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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.

Short-termism decides Chiquita's future

The imminent sale of Chiquita Brands International, the US produce giant, shows how different investment horizons can manifest on a company'...

Why data is key to shopper satisfaction

Ensuring product availability rates are as high as possible has never been as important, with growth in the grocery sector hard to come by....

Growth question hangs over refocused Premier

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...

Boulder Brands should consider Smart Balance sale

The US spreads and gluten-free group saw its shares slump yesterday after warning about its short-term profitability. Boulder's Smart Balanc...


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.


Consuming issues: The hunger-obesity paradox 26 Aug 2014

Ben Cooper

It may seem cruelly ironic the UK faces what is frequently dubbed an "obesity epidemic" while hospital admissions for malnutrition have risen by 19% over the past year. Ironic perhaps, but not surprising. Ben Cooper argues food education and cooking skills would be a simple measure to tackle the issue.


Comment: Holistic approach to obesity issue needed 19 Aug 2014

Katy Askew

The Institute of Economic Affairs, a UK think tank, raised an important issue yesterday (18 August) when it insisted a decline in physical activity is the "root cause" of the obesity epidemic. The IEA research aims to debunk the widespread belief that our widening girths can largely be attributed to calorie consumption. However, while lifestyle factors are central to the obesity issue, Katy Askew suggests that a holistic approach - in which the food industry plays a central role - is needed to combat the problem.


M&A Watch: Why Raisio should sell to private equity 14 Aug 2014

Stefan Kirk, M&A advisors Glenboden

Raisio, the Finland-based group behind brands including Benecol, Honey Monster cereals and Fox's confectionery, has, in recent years, tried to grow via M&A. However, Stefan Kirk of M&A advisors Glenboden questions the company's strategy and believes it should be sold to a private-equity firm to unlock value.


Comment: Definitive action needed if poultry industry to win consumer confidence 6 Aug 2014

Katy Askew

The UK's Food Standards Agency has issued the results of its first set of quarterly campylobacter tests, part of a year-long study into the prevalence of the bacteria in the UK poultry supply. The results reveal that around three-fifths of chicken sold in UK supermarkets are contaminated with the bacteria and the regulator has conceded that more must be done to win over consumer trust. After a personal brush with the issue, having found offal in pre-packed supermarket chicken, Katy Askew would strongly concur.


Editor's viewpoint: Land of the minnows 4 Aug 2014

Dean Best

Size matters, right? Scale - and the economic benefits that come with it - provide a business with clout smaller competitors find hard to battle. However, could large food companies be losing some of the advantage gained from their size?


Shopper trends: The World Cup - a victory for retailers? 25 Jul 2014

Tim Eales, IRI

Now that the football World Cup has come and gone, Tim Eales, director of strategic insight at IRI, examines whether it provided a much-needed boost to UK retailers and food manufacturers, or if England’s early demise meant they lost out too.


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