise their strategies in a number of areas. However, in a guest column for just-food, José Carlos González-Hurtado, the former Carrefour chief commercial officer who is now president of international at IRI, outlines why there could be limits to the growth of the discounters.

Why Pinnacle Foods faces work on Boulder Brands 30 Nov 2015

Dean Best

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.

What could be the benefits of US approval of GM salmon? 30 Nov 2015

Ben Cooper

The US Food and Drug Administration's decision to approve AquaBounty Technologies' AquAdvantage salmon for consumption in the country sees the collision of two highly controversial subjects, namely aquaculture and genetic modification.

How Kellogg's tone on cereal is sounding soggier 4 Nov 2015

Hannah Abdulla

Kellogg has this week insisted its struggling US cereal division is showing signs of improvement. However, despite recent innovation and an attempt to reposition Special K, Kellogg posted yet another period of declining domestic cereal sales in the third quarter. And Hannah Abdulla suggests there are signs Kellogg's expectations for its US cereal business are becoming more subdued.

Why fast casual is about to get serious in UK 30 Oct 2015

David Henkes, Technomic

Fast-casual outlets are a small part of the UK's restaurant trade - but the sector is growing rapidly, with sales growth outpacing the number of locations opening. Technomic's David Henkes argues fast casual is set to take off in the country.

Why industry should engage after Public Health England sugar report 27 Oct 2015

Ben Cooper

With suspicion of so-called Big Food at an all-time high, the food industry needs to be proactive in its response to Public Health England's report on sugar. Ben Cooper highlights ways manufacturers could show positive engagement.

Why decision on US dietary guidelines is missed opportunity 12 Oct 2015

Ben Cooper

The US Dietary Guidelines of Americans are reviewed every five years because they are expected to evolve in response to scientific progress and recent years have seen fundamental changes in how the sustainability of the food supply and diet is viewed. Environmental criteria are too important to be ignored. Ben Cooper argues the US government has erred by not including environmental factors in the latest advice.

The consistent inconsistency of European promotions 5 Oct 2015

Jacques Dupré, IRI

Are promotions leading to increased sales in Europe's major grocery markets? IRI's Jacques Dupré analyses how discounts are affecting sales, finding a mixed picture, and warns manufacturers of the dangers of sustained high levels of promotion.

How latest trans fat studies show complexity of health debate 29 Sep 2015

Ben Cooper

Two pieces of research in Europe on trans fat underline the complexity of dietary science and, therefore, the formulation of product development strategies and public health messages. Ben Cooper reports.

What peanut exec sentence says about attitudes to US food safety 23 Sep 2015

Katy Askew

This week saw the owner and CEO of the now defunct Peanut Corporation of America, Stewart Parnell, sentenced to a 28-year jail term over his role in the 2008-9 salmonella outbreak that killed nine people and sickened 714 more.

How full service restaurants, pubs can maintain momentum 18 Sep 2015

David Henkes, Technomic

The fundamentals of Britain’s strengthening economy are favouring restaurants right now, particularly full-service restaurants and pubs. These sit-down eateries appear to be benefiting not only from improving consumer confidence and customers’ increasing willingness to spend, but also from people’s growing interest in new flavours.

Why Quorn Foods auction promises to be competitive 8 Sep 2015

Dean Best

The starting gun on the race for Quorn Foods is to be fired this week and interest in the UK meat-free business is likely to be high.

How competition is intensifying among UK burger chains 25 Aug 2015

David Henkes, Technomic

As if hamburger-focused concepts in the UK did not already have enough competition, now the Americans are coming, bringing many of their better burger brands across the Atlantic in order to capitalise on one of Britain’s hottest restaurant segments.

IRI's inside track: Should Europe's confectioners focus more on health and sustainability? 14 Aug 2015

Cristina Lazzaroni, IRI

Europe's confectionery market is the world's largest but sales are stagnant. How can confectioners eke out growth? IRI business insight manager Cristina Lazzaroni, investigates.

Comment: FSSAI's antagonism on Maggi is lose-lose 6 Aug 2015

Katy Askew

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has taken a hard line on Nestle's Maggi brand. But – with Nestle's strong international food safety and compliance record – has the regulator picked the right battle? Katy Askew suggests the FSSAI's increasingly belligerent tone and single-mindedness in its pursuit of Nestle will do little to improve food safety in the country. It could, however, make multinationals think twice about investing in India.

Consuming issues: The war on child labour in cocoa is far from won 5 Aug 2015

Ben Cooper

The rise in the incidence of child labour in west African cocoa production detailed in last week's report from Tulane University is a disappointment to all those working to address the issue, including food companies. While the statistics reveal some relative improvements and give ground for optimism, Ben Cooper writes, the abiding message has to be that more must be done.

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