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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.

How Kellogg's tone on cereal is sounding soggier

Kellogg has this week insisted its struggling US cereal division is showing signs of improvement. However, despite recent innovation and an...

Why fast casual is about to get serious in UK

Fast-casual outlets are a small part of the UK's restaurant trade - but the sector is growing rapidly, with sales growth outpacing the numbe...

Why industry should engage after UK sugar report

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...

Decision on US dietary advice missed opportunity

The US Dietary Guidelines of Americans are reviewed every five years because they are expected to evolve in response to scientific progress...

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, vice president, 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, vice president, 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.

M&A Watch - Campbell Soup Co. should be more acquisitive - but avoid fresh 27 Jul 2015

Stefan Kirk, M&A advisors Glenboden

Campbell Soup Co. has looked to inject growth into its business through acquisitions in recent years and the indications are this is likely to continue. But where should the US giant look to do deals? Stefan Kirk, just-food M&A columnist and advisor at M&A consultants Glenboden, weighs up the group's options.

Consuming issues: Why UK must act in wake of SACN report 20 Jul 2015

Ben Cooper

A panel advising the UK government on nutrition has recommended halving the official guidance on the consumption of free sugars. Attention now turns to how the country's politicians will respond. Ben Cooper argues the UK government should act - but some policies are more likely than others.

Editor's viewpoint: The impact of China's slowdown 17 Jul 2015

Dean Best

Two significant announcements this week - from dairy giant Fonterra and from infant formula group Mead Johnson - further underlined how the impact of China's recent economic slowdown is affecting companies in our sector.

Comment: How to meet changing demand in US foodservice 14 Jul 2015

David Henkes, vice president, Technomic

In a guest column, David Henkes, vice president at foodservice analysts Technomic, outlines how operators are responding to changing consumer demand, outlining how manufacturers serving the sector can react.

Comment: Why M&A activity looks set to rise 17 Jun 2015

Katy Askew

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 as large corporations gobble up smaller players to plug gaps in their portfolios. While the food sector has seen a busy period for deal-making, according to research from Ernst and Young, this could actually intensify in the next 12 months. Katy Askew reports.

Editor's viewpoint: Waitrose's personalised promos will stir industry 17 Jun 2015

Dean Best

UK grocer Waitrose has got industry watchers talking this afternoon (17 June) with the launch of a promotional programme that lets consumers choose which products they want to buy on offer. Rivals and suppliers will be watching very closely.

Editor's viewpoint: Expect Campbell to follow Garden Fresh with more deals 15 Jun 2015

Dean Best

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. And the odds are more deals in categories like fresh food and snacks will follow.

IRI's inside track - the pressures affecting chilled food 2 Jun 2015

Sarah Pittock, IRI

Falling prices in a number of European markets have dampened sales growth in chilled and fresh food. With consumer confidence on the rise in countries like the UK, there could be further pressure on sales, with shoppers looking to eat out more, while range reviews by retailers are also putting the squeeze on some segments. IRI's Sarah Pittock weighs up the outlook for the sectors.

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.

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