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Toward the end of last week Kellogg, Weetabix and Associated British Foods were all named as potential suitors looking to buy UK cereal brand Dorset Cereals from Wellness Foods. Hannah Abdulla looks at where Dorset Cereals could next end up.
Major cereal manufacturers are reporting disappointing sales and there has been a decline in volume sales over the last few years. It would be easy to think that this GBP1.3bn market (in the UK alone) had gone stale, but with pockets of growth and lots of innovation, this is one category that is certainly hotting up.
Cereal manufacturers in the UK are facing a competitive market and flat sales volumes. While overall conditions have been somewhat sluggish, the breakfast category when taken as a whole has seen some pockets of excitement. Manufacturers have looked to capitalise on these and the industry's response has been a sharp focus on product development, promotional activity and marketing. But, Katy Askew asks, is this enough to breath fresh life into the boxed cereal category?
Investment is flowing into and from the world's emerging markets, as two transactions involving US firms Smithfield Foods and McCormick & Co. highlighted last week.
South Africa's Pioneer Food Group has acquired a 49% stake in the east African business of UK breakfast cereal group Weetabix.
Weetabix, the UK-based breakfast business, has said it plans to roll out traffic-light nutrition labels onto all the cereals sold in its domestic market over the next year, following its decision to start using the lights on two lines this month.
Belgium's Lotus Bakeries this week struck its second piece acquisition in the UK in four months, with a deal to buy Bear snacks owner Urban Fresh Foods. Our M&A pages also included news Fonterra is selling its Australian yoghurt business to Lactalis's Parmalat and Ornua is offloading US distribution asset DPI. Elsewhere, the Russian central bank said domestic producers had, in most categories, failed to meet the shortfall in production from Moscow's import restrictions on the west.
Weetabix has made another move to target interest in protein in the UK with the launch of a version of its flagship product that is enriched with the ingredient.
Bright-Food owned Weetabix has added a protein-based variant to its On The Go drinks range in the UK in response to growing consumer demand for protein.
UK cereal brand Weetabix is rolling out a "high-protein" cereal product in its domestic market.
Baring Private Equity Asia has struck a deal to buy 40% of UK-based cereal group Weetabix.
Weetabix could be set for a new private-equity investor, with claims Baring Private Equity Asia is to buy 40% of the UK-based cereal group.
Chinese food giant Bright Food Group is reportedly planning to list its Australian unit, Manassen Foods, this year.
This week, Turkey's Yildiz Holding struck a deal - said to be over GBP2bn - to buy United Biscuits and the Turkish group's CEO took to Twitter to hail the agreement. Meanwhile, German dairy giant Muller agreed to buy Dairy Crest's liquid dairy business in the second big deal of the week. Elsewhere, quarterly numbers continued to come in, with Mondelez International lifting its forecast for annual earnings.
China's Bright Food Co. is reportedly targeting listings of UK breakfast cereal business Weetabix and Australian food group Manassen Foods in the next two years.
Chinese food giant Bright Food is reportedly preparing to take full control of UK cereal business Weetabix.
Danone CEO Franck Riboud surprised this market this week with his decision to step down from the role after 18 years. Elsewhere, a report into the UK food supply chain was published, while KP Snacks announced it is mulling the closure of two of its UK plants.
Weetabix has launched a range of Alpen cereal bars in China developed specifically for local consumers.
Weetabix has announced it is to make 30 redundancies in the UK after reaching the end of a consultation process it began in April.
Weetabix has entered into employee talks over the potential transfer of contracts after the decision was taken to outsource specialist cleaning activities at two sites.
Associated British Foods is understood to have entered an agreement to acquire up-market cereal brand Dorset Cereals.
Japan's Mizkan Group got out the chequebook again this week, with the acquisition of Unilever's North American pasta sauces business. The deal followed its 2012 purchases of brands including Branston and Haywards from Premier Foods in the UK. Elsewhere, we ran interviews with the CEOs of UK pork processor and dairy group Adams Foods.
Olive oil giant Deoleo this week announced its board had backed a takeover bid from private-equity giant CVC Capital Partners. Elsewhere, Mondelez International announced plans for another plant in Russia and the political party that looks set to be the major party in India's next government said it would ban foreign supermarkets entering the country's retail sector.
Irish food group Valeo Foods has acquired Rowse honey in the hope it will bolster its presence in the UK.
Weetabix has refused to "confirm or deny" reports it is one of the suitors looking to buy UK muesli manufacturer Dorset Cereals.
Weetabix has announced plans to cut staff pay and hours in the UK, a reaction believed to be prompted by increasing pressure from supermarket own brands and discount food retailers.
Kellogg, Weetabix and Associated British Foods are reportedly eyeing UK cereal business Dorset Cereals.
UK-based cereal group Weetabix has become the latest business to launch a breakfast drink in a bid to offer more convenient products to consumers.
Since Theresa May took over as UK Prime Minister in the wake of the country's referendum vote to quit the European Union, she and her ministers have been at pains not to divulge their negotiating position for leaving the bloc.
The UK government wants the country's food exports to reach the levels of France and Germany, officials said today (21 January) as a new office set up to drive business overseas was formally unveiled.
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