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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: ConAgra failing to address core issues

ConAgra Foods believes its latest acquisition - Chinese potato group TaiMei - will help further unlock the growth potential in its Lamb West...

Comment: No candy-coated arguments at sugar summit

Last week, medical professionals, industry representatives, policy advisors and others gathered in London to discuss the health impacts of s...

Comment: Slim-Fast sale shows declining category

Unilever announced late yesterday (10 July) that it has sold its Slim-Fast diet foods business as it trims the fat from its food portfolio....

Focus: Trade restrictions hitting Russian outlook

In a period of escalating international tensions, Russia is turning to the use of trade restrictions as a political weapon. This adds a laye...

Editor's viewpoint: Dairy Crest's appeal may grow after deals 3 Jul 2014

Dean Best

Strategically, Dairy Crest's deals with fellow UK dairy group Fayrefield Foods and New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra to serve the global infant formula market are astute moves. But the deals could also catch the eye of some of the world's larger dairy processors about Dairy Crest's new capabilities.

Comment: Kroger eyes two growing trends with Vitacost deal 2 Jul 2014

Dean Best

US retail giant Kroger, one of the largest traditional supermarket chains in the country, today (2 July) announced a deal that showed it has recognised two key macro trends in the grocery sector - and wants a piece of the action.

Shopper trends: Industry must rethink promo strategy 2 Jul 2014

Tim Eales, IRI

Across Europe, the level of promotions in grocery stores continued to increase in 2013 - but without boosting sales volumes. IRI's Tim Eales says the sector needs to review how they promote in order to drive sales.

Consuming issues: Oxfam as industry's "critical friend" 30 Jun 2014

Ben Cooper

Oxfam's latest analysis of the food industry's efforts on to tackle climate change demonstrates how the NGO can partner with industry at time but still play a role in handing out stinging criticism where necessary, Ben Cooper believes.

Editor's viewpoint: Nestle deserves praise for living wage 30 Jun 2014

Dean Best

Cynics will scoff a company the size of Nestle can easily afford to become a "Living Wage" employer in the UK. And perhaps there would be an element of truth in that. But the fact the world's largest food maker is willing to invest in its staff should be applauded - and the hope is some of its closest competitors - companies with vast resources of their own - will follow.

Editor's viewpoint: Big year ahead for ConAgra 27 Jun 2014

Dean Best

After a tough year, which included three profit warnings, ConAgra Foods and its management team face a very important 12 months. The US group's management believe it can improve the performance of both its consumer food and private-label arms but some industry watchers are less certain.

Editor's viewpoint: Domestic challenge for General Mills 26 Jun 2014

Dean Best

General Mills chief Ken Powell did his best yesterday (25 June) to be positive despite a surprise fall in sales in the US food giant's fourth quarter rounding off a challenging year for the company. Powell insisted General Mills had plenty of ways to revitalise its top line but the Cheerios and Yoplait owner faces another challenging year.

Comment: Sugar reduction pledge, not tax, could interest regulators 25 Jun 2014

Ben Cooper

A tax on sugar has again hit the headlines in recent days, with a call from campaign group Action on Sugar and, significantly, after a key expert on obesity said new policies should be looked at. However, Ben Cooper says evidence sin taxes work is sketchy, although he argues Action on Sugar's separate call for an industry pledge to lower sugar could interest regulators.

Editor's viewpoint: Questions mount for ConAgra 19 Jun 2014

Dean Best

After three profit warnings in a year, it is little wonder the performance of US food giant ConAgra Foods is under scrutiny.

Editor's viewpoint: Premier feeling the pressure 18 Jun 2014

Dean Best

The City has welcomed Premier Foods' moves to spin off parts of its businesses into joint ventures but it is still the performance of the UK group's core brands that moves its shares - and that concerns investors.

Comment: Increased competition could revitalise US frozen sector 18 Jun 2014

Katy Askew

Sales in the frozen aisle have been lacklustre in the US for some years. However, increased competitive activity from the likes of Nestle, ConAgra Foods and Tyson Foods could help rejuvenate the sector, Katy Askew suggests.

Industry view: CPG futures online - beware the drones 2 Jun 2014

John Lawrence, business development director, SGK Europe

With CPG sales migrating online, innovative delivery methods being developed by the likes of Amazon will have profound implications for food manufacturers, SGK Europe's John Lawrence suggests.

Comment: US food sector consolidation sees raising valuations 2 Jun 2014

Katy Askew

The dramatic M&A battle being played out in the US protein space comes as fresh evidence that food companies are willing to pay top-dollar for quality businesses in a consolidating sector.

Comment: Industry must tackle organic supply constraints 30 May 2014

Katy Askew

Rising demand for the products you manufacture is a good thing, right? Not necessarily - as the annual results of US natural and organic food manufacturer Annie's have demonstrated, Katy Askew writes.

Editor's viewpoint: Seeing the value in being lean 29 May 2014

Dean Best

With the bidding war for Hillshire Brands intensifying, it is pertinent to point out just how correct Sara Lee's management - and those on Wall Street that supported the split - were about the shareholder benefits of separating the old business.

Consuming issues: Why understanding food wastage is vital 28 May 2014

Ben Cooper

The considerable attention given to the topic of food wastage over the past couple of years has ensured the issue has grown both in public awareness and also as a priority for companies and policymakers seeking to make the global food system more sustainable.

Comment: Pork DNA in halal Cadbury chocolate could undermine trust 27 May 2014

Katy Askew

A string of headlines out of Malaysia this weekend would suggest that Mondelez International is in some hot water in the market.

Focus: EU food sector unites in joint sustainability declaration 27 May 2014

Ben Cooper

Agricultural, manufacturing and retail partners within the European food sector have collaborated in a joint declaration of some 32 sustainability policy recommendations for European lawmakers. Ben Cooper reports.

Comment: Multinationals face local challenge in BRICs 27 May 2014

Katy Askew

Food companies in developed markets are increasingly looking to cash in on the potential offered by high-growth emerging markets. But as data published by just-food in partnership with Kantar Worldpanel suggests, multinationals are coming up against some stiff local competition.

Editor's viewpoint: Why sale the best bet for Goodman Fielder 19 May 2014

Dean Best

For the more patriotic sections of Australia's food industry, there is likely to be some dismay at the prospect of another local food company falling into overseas ownership. But the proposed sale of Goodman Fielder, one of the country's largest food manufacturers, looks to be the right move for its shareholders - and for the business as a whole.

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