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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: Mondelez digital strategy suffers blow

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority dealt Mondelez International a blow today (26 November) when it found the group's YouTube ads breac...

Comment: Why Gardein is Pinnacle's ideal fodder

Pinnacle Foods, owner of Wishbone dressings, has been shopping and has picked out a firm that is going to bulk out its presence in the froze...

Imminent Hostess Brands sale would be surprise

The private-equity owners of Hostess Brands are, according to reports, mulling a sale, just a year after buying the US snacks business. Ther...

Comment: Price is the word in UK grocery

It hardly even seems to count as news: the German discounters continue to make strides in the UK. The trend has been in evidence for years n...


Editor's viewpoint: Milk sale makes Dairy Crest takeover target 6 Nov 2014

Dean Best

Shares in Dairy Crest shot up today (6 November) after the UK dairy group announced a deal to sell its most problematic and under-pressure division - liquid milk. However, it may just be the City was not just reacting to the exit (dependent of course on competition officials approving the transaction) of Dairy Crest from a sector struggling to make money but the fact there could be takeover interest in the leaner company.


Editor's viewpoint: United Biscuits sees Yildiz head West again 3 Nov 2014

Dean Best

Yildiz Holding today (3 November) announced it had won the race to buy UK-based biscuit maker United Biscuits. In doing so, the privately-owned Turkish food group has moved once more to buy a major Western food brand.


Editor's viewpoint: Short-termism decides Chiquita's future 27 Oct 2014

Dean Best

The imminent sale of Chiquita Brands International, the US produce giant, shows how different investment horizons can manifest on a company's share roster - and decide a business's future.


Why data is key to shopper satisfaction 27 Oct 2014

Mike Ray, IRI

Ensuring product availability rates are as high as possible has never been as important, with growth in the grocery sector hard to come by. IRI's Mike Ray argues retailers' supply chain systems are not enough and better data analytics of store sales and promotions can benefit supplier and retailer.


Comment: Growth question hangs over refocused Premier 23 Oct 2014

Dean Best

Premier Foods plc, the UK food group, appears to have a solid strategy in place - but whether it can succeed in eking out top-line growth in a tough trading environment is, at present, less than certain.


Editor's viewpoint: Boulder Brands should consider Smart Balance sale 23 Oct 2014

Dean Best

The US spreads and gluten-free group saw its shares slump yesterday after warning about its short-term profitability. Boulder's Smart Balance business continues to struggle and Dean Best argues the company should be mulling the brand's future within the group's portfolio.


Editor's viewpoint: Chiquita right to stand firm 20 Oct 2014

Dean Best

Chiquita Brands International still appears set on its proposed merger with Fyffes – and the US produce giant is, at the moment, right to do so.


Consuming issues: Paying the price for eating healthily 16 Oct 2014

Ben Cooper

Research suggesting the price gap between healthier and less healthy foods is widening will have been greeted with concern by public health experts and policymakers. Food companies should be worried too but, Ben Cooper argues, they should also be encouraged by the direction this research may take the debate.


M&A Watch: Emmi shareholders should consider sale 14 Oct 2014

Stefan Kirk, M&A advisors Glenboden

The recent sale of Italian unit Trentinalatte confirms growth through acquisition is not something Emmi is always successful at. Would, Stefan Kirk asks, the Swiss group's shareholders consider a liquidity event that would make them a participant in European dairy consolidation, plus earn them lots of money?


Comment: FrieslandCampina in China - the right place at the right time 10 Oct 2014

Hannah Abdulla

FrieslandCampina made two announcements last week that it was re-jigging its European operations, demonstrating it was well on its way to right-sizing its business. This week it announced it had struck a deal to grow its presence in China's infant formula market. Given the country is in the midst of lifting its one-child policy, this latest move from the Dutch dairy giant could prove fundamental to its growth, fast-tracking it to hitting its route2020 targets. Hannah Abdulla explores.


Comment: US food giants slow to react to changing attitudes to health, sustainability 8 Oct 2014

Katy Askew

Some of the largest food manufacturers in the US have been sluggish to react to a consumer-led revolution around attitudes to health,wellness and sustainability. In a soft consumption environment they are now paying the price: struggling to make inroads into an area of growth in the US and losing market share to challenger brands, Katy Askew argues.


Editor's viewpoint: Emmi scales back in Italy's sour dairy market 6 Oct 2014

Dean Best

Emmi's move to sell Italian yoghurt business Trentinalatte, announced this morning (6 October), was the latest example of the challenges facing companies doing business in the country's dairy sector.


Editor's viewpoint: Baptism of fire for new Tesco CEO Lewis 22 Sep 2014

Dean Best

Tesco's dealings with suppliers appear to be at the centre of the latest problem to emerge at the UK's largest retailer. And it is an issue that has left many industry watchers left shaking their heads in bewilderment today (22 September).


just-food's pick: Natural Products Expo East ... in tweets 22 Sep 2014

Katy Askew

Nothing gives you the experience of being on the ground at a trade show - without actually being on the ground - as well as social media. The buzz and activity of the event, the networking and discussion points, the emerging trends and product innovations, are all highlighted on social media pages. So, for those of you that couldn't make it to the Natural Products East Expo in Baltimore last week (18-20 September), here is our pick of the highlights from Twitter.


just-food's pick: Top ten on-trend products at Natural Products Expo East 19 Sep 2014

Katy Askew

just-food's picks of products at the Natural Products Expo East that tap into the hot trends in US grocery.


Editor's viewpoint: US health food in play - but could be pricey 11 Sep 2014

Dean Best

General Mills' move for Annie's has further fuelled the belief US natural and organic food companies, including Hain Celestial and WhiteWave Foods, could become takeover targets for mainstream groups searching for growth. But the price General Mills has agreed to pay for Annie's also underlines such deals would likely be expensive.


Comment: Kingsmill "youth" appeal bodes well for ABF 10 Sep 2014

Katy Askew

In the UK branded bakery space, Associated British Foods-owned Kingsmill has youth appeal. The brand, which is operated by ABF's bakery unit Allied Bakeries, over-indexes with consumers under the age of 35. As long as Kingsmill can maintain its relevance, this bodes well for its long-term health, Katy Askew suggests.


Consuming issues: Elliott puts FSA back in the spotlight 8 Sep 2014

Ben Cooper

Amid the headlines about the UK's plan to set up a food crime unit, Professor Chris Elliott's full report into the UK supply chain has reignited what was a fierce debate - the role of the Food Standards Agency, writes Ben Cooper.


Editor's viewpoint: Do not expect huge change at Danone 4 Sep 2014

Dean Best

Looking at Danone's share price yesterday, one is left with the impression there is an expectation of changes at the French food group now Frank Riboud is to step down as CEO. However, those expecting wholesale change at Danone should perhaps not be so hasty. The executive moves at the top of the yoghurt maker suggest Riboud will still be central to the company's overall strategy.


Comment: Competition to rise as dairies invest in whey production 1 Sep 2014

Katy Askew

Arla Foods is wise to invest in its whey protein production capacity. However, the company is far from alone in pursuing this strategy, with various dairy firms stepping up production to meet growing global demand. As activity increases so too could competition, Katy Askew suggests.


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