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Brands track ahead of the curve in online salesComment: Growth of online channel good news for big brands

6 March 2014

Online sales in the UK are on the rise as consumers increasingly shop for their groceries over the internet. Online sales represent a key growth area the country's largest retailers are vying to exploit. In the UK - the birthplace of private label - online expansion is good news for the manufacturers of leading food brands, Katy Askew suggests.

Editor's choice: the highlights on just-food last week

10 February 2014

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, caused a stir when it lowered its full-year forecasts this week due to pressure on US sales. Retail sales in the country have entered an upward trajectory and close competitor Target Corp has been hit by a data breach scandal - but Wal-Mart has apparently failed to capitalise. Likewise, Kellogg missed market expectations when it reported fourth-quarter numbers due to an accelerating decline in North American revenues. Here are the highlights from just-food this week.

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

10 February 2014

Sales growth at Hain Celestial fell slightly short of expectations, prompting the question of whether the natural and organic group is trying to run before it can walk. Elsewhere analysts picked up on Wal-Mart's failure to impress with its quarterly figures. Kellogg results also fell short and CEO John Bryant insisted the initial start-up costs of Project K will pay off in the long term.

In the spotlight: Hain Celestial must be wary of over-extending

7 February 2014

Hain Celestial has rapidly grown its business by expanding into new categories and markets through a series of acquisitions, notably in the UK. However, such rapid expansion has its challenges. Perhaps execution issues at Hain Daniels, the US group's UK-focused business, could be viewed as a warning to management that the group should be careful not to over-extend itself, Katy Askew suggests.

US: Hain Celestial raises sales, profit outlook despite H1 miss

5 February 2014

Hain Celestial has raised its full-year sales and earnings forecast despite missing market expectations in the first half of its financial year.

Sustainability Watch - The GMO labelling debate in the US

30 January 2014

Having witnessed an unprecedented level of discussion in the US over the past year or so, the labelling of genetically modified foods is set to become an even more hotly and frequently debated subject stateside in the coming year. Ben Cooper reports.

just-food's 2014 outlook: M&A activity, valuations on upward journey

30 January 2014

Last year surprised commentators with the relatively subdued levels of M&A in the food sector. While 2013 did include the largest ever food industry deal by value - the move to take Heinz private - the number of transactions completed came in somewhat below the expectations of M&A advisers. 2014, we are told, is likely to be a different story as deals work their way through the sector's pipelines and valuations continue their upward march. Katy Askew reports.

UK: Ella's Kitchen launches online shopping platform

27 January 2014

Ella's Kitchen has launched an e-commerce platform in the UK, enabling consumers to buy products directly from the brand's website, ellaskitchen.com.

Best bits: Tilda set to bolster Hain's UK stable

21 January 2014

Hain Celestial, the US food group, has pounced yet again in the UK. The US group has made a flurry of deals in the UK in recent years but has faced challenges with some of its purchases. Tilda could be a more positive experience.

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

20 January 2014

This week, we interviewed the boss of UK-based meat-free business Quorn Foods, which saw sales jump last year, helped by the horsemeat saga. We also spoke to the chair of the National Obesity Forum after its report warned forecasts on UK obesity rates may have under-estimated the problem. Elsewhere, Fonterra was caught up in another recall, Saputo received a boost in its bid to buy Australian dairy Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory and Hain Celestial swooped to acquire UK rice firm Tilda.

Editor's choice: the highlights on just-food last week

20 January 2014

US group Hain Celestial swooped again in the UK last week, snapping up UK rice business Tilda. Meanwhile, obesity grabbed UK headlines with warnings forecasts for the condition could have under-estimated the problem. Fonterra issued another product recall, Saputo received a boost in its bid to buy Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory, while our first just-food interview of 2014 saw us meet Quorn Foods CEO Kevin Brennan.

In the spotlight: Hain Celestial eyes US, global growth with Tilda acquisition

14 January 2014

Hain Celestial believes its acquisition of UK-based Basmati rice firm Tilda will work to the benefit of both businesses. The US group has identified a number of areas where it intends to drive Tilda's growth. Hain also intends to capitalise on Tilda's international presence by feeding its existing product portfolio into markets such as India and the Middle East. Katy Askew reports.

