Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

By just-food.com | 14 May 2010

Whole Foods co-CEO John Mackey

Whole Foods co-CEO John Mackey

Retailers dominated this week's news, with the appointment of a new CEO at Asda, bumper numbers from Sainsbury's, upbeat noises from Whole Foods and strike action at Carrefour. Here is the best of who said what about this week's top stories.

"Our ability to directly impact this erosion in the short term is limited, as neither of our choices is attractive. We can reduce the price gap, by lowering our branded pricing - thereby reducing our branded margins. Or we can hold price and continue to lose branded share into private label" - Dean Foods president and CEO Gregg Engles admits the dairy giant is not holding the best of hands.

"We’re very flexible in terms of the kind of things that we might want to buy" - Galen Weston Sr., president and chairman of Canadian food group George Weston, faces up to speculation about the company's war-chest.

"Branded product sales growth has now outpaced private label growth for the last two quarters, and we are seeing some indications of customers starting to selectively trade up to higher-priced items in certain areas" - Whole Foods Market co-CEO John Mackey suggests consumers are dabbling in premium products once again.

"This is the third important deal" - Herwig Dejonghe, chief executive of frozen foods group PinguinLutosa, says the company's proposed transaction with French co-op Cecab ranks alongside previous deals in Belgium and the UK.

"We know our foods taste better. We don't just think it, we know it because we constantly test our food against the market leaders and the own label equivalents and branded equivalents in the market place" - Sainsbury's trading director Mike Cooper emphasises the bullishness of the UK retailer as the company books its annual results.

“Our view is that FDI should open in multi-retailing. We believe it is good for India and the development of a robust supply chain” - Wal-Mart India spokesperson urges the government to open the country's retail sector to international investment.

“This is simply unacceptable at a time when the salaries of the company’s top managers are at astronomical levels by comparison" - Force Ouvrière French union spokesperson rejects Carrefour's pay proposals.

“We’ve long sold grocery products here and the successful Food to Go trial has whetted our customers’ appetite and led to an increased demand for fresh Marks & Spencer food" - Simeon Piasecki, M&S regional MD Asia, on the opening of the company's first international food outlet in Hong Kong.

"We have a robust succession planning and talent development process and Andy Clarke has long been identified as a leader" -Wal-Mart president and CEO Doug McMillon on Andy Clarke's appointment as Asda CEO.

"Wal-Mart appear to have gone for a safe and trusted pair of hands" - Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Keith Bowman's verdict on Clarke's appointment to the helm of Asda.

Sectors: Dairy, Financials, Frozen, Retail

Companies: Sainsbury’s, Carrefour, Asda, Dean Foods, Whole Foods Market, PinguinLutosa

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