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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.

England child obesity plan should cheer industry

The UK government’s action plan on childhood obesity in England, launched today (18 August), has been criticised by industry bodies, health...

Hain accounting issue rounds off problem year

Shares in Hain Celestial nose-dived yesterday (16 August) as Wall Street responded to a surprise announcement on Monday late afternoon US ti...

What delay means for UK child obesity strategy

Those waiting for the UK government's long-awaited child obesity strategy will have to wait a little longer. According to media reports last...

What are the implications of Kerala's 'fat tax'?

The regional government in the Indian state of Kerala has become the latest administration to impose a tax on less healthy foods. Ben Cooper...


Coping with shelf shrinkage: How big data analytics will help food manufacturers 1 Jul 2016

José Carlos González-Hurtado, president, IRI International

Providing consumers with the best line-up of food products has always been a challenge for retailers who understand that choice is a key driver for getting shoppers into stores or buying online. However, a desire to make the shopping experience simpler has led to smaller store formats and the need to cut waste and cost in the supply chain means that retailers are now reducing the number of products they stock.


Brexit sparks uncertainty over food rules and trade for UK - comment 24 Jun 2016

Keith Nuthall

It is hard to predict just what Brexit will mean for food and drink regulations in the UK and for the country's trade arrangements with the EU, as well as third countries. Keith Nuthall sets out what could happen next.


Kellogg uses Kashi to belatedly join the fray - Editor's Viewpoint 17 Jun 2016

Dean Best

Kellogg has this week made its first acquisition in the US for over four years, snapping up fledgling snack bar maker Pure Organic. The deal is similar to those made by a number of Kellogg's US packaged food peers in recent months as some of the big names in the industry try to adapt to changing consumer trends in the country. Dean Best reflects on the move.


Why halal offers opportunities in France grocery sector 1 Jun 2016

Jacques Dupré, IRI

Ramadan begins next week, a month when Muslims fast from dawn until sunset but outside those hours prepare meals with plenty of food. However, in many markets, the halal sector is in growth year-round. Jacques Dupré, director for insights at IRI, looks at manufacturers and grocers can serve a growing market for halal food in France, one of the countries with the highest Muslim populations in Europe.


How the discounters are unsettling Australia's grocery landscape  17 May 2016

Brian Cook, IRI

The rise of Aldi and Costco in Australia in recent years has shaken up the country's grocery retail sector. Brian Cook, group director for solutions and innovations for IRI in Australia, analyses what has happened and sets out how manufacturers and the country's two largest supermarket chains - Woolworths and Coles - can react.


Are consumers getting tired of consuming? 26 Apr 2016

Ben Cooper

Ben Cooper examines consumption itself and asks whether government statistics in the UK published earlier this year, coupled with observations by the head of sustainability at Ikea, signify slowing demand for consumer goods.


McCormick & Co. has appetite for deals - editor's viewpoint 20 Apr 2016

Dean Best

Just a week after dropping its interest in Premier Foods, McCormick & Co. announced the acquisition of Australian chilled herbs firm Botanical Food Co. When the US herbs and spices giant's interest in Premier emerged, McCormick said it had a "pipeline" of targets and industry watchers expect the company to continue to look to M&A for growth.


Should the obesity issue influence companies' growth strategies? 4 Apr 2016

Ben Cooper

United Biscuits, the UK's largest biscuit maker, has set out how it believes the sector in the country can grow sales by GBP500m by 2020. After hearing how the Yildiz Holding-owned business plans to increase the size of the category, Ben Cooper wonders whether the issue of rising obesity should inform how food manufacturers shape their drive for growth.


How strategic priorities shaped PepsiCo leadership shake-up 1 Apr 2016

Katy Askew

News PepsiCo has reorganised its senior management team following the departure of Frito-Lay North America CEO Tom Greco prompted a flurry of speculation from as to whether the company is lining up a successor to chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. However, Katy Askew suggests bringing the company's North American businesses under a single leader can also be viewed as a natural extension of PepsiCo's "power of one" strategy. 


The five pillars to a successful e-commerce strategy 22 Mar 2016

Keith Anderson, Profitero

To win online, packaged food manufacturers must put in place specific strategies to suit the channel. Keith Anderson, vice president of strategy and insights at e-commerce consultants Profitero, sets out what companies should do to build a thriving business in the growing digital sphere.


What could surprise UK sugar drinks tax mean for food industry? 17 Mar 2016

Ben Cooper

The UK government yesterday announced a surprise move to tax sweetened soft drinks. Ben Cooper examines the implications this latest move may have for the government’s child obesity strategy, expected later in the year, and for future food and health policy in the UK.


What has been impact of UK interest in home blending? 1 Mar 2016

Martin Wood, IRI

A number of fresh foods are feeling the benefit of rising consumer interest in the UK in home blending but there appears to be some pressure on beverage sales. Martin Wood, head of strategic insight for retail solutions and innovation at IRI, digs into the numbers.


How to capture the US e-commerce opportunity 24 Feb 2016

Keith Anderson, Profitero

E-commerce is becoming a channel upon which food manufacturers are placing increasing amounts of attention - and resources. In the first of a regular column on just-food, Keith Anderson, vice president of strategy and insights at e-commerce consultants Profitero, analyses the online opportunity for businesses, sets out how they can harness the growth in the channel and illustrates how some smaller brands are gaining an edge.


Hain Celestial confident but cognisant of domestic challenges - comment 2 Feb 2016

Dean Best

Irwin Simon, the founder, president and CEO of Hain Celestial, often comes across as one of the more forthright chief executives in the US food industry, with a firm belief in his company and its prospects. With Hain Celestial's domestic business facing challenges and investor scrutiny intensifying, Simon this week set out how the company will improve its performance in the US and why he believes the group can thrive amid increasing competition - but there were signs he acknowledges the need to adapt to meet the challenge.


Why Campbell's move on GMOs is savvy 14 Jan 2016

Ben Cooper

The decision by Campbell Soup Co. to back nationwide mandatory labelling of the genetically modified ingredients in food on sale in the US, Ben Cooper writes, is more about the merits and importance of greater transparency than it is about the pros and cons of GM itself.


New private-equity giant L Catterton will stir interest in M&A circles 6 Jan 2016

Dean Best

A striking transaction has been announced in the private-equity world, with US buy-out house Catterton to join forces with the investment arm of luxury goods group LVMH - and right along the consumer-facing parts of the food sector companies will be watching closely.


The food industry in 2016 - Don't give up on Europe 3 Jan 2016

José Carlos González-Hurtado, president, IRI International

Europe's recent economic woes may have dampened enthusiasm for the region but IRI believes there are numerous ways to grow for food manufacturers. 


Why General Mills' home discomforts raise strategic questions 21 Dec 2015

Dean Best

General Mills' latest numbers have put the US food giant under scrutiny once more. Last week, the company reported lacklustre second-quarter sales and cut its forecasts for annual sales and earnings. The group's domestic business, which has been under pressure for a number of years now, saw sales fall, leading industry watchers to ponder what lies ahead in 2016 and beyond for the company. Dean Best reports.


The food industry’s vital role in realising COP21 vision 17 Dec 2015

Ben Cooper

The COP21 agreement marks the start of a huge concerted effort in which the food industry will have a leading role to play, Ben Cooper writes.


Muller Quaker Dairy did not stand out in US yoghurt crowd 11 Dec 2015

Dean Best

Just three years after PepsiCo and Muller launched their bid to capture part of the US yoghurt market, the companies have thrown in the towel. Dean Best believes the companies did not create distinct enough products to succeed in a competitive category.


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