US/UK: Hain Celestial acquires Tilda rice business

13 January 2014

US natural and organic food group Hain Celestial has struck a deal to acquire premium Basmati rice manufacturer Tilda Ltd.

just-food's review of 2013: the trends that shaped 2013 M&A

6 January 2014

M&A levels remained relatively subdued in 2013. Growing private-equity interest and something of a shift in capital flows to mature markets have been significant trends shaping the M&A landscape. While gaining routes-to-market in emerging economies has remained key for strategic buyers. Katy Askew examines some of the stand-out deals of the past 12 months.

just-food's review of 2013: Food firms eke out growth in down environment

6 January 2014

Continued evidence of the global slowdown has meant that food companies faced a year of weak consumer sentiment in 2013. This impacted demand across global markets. The food industry responded by increasingly looking to pockets of growth to maintain sales momentum. Katy Askew takes a look at which categories presented the greatest opportunities to expand the top line in mature markets.

just-food's review of 2013: the year's most-read comment

19 December 2013

just-food's team of journalists and columnists took on a range of issues in 2013 - and their views on subjects including Tesco's moves to revitalise its UK business, the speculation of a possible merger between PepsiCo and Mondelez International, the GM debate and the outlook for Heinz under new owners won your attention.

The just-food interview part one - Patrick Coveney, Greencore

22 November 2013

Convenience food group Greencore has experienced an eventful few years. The Ireland-based manufacturer was beaten to the acquisition of the UK's Northern Foods. This year, Greencore was caught up in the horsemeat contamination saga that rocked the European food industry. However, the company has continued to expand in the UK and in the US. In part one of the just-food interview, Michelle Russell speaks to chief executive Patrick Coveney about the challenges of operating in a difficult UK market.

US: Hain books "record" Q1, reaffirms outlook

6 November 2013

Hain Celestial booked "record" results in the first quarter driven by existing and recently acquired brand performances, and reiterated its guidance for the full-year.

Interview: Alpro reaps rewards of portfolio expansion

28 October 2013

Alpro has had three owners in four years but one executive that has been at the company throughout is CEO Bernard Deryckere. He talks to Dean Best about the success Alpro, now owned by US firm WhiteWave Foods, has had with the recent expansion of its product portfolio.

US: B&G Foods buys protein snacks firm Rickland Orchards

8 October 2013

Acquisitive US food group B&G Foods has snapped up local firm Rickland Orchards, a manufacturer of snacks and bars coated in Greek yoghurt.

Editor's choice: the highlights on just-food last week

27 August 2013

After Lindt & Sprungli reported higher solid first-half results last week, just-food interviewed the Swiss chocolate group's CEO Ernst Tanner to discuss its growth in mature markets and its patient strategy in developing economies. New Zealand's dairy sector continued to be in the spotlight after another recall of ingredients headed in China. Elsewhere, Heinz's new owners continued their plans to streamline its business, US food firm JM Smucker made a notable move in gluten free with the acquisition of Enray and we spoke to the creator of Powerful Yogurt, a product initially devised for men in the US and now looking at broadening its consumer base and expanding overseas.

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

27 August 2013

The results continued to roll in last week and we heard from the likes of Hain Celestial and Ahold on how they performed and their outlook for the year ahead. Just-food also spoke with Lindt & Sprüngli CEO Ernst Tanner, who told us about how the company is convincing consumers to trade up - and why he sees cause for optimism in developed markets.

US: Hain Q4 profits, 2014 forecasts boost shares

22 August 2013

Shares in Hain Celestial jumped in after-hours trading in New York after the US group reported an 11% increase in fourth-quarter profits and issued forecasts for the new financial year that were above analyst expectations.

UK: Hain regains Tesco New Covent Garden listing

22 August 2013

Hain Celestial has secured a listing at Tesco for UK soup brand New Covent Garden 12 months after the retail giant dropped the brand in a range review.

On the money: Hain looks to new financial year with confidence

22 August 2013

An upbeat Hain Celestial has said continued sales growth in the US and in the UK, as well as productivity savings - including from the integration of recent acquisition Ella's Kitchen - will help it grow profits in the next 12 months.

US: Elizabeth Arden CFO Smith to join Hain Celestial

22 August 2013

Hain Celestial has hired Stephen Smith, the CFO of beauty group Elizabeth Arden, as its new finance chief.

UK: Hain Celestial targets toddlers with Ella's launch

31 July 2013

Hain Celestial's UK organic baby food brand, Ella's Kitchen, is launching My Little Big Meals, its first range targeted at toddlers.

Organic baby food: Corporates M&A flurry in growing segment

17 July 2013

For three weeks in May, the industry's M&A spotlight shone brightest on the organic baby food sector.

Organic baby food: Danone builds on infant nutrition success with Happy Family buy

17 July 2013

Danone's deal to acquire over 90% of US organic baby food firm Happy Family is a first for the French food giant in the category and appears to strengthen its fast-growing infant-nutrition division. Michelle Russell takes a look at the move.

Organic baby food: Ella's Kitchen is Hain's most promising UK buy

17 July 2013

US manufacturer Hain Celestial has struck again across the pond. And its latest acquisition in the UK seems to be the one with most potential, Dean Best suggests.

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