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Tesco CEO Philip Clarke blamed online retailing as one of the reasons for TescoQuote, unquote: just-food's week in words

17 April 2014

Tesco's full-year results proved disappointing, as expected, and CEO Bill Stritz has said online retailing has played a huge part. Elsewhere first quarter results were out and Co-op saw heavy losses. It has now decided to get rid of some of the Somerfield stores and focus on its convenience offering. There were developments on the Michael Foods acquisition with Post Holdings announcing it had taken over the firm in a US$2.45bn deal. Other acquisitions this week included Daelman's purchase of UK firm Fabulous Bakin' Boys and PE firm Abraaj's acquisition of North African confectioner Kool Foods.

FRANCE: Unilever shake-up, 97 jobs set to go

14 April 2014

Unilever's French unit has announced restructuring that will see 97 jobs put at risk.

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

7 April 2014

Unilever's business in South Africa was in the spotlight this week after it emerged its offices were raided as part of a probe into collusion. Elsewhere, there were two notable M&A deals in dairy, with Arla Foods looking to merge with Belgium-based EGM Walhorn and Lactalis's Parmalat bolstering its business in Australia with the acquisition of Harvey Fresh.

Focus: Unilever could jump-start UK category with Ben & Jerry's Greek

4 April 2014

Unilever's Ben & Jerry's brand is launching a three-product strong line of Greek-style frozen yoghurt in the UK. The move is a category first and the group believes that it can stimulate incremental sales growth, bringing new consumers to both the brand and category. However, Greek yoghurt and frozen yoghurt sales in the UK have not performed as strongly as across the pond in the US. Is Ben & Jerry's the brand that will kick-start the category? Katy Askew reports.

Comment: Unilever raid shows South Africa eyeing food

4 April 2014

News the South African offices of Unilever and Sime Darby were raided by competition authorities this week comes as a further evidence that the country's competition watchdog has set its sights on the food sector, Katy Askew suggests.

SOUTH AFRICA: Unilever raided in competition probe

3 April 2014

The South African offices of Unilever and fats and oils supplier Sime Darby have been raided in a search and seizure operation conducted by the country's competition officials.

UK: Unilever eyes new consumers with Ben & Jerry's Greek frozen yoghurt

2 April 2014

Unilever's ice cream brand, Ben & Jerry's, is launching Greek-style frozen yoghurt in the UK in a bid to appeal to more health conscious consumers.

US: Hormel, Hillshire linked to Unilever's Ragu

25 March 2014

Speculation is mounting over the potential suitors for Unilever's Ragu brand, with the likes of Hormel Foods and Hillshire Brands touted as would-be acquirers alongside Post Holdings and Mizkan.

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

24 March 2014

just-food brought you exclusive updates from some of the power players in our industry as the likes of Nestle, Danone and Kerry Foods set out their investment case at the Consumer Analyst Group of Europe conference in London this week. In other news, Sainsbury's booked its first like-for-like sales drop in nine years, General Mills continued to face pressure in the US and we spoke to FrieslandCampina CFO Kees Gielen. Here are the highlights from the past week.

UK/NETHERLANDS: Unilever issues GBP250m "green bond"

20 March 2014

Unilever revealed plans to issue the "first ever green sustainability bond" in the sterling market yesterday (19 March).

US: Unilever targets busy parents with gelato launch

13 March 2014

Unilever's US ice cream brand Breyers has introduced Gelato Indulgences, specifically targeting couples that are too busy to go out.

ETHIOPIA: Unilever coy amid talk of plans for plant

11 March 2014

Unilever has declined to confirm it is planning on expanding its Africa operations with the setup of a manufacturing plant in Ethiopia.

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

10 March 2014

Sugar again grabbed the headlines after the World Health Organization revised its guidance on how much of the ingredient to consume. Elsewhere, a US retailer with over 2,400 stores could be created after Albertsons owner and private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management struck a deal that looks set to see it buy Safeway.

