Food market quotes of the week – Nestle, General Mills, Hershey
Nestle names new CEO
This week saw news emerge that Hershey has rejected a takeover bid from Mondelez International, we heard from Nestle on the appointment of its new CEO, and General Mills detailed a change in thinking behind its brand investments. Elsewhere, experts shared their views on the potential fallout of last week's Brexit vote. Here are just-food's quotes of the week.
"The importance of trade and investment is indisputable in our relationships with both the European Union and the United Kingdom. The economic and strategic rationale for TTIP remains strong." - US Trade Representative Michael Froman on the country's trade priorities following the UK's decision to leave the EU
"The company's board of directors, after receiving input from the company's management and its outside financial and legal advisors, carefully evaluated the indication of interest. Following this review, the board of directors of the company unanimously rejected the indication of interest and determined that it provided no basis for further discussion between Mondelez and the company. The company's board of directors and management team are committed to enhancing value for all stockholders in accordance with the company's strategic plan." - Hershey rejects Mondelez's takeover bid and insists it is "seeking value" elsewhere
"With the proposed appointment of Paul Bulcke as chairman of the board and Ulf Mark Schneider as CEO, the board has increased the company's capabilities to accelerate Nestlé's journey to become the world's pre-eminent player in the nutrition, health and wellness sector. Together with our excellent executive team, Nestlé is well prepared to face the increasingly difficult external environment and deliver on both its long-term and short-term performance goals." - Nestle chairman Brabeck-Letmathe on the company's prospects after the announcement that he will stand down, CEO Bulcke will replace him as chairman and a new CEO will take the helm
"We set up Nestle's health science division in 2011 selling products through hospitals, doctors and social services. With this group, we are pioneering the development of a new industry between traditional nutrition and pharma, founded upon science-based, personalised nutritional solutions for people with specific dietary needs. Our focus is not just on acute medical conditions, but also on tackling increasingly prevalent chronic diseases associated with immense human and financial costs...We are the first company in the nutrition and food space that's thinking and investing money in food for the ageing." - Nestle head of the Europe, Middle East and North Africa zone, Luis Cantarell, details the company's health and wellness focus during an interview with just-food
"Business leaders and representatives are sombre, and very concerned about the various implications of the vote last Thursday. It's now clear that the 'remain' camp had no 'plan B' and the 'leave' camp had didn't have a plan at all. That's bad for all those who run a business - large or small. I think people are waiting for both roadmaps to solutions and, of course, for the solutions themselves. We need a clear direction of travel and we clearly aren't going to get that until October." - Ian Wright, FDF director general, hits out at Brexit after a meeting with the UK government this week
"We're sharpening the way we think about our portfolio by being more choice full about our level of investments and expectations for growth across our businesses resulting in focused growth and strong margin expansion in 2017." - General Mills CEO Ken Powell details plans to invest behind the brands it believes offer greatest growth potential
"Whilst this change in [General Mills'] strategy is certainly in the right direction, at this point, the company is still not bold enough to retain its place among the top 10 largest food companies in the world for much longer. The numerous threats facing breakfast cereals in the US (its main market) do not show any signs of subsiding and the continued strong growth of categories like snack bars are attracting new manufacturers and heavy investment in innovation." - And Euromonitor analyst Lianne van den Bos remains unconvinced
"It is a worrying time for our members and we will be seeking clarity on what this means for [Bernard Matthews] and the workers... Unite recognises that Bernard Matthews is in a very competitive marketplace with profit margins being squeezed. This issue is one for the management's marketing and sales team to address as a matter of urgency." - Unite regional officer Steve Harley said after it was confirmed that Bernard Matthews is up for sale
"The trend to cutting back on meat is widespread and gaining momentum. If we keep investing in the brand then we should be able to make it an increasingly mainstream brand." - Quorn CEO Kevin Brennan is upbeat on the vegetarian segment in an interview with just-food
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