2 April 2014
United Biscuits is unifying its portfolio of savoury crackers under the Jacob's "master brand" and launching a fresh drive to increase relevance and deliver incremental category growth.
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.
17 February 2014
Nestle and Mondelez International were among the major food manufacturers reporting 2013 results last week, although perhaps the most notable financial update was ConAgra Foods' second profit warning in five months. Elsewhere, there was speculation over the future ownership of UK grocer Morrisons and United Biscuits continued its international expansion with an investment in Nigeria.
12 February 2014
United Biscuits has continued its international expansion with a move to buy a stake in Nigerian snacks group A&P Foods.
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.
4 February 2014
Much media attention has focused on whether the private-equity owners of United Biscuits are preparing to sell off the UK biscuit maker. However, Katy Askew suggests, a sale is unlikely to be on the agenda in the near term.
3 February 2014
United Biscuits has embarked on a strategy it believes will grow UK biscuit sales over the next three years. The company is unifying its offering under two "master brands" - McVitie's and Jacob's - as well as stepping up investments in production and marketing. Jon Eggleton, MD for United Biscuits' UK business, spoke to just-food about the group's domestic expansion drive.
3 February 2014
United Biscuits wants to establish McVitie's as a GBP500m (US$820m) "global mega brand" by 2017, CEO Martin Glenn has said.
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.
27 January 2014
Last week, the race to buy Australian dairy Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory took a decisive turn when Murray Goulburn - and WCB investor - accepted the bid from rival suitor Saputo's takeover bid in what has been an ongoing saga. ConAgra Foods and US retailer Trader Joe's were accused of breaking competition law, while Cargill settled discrimination claims out of court. There were rumours French meats firm Jean Caby was undergoing a restructure and that United Biscuits could either float or be sold. And there were job losses at Kellogg, UK baker Bright Blue and US meat giant Tyson Foods. Here is the week in quotes.
20 January 2014
United Biscuits' joint owners Blackstone and PAI Partners are not preparing to dispose of the UK biscuit maker, just-food understands.
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.
16 January 2014
UK-based confectionery company Tangerine has appointed former United Biscuits CEO Benoit Testard as its new chief executive.
15 January 2014
The private-equity owners of United Biscuits are not preparing for an imminent sale of the UK biscuit group, industry sources have indicated.
2 December 2013
United Biscuits has confirmed that it plans to cut a total of 76 head office and manufacturing jobs.
25 November 2013
Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan made another investment in the UK with the acquisition of Burton's Biscuit Co. In Australia, grocery retailing giants Woolworths and Coles signed up to a code of conduct governing their relationship with suppliers. And we ran our latest just-food interview, with Patrick Coveney, CEO of private-label convenience food group Greencore.
21 November 2013
United Biscuits has signed a deal to acquire a majority stake in Saudi snacks business Rana Confectionery Products. The deal, the UK snacks firm says, will allow it to grow and establish a strong position in Saudi Arabia but also the wider Middle East region with its brand portfolio. Michelle Russell reports.
4 November 2013
UK industry moves to lower saturated fat were met last week with criticism in campaign circles. Health issues have also made headlines in Mexico, where the country's Senate has backed plans for a snacks tax. Elsewhere, Sainsbury's plans to take retail rival Tesco to a judicial review, while there were more twists in the battle to buy Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory.
31 October 2013
United Biscuits is set to buy a majority stake in Saudi snacks business Rana Confectionery Products.
31 October 2013
India presents significant potential to overseas FMCG firms - and some, like PepsiCo, Cadbury and United Biscuits have built big businesses in the market. However, India has its own domestic titans while there are smaller firms that can compete by offering products that are different to bigger foreign brands. Raghavendra Verma reports from New Delhi.
20 June 2013
United Biscuits has expanded its McVitie's Digestives line in the UK with the launch of Cheesecake Creams.
23 May 2013
Private-equity firm Langholm Capital was this week reported to have put UK crisp group Tyrrells on the market. Langholm has declined to comment on the reports but the investment firm are said to have put a GBP100m (US$151.9m) price tag on the company.
12 April 2013
United Biscuits has appointed former Iglo Group chief executive Martin Glenn as its CEO.
8 April 2013
The private-equity owners of Burton's Biscuit Co. are "considering options" for the UK's second-largest biscuit maker, a process that could lead to an eventual sale. Katy Askew takes a look at the players for whom an acquisition of Burton's could hit the sweet spot.
31 January 2013
There may be caution over the prospect for blockbuster deals in a dilapidated economic environment, but the food sector mergers and acquisitions table still has plenty to whet the appetite.
19 December 2012
There were, despite continued economic uncertainty in many Western markets and concerns over slowing growth in the East, signs that M&A activity rebounded in the food sector this year. However, a look at just-food's M&A coverage this year shows there have been few big-ticket, transformational deals.
18 December 2012
Looking behind the headlines is just-food's signature dish and this year we looked at the major stories in-depth, including the possible suitors for United Biscuits' salty snacks business; the work ahead for China's Bright Food after it bought Weetabix and the prospects for the two companies created by Kraft Foods' split in two.
18 December 2012
Premier Foods, which owns brands including Ambrosia custard and Bisto gravy, has restructured its grocery operations and set up two business units.
11 December 2012
United Biscuits, which last week agreed the sale of the bulk of its salty snacks, has set out the new products it will add to its biscuits portfolio in 2013.
10 December 2012
The week's two major stories broke within hours of each other on Wednesday - Tesco admitted it was "likely" to leave the US and Germany's Intersnack snapped up United Biscuits' salty snacks business. Elsewhere, ex-Tesco CEO Terry Leahy led a private-equity buy-out of UK discounter B&M Retail and Canada's Saputo agreed to buy Dean Foods' Morningstar arm. Meanwhile, Singapore agribusiness giant Olam International found its finances under scrutiny and we interviewed the head of Nestle's operations in equatorial Africa.