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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.

Competition intensifies among UK burger chains

As if hamburger-focused concepts in the UK did not already have enough competition, now the Americans are coming, bringing many of their bet...

Europe's confectioners facing stagnant sales

Europe's confectionery market is the world's largest but sales are stagnant. How can confectioners eke out growth? IRI business insight mana...

Comment: FSSAI's antagonism on Maggi is lose-lose

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has taken a hard line on Nestle's Maggi brand. But – with Nestle's strong international foo...

Why war on child labour in cocoa far from won

The rise in the incidence of child labour in west African cocoa production detailed in last week's report from Tulane University is a disapp...


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.


Editor's viewpoint: Why FMCG background vital for next Thorntons CEO 19 May 2015

Dean Best

In some ways, Jonathan Hart will leave the UK chocolate maker and retailer Thorntons next month in a better position than he found the business when he joined in January 2011. However, when Hart steps down on 27 June, a decision announced yesterday (18 May), Thorntons should be looking for - or be set to install - a new chief executive with more experience in FMCG and in selling branded products to UK and international grocers.


Comment: Why USDA action on GMOs could block mandatory labelling 18 May 2015

Katy Askew

The labelling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food products is a massive hot potato in the US. Not least because states like Vermont are attempting to push through mandatory labelling – something staunchly opposed by much of the food industry. The USDA entered the fray when it revealed the development of a certification and labelling scheme for GMOs under its existing Process Verified Program. Could this help stave off compulsory labels?


Editor's viewpoint: It's tough but industry needs to act on water 14 May 2015

Dean Best

California is, in its own words, "facing one of the most severe droughts on record" and food and beverage companies are under scrutiny. The situation has served to bring a serious issue facing the industry to wider attention - and that may spark more companies into action in an area where environmental advocates say its record is mixed.


Consuming issues: Why Mars' sugar call should be welcomed 14 May 2015

Ben Cooper

Campaigners would contend companies do not often make progressive moves on issues of public concern until pressure has been exerted on them to do so. In the food sector, there is a fair deal of historical evidence to support this, so moves like the one Mars Inc has made on the labelling of added sugar in the US are somewhat rare.


Editor's viewpoint: Kellogg cautiously positive but questions remain 6 May 2015

Dean Best

There were some cautiously positive noises coming out of Kellogg yesterday (5 May) as the US food group announced its first-quarter results - but a number of questions still hang over the Special K and Pringles maker.


In the spotlight: Why ABF's George Weston is making bread better-for-you 1 May 2015

Hannah Abdulla

Associated British Foods this week announced the launch of a high-protein bread from its Australasian arm George Weston Foods. The company looks to be weighing up options to increase sales in the highly pressured bakery sector. Is its move into the better-for-you category in New Zealand one that will pay off? Hannah Abdulla explores.


Comment: Industry should act now to cut antibiotics in meat 1 May 2015

Katy Askew

All signs are pointing to a growing public awareness of – and concern about – the use of human antibiotics in animals that will subsequently enter the food chain.


Comment: How the dairy sector should leverage functional nutrition 30 Apr 2015

Katy Askew

Consumer awareness of nutrition is on the rise and globally. While salt and sugar reduction have grabbed the headlines, with campaign groups insisting the industry should do more on reformulation and reduction, consumers have increasingly come to expect manufacturers to offer products that deliver positive functional benefits. Katy Askew suggests the dairy sector could be poised to benefit.


IRI's inside track: Why price must not be only path to growth 27 Apr 2015

Jacques Dupré, IRI

Despite signs economic conditions in Europe are improving, competition on price remains fierce in a number of markets. However, manufacturers must use more weapons that just simply price in their quest for growth, IRI's Jacques Dupré argues.


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