Lactalis's acquisition of a stake in Parmalat continued to dominate the headlines this week as the Italian government took steps to "keep Parmalat in Italian hands". Meanwhile, Metro Group and Sainsbury's reported less than impressive results. Here's the best of what was said this week:

"My sense is that the company has been mis-managed for a very long time" - Andy Smith, the head of global consumer equity research at brokers MF Global, describes Parmalat's performance since it was re-listed.

"Nobody can say how big the impact of the Japan disaster, the unrest in the Middle East and the weakness of some southern European countries will be on the global economy" - Metro Group CEO Eckhard Cordes speaks about the factors that may have a negative impact on its results.

"There's no good news on the horizon for customers" - Sainsbury's CEO Justin King describes the economic outlook for UK consumers.

"Our research shows that private label and A-brands are an inseparable combination. Like love and marriage, you can't have one without the other. But where two's company, three's a crowd" Rabobank's Sebastiaan Schreijen describes the relationship between brands and private labels.

"It's a very well defined brand, there's no ambiguity, and we're really happy with that. Amongst young lads its a really iconic brand. It's a rites of passage thing for them, right up there with Lynx and those types of things" - Kepak marketing director John Armstrong talks about its Rustlers brand.

"Due to its strategic location between Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, Turkey is an important market for Metro Group. The great potential is evidenced by the country's exceptional economic growth in recent years. The private consumption has been growing steadily and the this fast-growing market has a young, dynamic, well-educated population" - a Metro Group spokesperson on the importance of its presence in the Turkish market.

As we take pricing action we take this in context of all the things we do to manage margins. Having said that we monitor inflationary trends and we think that we are going to need to include some pricing in some categories to manage these" -  General Mills chairman and CEO Ken Powell describes how the manufacturer will implement price increases in 2011.

"We think it's the retailer working out 'we're not going to keep blasting the market with promotions, that are potentially wasting us money, and not exactly delighting my customer - and find out what they want and make sure I deliver that', both in an efficient way, both from inventory and a transportation mechanism" - Aldata vice president of customer support Mark Croxton on retailers shifting away from a promotional focus to trying to gain a "360-degree understanding" of consumers.