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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.

Why M&A activity looks set to rise

The global food sector has seen an array of M&A ranging from the mega deals such as Heinz-Kraft to the more commonplace bolt-on acquisitions...

Waitrose's personalised promos will stir industry

UK grocer Waitrose has got industry watchers talking this afternoon (17 June) with the launch of a promotional programme that lets consumers...

Expect more deals from Campbell Soup Co.

Campbell Soup Co. has again moved to inject growth into its business through M&A, snapping up US salsa-to-houmous maker Garden Fresh Gourmet...

IRI: the pressures affecting chilled food

Falling prices in a number of European markets have dampened sales growth in chilled and fresh food. With consumer confidence on the rise in...


Editor's viewpoint: Campbell working hard but challenges remain 27 May 2015

Dean Best

Campbell Soup Co.'s third-quarter results included some positive news. Sales from the US group's baking and snacking arm grew solidly, while the company's profitability beat analyst expectations amid productivity savings and a pull back on promotional spending. However, Campbell's top line remains under pressure and it may have to turn to other measures to get sales growing.


Comment: Can Applegate retain consumer trust under Hormel? 27 May 2015

Katy Askew

Hormel Foods has moved to acquire Applegate Farms to tap into growing demand for natural and organic protein in the US. But what makes Applegate different is its ethical take on food production. If the company is to retain consumer trust under its new corporate owner, Hormel must let Applegate remain true to its founding principles, Katy Askew argues.


Consuming issues: UK Responsibility Deal must address credibility gap 20 May 2015

Ben Cooper

A report has criticised the UK's Public Health Responsibility Deal, a set of voluntary programmes that has seen industry work with government and public health professionals to try improve the country's health. Ben Cooper argues opponents of the scheme should not automatically see the report as vindication but insists the Deal has work to do address the report's findings.


Editor's viewpoint: Why FMCG background vital for next Thorntons CEO 19 May 2015

Dean Best

In some ways, Jonathan Hart will leave the UK chocolate maker and retailer Thorntons next month in a better position than he found the business when he joined in January 2011. However, when Hart steps down on 27 June, a decision announced yesterday (18 May), Thorntons should be looking for - or be set to install - a new chief executive with more experience in FMCG and in selling branded products to UK and international grocers.


Comment: Why USDA action on GMOs could block mandatory labelling 18 May 2015

Katy Askew

The labelling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food products is a massive hot potato in the US. Not least because states like Vermont are attempting to push through mandatory labelling – something staunchly opposed by much of the food industry. The USDA entered the fray when it revealed the development of a certification and labelling scheme for GMOs under its existing Process Verified Program. Could this help stave off compulsory labels?


Editor's viewpoint: It's tough but industry needs to act on water 14 May 2015

Dean Best

California is, in its own words, "facing one of the most severe droughts on record" and food and beverage companies are under scrutiny. The situation has served to bring a serious issue facing the industry to wider attention - and that may spark more companies into action in an area where environmental advocates say its record is mixed.


Consuming issues: Why Mars' sugar call should be welcomed 14 May 2015

Ben Cooper

Campaigners would contend companies do not often make progressive moves on issues of public concern until pressure has been exerted on them to do so. In the food sector, there is a fair deal of historical evidence to support this, so moves like the one Mars Inc has made on the labelling of added sugar in the US are somewhat rare.


Editor's viewpoint: Kellogg cautiously positive but questions remain 6 May 2015

Dean Best

There were some cautiously positive noises coming out of Kellogg yesterday (5 May) as the US food group announced its first-quarter results - but a number of questions still hang over the Special K and Pringles maker.


In the spotlight: Why ABF's George Weston is making bread better-for-you 1 May 2015

Hannah Abdulla

Associated British Foods this week announced the launch of a high-protein bread from its Australasian arm George Weston Foods. The company looks to be weighing up options to increase sales in the highly pressured bakery sector. Is its move into the better-for-you category in New Zealand one that will pay off? Hannah Abdulla explores.


Comment: Industry should act now to cut antibiotics in meat 1 May 2015

Katy Askew

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


Comment: How the dairy sector should leverage functional nutrition 30 Apr 2015

Katy Askew

Consumer awareness of nutrition is on the rise and globally. While salt and sugar reduction have grabbed the headlines, with campaign groups insisting the industry should do more on reformulation and reduction, consumers have increasingly come to expect manufacturers to offer products that deliver positive functional benefits. Katy Askew suggests the dairy sector could be poised to benefit.


IRI's inside track: Why price must not be only path to growth 27 Apr 2015

Jacques Dupré, IRI

Despite signs economic conditions in Europe are improving, competition on price remains fierce in a number of markets. However, manufacturers must use more weapons that just simply price in their quest for growth, IRI's Jacques Dupré argues.


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.


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