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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: Premier has more to ponder than Brexit

This week's profit warning from Premier Foods plc dismayed the market with analysts expressing concern about the UK group's ability to pass...

Food market in 2017: big foodservice trends

Foodservice is rapidly becoming a global industry, and operators and manufacturers need to be aware of, and stay ahead of, big trends to be...

Comment: Activia leaves sour taste for Danone

Danone surprised the market on Monday (19 December) with a warning on its full-year sales. In more positive news, the French giant also said...

Comment: Don't rule out Kraft, Mondelez deal

The speculation linking Kraft Heinz to a possible bid for Mondelez International is casting just-food's mind back seven years and giving it...


The key issues for suppliers and retailers in 2017 - IRI's take 14 Dec 2016

José Carlos González-Hurtado, president, IRI International

In the latest of its monthly columns on just-food, FMCG market research giant IRI surveys the main issues food manufacturers and retailers will have to consider as they market and sell to consumers in 2017.


Hain Celestial looks outside to strengthen - editor's viewpoint 12 Dec 2016

Dean Best

Hain Celestial has grown rapidly to become one of the largest companies in perhaps the most attractive segments of the US food sector. However, there appears to have been a recognition that broadening the experience of the natural and organic group's senior management team is what the company needs.


The food industry in 2017 - The key questions for digital strategists 8 Dec 2016

Keith Anderson, Profitero

In his latest column for just-food, Keith Anderson, vice president of strategy and insights at e-commerce analytics firm Profitero, outlines what food companies interested in growing online must consider in 2017.


Love it or hate it - price an underlying tension across Europe's FMCG sector 20 Oct 2016

Anne Lefranc, IRI European marketing director

The spat between Unilever and Tesco in the UK over price grabbed the headlines last week but, across Europe, for different reasons, price remains a critical issue for the FMCG sector. Consumers remain price sensitive despite improving economic conditions and are wasting less, meaning growth is hard to come by. IRI's Anne Lefranc looks at ways suppliers and retailers could work together to drive sales and profits.


It will not just be Unilever to push for Brexit price hikes - editor's viewpoint 13 Oct 2016

Dean Best

There will be more requests on retailers to move on price. Not every supplier will be successful. And for those that are not, it may serve as a push to, ultimately, look for scale or for a buyer. Another round of consolidation in the sector is likely.


What next for the new Mars Wrigley Confectionery... and for Warren Buffett? 10 Oct 2016

Dean Best

Mars has moved to take full control of Wrigley, buying the minority stake held in the chewing gum maker by Warren Buffett. The deal could create a stronger competitor, particularly in the US, but there are some more strategic questions for Mars to answer, while the transaction can only add to Buffett's firepower should he wish to make more acquisitions in the food industry, writes Dean Best.


What next for UK turkey processor Bernard Matthews? 23 Sep 2016

Dean Best

There is hope the embattled UK turkey processor can be revitalised under the stewardship of Ranjit Singh Boparan, the UK businessman with extensive interests in poultry. However, there are questions about what will happen to the pensions of Bernard Matthews' staff, while the company's commercial performance is in need of improvement.


Why Theresa May's Brexit comments give manufacturers reason for optimism 8 Sep 2016

Ben Cooper

Amid the uncertainty following the UK vote to leave the EU on 23 June, British food companies and global food giants with UK sites will have been buoyed by a question at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons yesterday (7 Sept) - and Theresa May’s response.


Tyson Foods needs to grasp the nettle on plant-based protein - comment 1 Sep 2016

Ben Cooper

The five shareholder resolutions filed by Tyson Foods investors last week seeking changes to environment, social and governance policies pertain to business risks for the US meat giant - and none more so than that on plant protein. Ben Cooper argues Tyson Foods needs to act now on the issue.


Why England child obesity plan is best industry could have hoped for 18 Aug 2016

Ben Cooper

The UK government’s action plan on childhood obesity in England, launched today (18 August), has been criticised by industry bodies, health campaigners and medical professionals alike. However, campaigners have more to gripe about than industry, writes Ben Cooper.


Hain Celestial accounting issue rounds off problematic year - Editor's Viewpoint 17 Aug 2016

Dean Best

Shares in Hain Celestial nose-dived yesterday (16 August) as Wall Street responded to a surprise announcement on Monday late afternoon US time from the Earth's Best baby food maker - and it was an announcement that capped an unsettling year for the business.


Where does further delay leave the UK child obesity strategy? 26 Jul 2016

Ben Cooper

Those waiting for the UK government's long-awaited child obesity strategy will have to wait a little longer. According to media reports last week, incoming prime minister Theresa May has decided to delay launching the Strategy until the autumn. 


How regional divergence in policy sets food companies new challenge 14 Jul 2016

Ben Cooper

The regional government in the Indian state of Kerala has become the latest administration to impose a tax on less healthy foods. Ben Cooper assesses the significance of this move to multinational food companies.


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.


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