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UB launches new GBP10m marketing campaign behind JacobUK: United Biscuits seeks to make Jacob's "relevant"

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.

Comment: 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.

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

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.

NIGERIA: United Biscuits invests in local biscuit firm

12 February 2014

United Biscuits has continued its international expansion with a move to buy a stake in Nigerian snacks group A&P Foods.

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.

Comment: United Biscuits sale unlikely in the near-term

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.

Interview: United Biscuits driving UK growth - MD

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.

UK: United Biscuits aims to grow McVitie's into "global mega brand"

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.

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.

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

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.

UK: "No process" to sell or list United Biscuits - sources

20 January 2014

United Biscuits' joint owners Blackstone and PAI Partners are not preparing to dispose of the UK biscuit maker, just-food understands.

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.

UK: Tangerine names former UB chief Testard as CEO

16 January 2014

UK-based confectionery company Tangerine has appointed former United Biscuits CEO Benoit Testard as its new chief executive.

UK: United Biscuits sale not on cards - sources

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.

UK: United Biscuits to shed 76 jobs

2 December 2013

United Biscuits has confirmed that it plans to cut a total of 76 head office and manufacturing jobs.

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

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.

BRICs and beyond: United Biscuits sets sights on Middle East growth

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.

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

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.

UK/SAUDI: United Biscuits to buy stake in Rana Confectionery Products

31 October 2013

United Biscuits is set to buy a majority stake in Saudi snacks business Rana Confectionery Products.

India briefing: Foreign, domestic FMCG firms fight for share

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.

UK: United Biscuits expands McVitie's Digestives line

20 June 2013

United Biscuits has expanded its McVitie's Digestives line in the UK with the launch of Cheesecake Creams.

Deal or no deal: UK crisp firm Tyrrells could attract snack majors

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.

UK: Former Iglo chief Glenn to take helm at United Biscuits

12 April 2013

United Biscuits has appointed former Iglo Group chief executive Martin Glenn as its CEO.

Deal or no deal: The likely suspects to acquire Burton's Biscuit Co.

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.

just-food's outlook for 2013: Mega deals unlikely as consolidation continues

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.

just-food review of 2012: M&A revival but caution hinders big deals

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.

The top ten analysis articles on just-food in 2012

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.

UK: Premier forms two grocery business units

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.

UK: United Biscuits outlines biscuit, cake NPD plans

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.

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

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.

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