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

10 March 2014

This week Unilever was gain rumoured to be looking to sell a food brand - this time Ragu pasta sauces. UK group Premier Foods announced a new refinancing package, while in the US, a mega-merger in the retail sector is on the cards, after Albertsons owner and private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management struck a deal to buy Safeway.

UK/NETHERLANDS: Unilever silent over Ragu disposal claims

3 March 2014

Unilever has refused to comment on reports it is looking to sell off its Ragu pasta sauce brand.

UK/US: Unilever expands Ben & Jerry's Core line in US

25 February 2014

Unilever has expanded its Ben & Jerry's Core ice cream line in the US.

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

24 February 2014

This week, the annual CAGNY investment conference took place in the US, with leading FMCG companies discussing their strategy and outlook for their businesses. One of those, PepsiCo, found itself in the spotlight again after activist investor Nelson Peltz called - not for the first time - for the group to split in two. Elsewhere, US beef jerky firm Jack Link's snapped up Unilever's meat snacks arm and Ian McLeod, the MD of Coles, said he would step down after a successful five years at Australia's number two grocer.

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

24 February 2014

The Consumer Analyst Group of New York annual conference was held in Florida this week and, as ever, produced some notable comments as the great and the good of the US food sector detailed - and sometimes defended - their strategies. Danone issued its full-year numbers and shed some light on how it plans to mitigate surging dairy prices in 2014. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart - the world's largest retailer - offered a sober assessment on the outlook for consumer sentiment in the coming year. Here is just-food's week in words.

UPDATE: US/UK: Jack Link's sets "number one" goal after Unilever deal

21 February 2014

US beef jerky firm Jack Link's said today (21 February) it wanted to be the world's "number one provider" of branded meat snacks after snapping up Peperami and Bifi from Unilever.

UK/US: Jack Link's snaps up Unilever meat snacks arm

21 February 2014

Unilever this morning (21 February) announced a deal to sell its meat snacks division, including the Peperami brand to beef jerky business Jack Link's.

UK: Unilever launches ice cream NPD offensive

18 February 2014

Ben & Jerry's frozen Greek-style yoghurt and a range of "gelato" Carte D'Or products are among the lines set for launch as Unilever prepares to introduce a raft of products into the UK market.

UK: Unilever's Knorr makes herbs and spices debut

13 February 2014

Unilever's Knorr brand is making its debut in the UK's herbs and spices category with the launch of Knorr Flavour Pots.

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

3 February 2014

Justin King announcing he was checking out of Sainsbury's after a decade in charge of the UK grocer led this week's industry headlines. Staying in the UK, Premier Foods sold control of its bread arm to US private-equity firm Gores Group, while Chobani vowed to go to the country's Supreme Court after another negative ruling in its labelling battle with Fage. And just-food filed reports both from India's annual Food and Grocery Forum and the global confectionery trade show ISM in Germany.

INDIA: Unilever coy on Magnum India "expansion plans"

31 January 2014

Unilever has sought to play down reports it will expand its Magnum ice cream brand across India.

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.

SOUTH AFRICA: Unilever plant enters tenth day of strikes

27 January 2014

A Unilever plant in South Africa has entered a tenth day of industrial action as 220 staff refuse to return to work due to a dispute over pay.

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

27 January 2014

Mondelez International last week announced Nelson Peltz is set to join the company's board. The activist shareholder's investment fund disclosed the US billionaire has turned his focus away from campaigning Mondelez to merge with PepsiCo - and encourage the cola and crisps group to split in two.

UK/NETHERLANDS: Unilever silent on SlimFast sale speculation

22 January 2014

Anglo-Dutch food and personal care company Unilever has declined to comment on speculation it is to sell off its weight loss brand, Slim Fast.

On the money: Unilever says foods "ready to grow again"

22 January 2014

Unilever has indicated that it plans to accelerate growth of its food brands in 2014, after taking a number of actions to stabilise the performance of the unit over the past 12 months.

UPDATE: UK/NETHERLANDS: Unilever sees "early progress" in spreads

21 January 2014

Unilever said today (21 January) it has witnessed "early signs of progress" at its struggling spreads business.

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