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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.

Global factors hold sway over UK milk prices

The price farmers are paid for milk has again made national headlines in the UK - and again it is the country's supermarket chains in the fi...

Why US diet guidelines should consider environment

The possibility environmental criteria might form the latest version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans has provoked intense debate in...

Comment: NZ drought could hit dairy sector

The possibility New Zealand could be facing another year of drought conditions is a serious concern for the country's massive dairy industry...

Plant closures point to pressure at General Mills

More General Mills plants look set to shut as the US food giant wrestles with falling domestic sales. The closures will help profitability b...


Briefing: 2015 preview: Shopper trends - Finding a path to growth in 2015 2 Jan 2015

Anne Lefranc, IRI European marketing director

In such a price-focused environment, manufacturers will need to find innovative ways to grow in 2015. Data, IRI's Anne Lefranc argues, will be central to these strategies.


Consuming issues: Why new laws on food labels can benefit business 12 Dec 2014

Ben Cooper

The new EU-wide food labelling regulations coming into effect tomorrow (13 December) represent the most extensive revision of food labelling regulations manufacturers across Europe will ever have had to cope with.


Editor's viewpoint: Why a sale of Unilever's spreads arm is unlikely to be imminent 8 Dec 2014

Dean Best

Unilever's move to internally spin off its spreads unit was seen by many company and industry watchers as a pre-cursor to a sale. However, an imminent sale in unlikely, with the business under-pressure and a paucity of suitors standing buy.


Comment: Ferrero's dilemma highlights the problem of red tape in India 3 Dec 2014

Katy Askew

Ferrero Group is purportedly re-thinking its investment plan in India due to difficulties with regulators in the country. The Indian market - with its massive population and still growing middle class - is a huge opportunity for FMCG manufacturers. But, as the Ferrero case shows, Indian regulations continue to discourage investment in local production - to the detriment of the country's economic outlook.


Comment: Russia's Danone, PepsiCo criticism points to more challenges 1 Dec 2014

Katy Askew

For US and European companies exporting products to Russia, the operating environment has been challenging to say the least. Recent comments from Moscow would suggest that the going could get tougher for multinationals who operate local subsidiaries in the country as well, Katy Askew suggests.


Editor's viewpoint: Why UK food firms must look to export 28 Nov 2014

Dean Best

Tough trading conditions in the UK can make it difficult for food companies to find the time and resources to build a presence overseas. However, Dean Best argues it is that market landscape that makes it imperative more companies look to exports for growth.


Shopper trends: How more promotions can mean higher prices for consumers 27 Nov 2014

Tim Eales, IRI

A focus throughout Europe on offering high volumes of products on promotion is not making the average shopping basket any cheaper, and consumers are not necessarily getting a good deal on price and are ending up paying more for their average shop, according to IRI's Tim Eales.


Comment: Mondelez digital strategy suffers blow with UK ruling 26 Nov 2014

Katy Askew

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority dealt Mondelez International a blow today (26 November) when it found the group's YouTube ads breach the country's advertising code. The ruling is significant for the snacks giant given the recent video-streaming drive it hopes will position it as a "digital pioneer". Mondelez is nevertheless wise to forge ahead in its bid to connect with consumers online, Katy Askew suggests.


Comment: Why Gardein is Pinnacle's ideal fodder 19 Nov 2014

Hannah Abdulla

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 frozen food aisle and win it brownie points with a heap of consumers.


Editor's viewpoint: Imminent Hostess Brands sale would be surprise 17 Nov 2014

Dean Best

The private-equity owners of Hostess Brands are, according to reports, mulling a sale, just a year after buying the US snacks business. There is speculation Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos are planning for to sell Hostess early next year. However, that looks unlikely.


Comment: Price is the word in UK grocery 12 Nov 2014

Katy Askew

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 now, as a tight focus on price and improved ranging enable Aldi and Lidl to continue to win shoppers in their droves. This week's announcement that Aldi plans to invest heavily in the market should be viewed as a signal of intent. The Germans are coming - and their advance is likely to put even more pressure on pricing for food makers. Katy Askew reports.


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?


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