28 October 2013
This week we published an exclusive two-part interview with Unilever CEO Paul Polman who spoke to just-food about the firm's low-growth food arm, the slowdown in emerging markets and its much talked about spreads business. Elsewhere, we reported from a Marks and Spencer food briefing, during which CEO Marc Bolland was pushed on the group's position on launching a full online grocery presence.
24 October 2013
Unilever today (24 October) posted a drop in underlying third-quarter revenue from its foods division, as sales from its spreads business fell.
23 October 2013
The performance of Unilever's food business has come under scrutiny in recent quarters. Sales growth has lagged its non-food operations and although Unilever has offloaded some "non-strategic" food brands, some in the investment community have suggested more could be done. In part two of just-food's interview with Unilever CEO Paul Polman, the Dutchman discusses the company's spreads business.
22 October 2013
As one of the world's largest consumer goods groups, Unilever is always in the spotlight, both for its financial performance and for its laudable bid to become a more sustainable company. In a two-part interview, Dean Best talked to Unilever CEO Paul Polman about its low-growth food arm and the slowdown in emerging markets.
22 October 2013
Unilever is to put new logos on Knorr lines to emphasise the "sustainability" of the ingredients included in the products.
30 August 2013
After a decade of solid growth, Brazil's economy has slowed sharply. The fall in the value of the real has also contributed to stubborn inflation, hitting consumer confidence. Many FMCG firms continue to enjoy sales growth but margins have come under pressure and they have had to adapt to the tougher economic climate.
30 August 2013
Earlier this week, Brazil's finance minister, Guido Mantega, admitted the country's economy was going through a "mini crisis" but said it remained "strong". GDP growth has slowed and inflation is a problem but, for all the immediate challenges, the FMCG sector and industry watchers are largely bullish about the country's prospects.
30 August 2013
Brazil has become an exciting investment prospect for both domestic and foreign FMCG firms looking to offset weakness in other markets. Here we offer quotes from a number of firms commenting on Brazil in their recent second-quarter results.
24 June 2013
Front-of-pack nutrition labels. It is a divisive subject that can turn those on both sides of the debate a nice shade of red.
22 April 2013
A raft of companies report to the market next week, including UK-based food group Associated British Foods, which is set to unveil its half-year results. Data for the first quarter of 2013 will continue to come in, with Unilever, Hershey and Premier Foods plc among those set to publish numbers.
23 January 2013
Unilever has said it expected its food business to have performed better in 2012 and said innovation will be an important source of gross margin improvement in the division in the new financial year.
27 November 2012
Unilever has launched a fish soup range under its Knorr brand for the Spanish market.
25 October 2012
Unilever's shares were up 3% this morning (25 October) despite food sales volumes falling in the third quarter as its spreads brands suffered from high pricing in key markets.
8 October 2012
Unilever has added a range of Knorr Foil Steam pouches to its gourmet range, marking the brand's move into the cooking bag category.
9 August 2012
Unilever has launched a range of Knorr premium dry sauces in the UK, marking the brand's move into the category.
31 July 2012
Unilever's latest disposal of food assets is just another sign the consumer goods giant is focusing more on its faster-growing home and personal care businesses.
26 July 2012
Unilever CEO Paul Polman today (26 July) called on the company's food business to improve further after reporting an up-and-down first half of the year.
26 July 2012
Food sales volumes fell at Unilever in the second quarter of 2012 after an increase in the first three months of the year, highlighting the current challenging nature of the sector.
19 July 2012
Unilever is repackaging its Knorr stock pot line in response to changing consumer trends.
11 July 2012
Premier Foods plc has launched its Bisto brand into the UK stock pot category, with a product that will take on Unilever's Knorr.
26 June 2012
First developed as a method of storing provisions by the US military, pouches are becoming a common feature across the global food industry. Products such as retort pouches - heat-resistant bags usually made from laminated plastic films and then heat-sealed and sterilised by pressure cooking - have encroached upon the territory of more traditional packaging such as metal cans during the last decade. Jonathan Thomas reports.
26 April 2012
Unilever has seen sales volumes from its food division increase in the first quarter of 2012, a sign of recovery after a year of decline.
25 April 2012
FMCG companies the world over talk often and loudly about the ways in which they are alleviating their impact on the environment or trading more ethically. Few, however, set public targets and even fewer report their progress or the challenges they are facing. Unilever is a notable exception. This week, the consumer goods group published the latest results of its Sustainable Living Plan programme. Dean Best met Unilever CEO Paul Polman to discuss the initiative, the successes so far and the problems ahead.
3 February 2012
Unilever's food division has been under the microscope in recent months, with a series of disposals and growth in many categories slow, lagging behind its more buoyant non-food businesses As Michelle Russell writes, this week, as Unilever reported its 2011 results, the scrutiny returned.
9 December 2011
Unilever has today (9 December) opened its fifth manufacturing plant in South Africa, in a bid to drive growth in the emerging market.
23 February 2011
To compare companies like Nestle, Danone and Unilever may appear a futile exercise to some - given the different categories in which the three food giants operate. However, analysts in Europe and the US do study and draw parallels from the financial performance of all three companies - as well as forecast how each will fare in the year ahead. Dean Best looks at how the firms performed in 2010 and how they may progress (or otherwise) in 2011.
3 February 2011
Unilever has posted a 26% jump in annual profits as the consumer goods giant benefited from lower restructuring costs and proceeds from business disposals - but also from accelerating underlying sales in the fourth quarter.
19 November 2010
In the week that just-food kicked off its Open House period, the food sector saw a merger with implications on both sides of the Atlantic with the deal between Greencore and Northern Foods. In the US, Heinz, JM Smucker and Wal-Mart Stores reported their latest numbers to Wall Street. And, in Europe, the battle for yoghurt brand Yoplait intensified when Lactalis tabled a EUR1.4bn (US$1.91bn) - that was swiftly rejected - while the EU launched plans to reform farm policy.
17 November 2010
Knorr soups-maker Unilever said it will increase prices on some of its products in a bid to recoup higher commodity costs.
15 November 2010
Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Unilever has announced plans to halve the environmental footprint of its products.