Asdas CEO Andy Clarke said it would have been harder for retailers to fail than to succeed in recent years

Asdas CEO Andy Clarke said it would have been harder for retailers to fail than to succeed in recent years

The announcement today that General Mills has entered exclusive talks to buy a stake in French dairy business Yoplait will end one of the most fiercely-contested takeover battles in the food industry in the last 12 months. This week, just-food also spent time exploring the new products on offer at IFE and heard about the strategies driving the UK grocery operators. Here's the best of what was said on just-food this week:

"General Mills and Yoplait have developed an excellent business in America. The brand holds a market leading position [accounting for] 35% of total yoghurt sales and America is one of Yoplait's largest markets. This gives us much confidence in General Mills' [ability] to build on the success of Yoplait" - a Sodiaal spokesperson confirms General Mills' interest in Yoplait.

"It would have been harder to fail than to succeed" - Asda CEO Andy Clarke on the favourable trading conditions retailers have enjoyed in recent years.

"No one wants to be the .2 in the 2.2 kids" - Tesco UK CEO Richard Brasher on why the retailer is looking beyond its Clubcard data to understand more about its customers.

"We're really happy with it" Waitrose managing director Mark Price remains committed to the upmarket retailer's supply relationship with Ocado.

"Asking industry to nudge consumers in the right direction is not enough - and risks undoing all that has been achieved recently in the public health arena" - Food Ethics Council executive director Dr Tom MacMillan criticises the UK government's new responsibilty deal with retailers and manufacturers.

"The branded goods manufacturers participating in the group sat face-to-face with their main rivals at these meetings. Knowledge of prospective requests of the retail trade and reactions of the major competitors to these could have influenced the manufacturers' behaviour to the same extent as information on price increases planned by their competitors. This type of information is usually treated by the companies with strict confidence" - the Bundeskartellamt said as it fined Kraft Foods, Unilever and Dr. Oetker EUR38m (US$53.2m) for illegally sharing competitive information.

"The tie-up of Scana Noliko and PinguinLutosa today creates one of the largest vegetable processing groups in Europe. This combination of strength and know-how puts the group in pole position to play a key role in the further consolidation of the sector, in which scale is an increasingly important factor" -  the head of buyouts for private-equity firm Gimv Alain Keppens described three reasons behind its sale of canned produce maker Scana Nikolo to PinguinLutosa.

"The ex-pat market alone makes the attractiveness of these markets fairly restrictive, so we are planning to convert many local people into Rachel's regular consumers"- Rachel's account manager Chris Smith on the yoghurt manufacturer's expansion plans in Singapore and Hong Kong.

"We want to see what the performance is like first. It really is a premium brand, with small scale production and no artificial ingredients. Let's see how it does before we make a decision on whether to move into some of the larger retailers" - Fischer & Wieser's international market development consultant Pervez Mohammed on the upmarket condiments maker's plans internationally.

"The global players are making a big strategic blunder. They should enter the glucose segment, take the market share and then move the customer up" - Nikhil Vora, managing director of research at Indian equities firm IDFC Securities Ltd, questions why the likes of Kraft Foods are entering India's biscuit market with the launch of premium brands.