Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words
Former Orkla CEO Bjorn Wiggen (l) with chairman Stein Eirk Hagen (r)
Bright Food, the Chinese food group, was full of confidence this week about the prospects for UK cereal firm Weetabix, its first investment in Europe after missing out on companies including United Biscuits and Yoplait. Elsewhere, Orkla explained why its CEO had resigned from the Norwegian consumer goods group, German retailer Metro Group insisted its sales were improving after it reported a quarterly loss and UK peer Morrisons said it would not chase unprofitable volumes despite a fall in like-for-like sales.
"We are excited by the many growth opportunities for the business, especially in international markets, and Asia in particular" - Bright Food chairman Zongnan Wang as the Chinese firm announces its acquisition of 60% of UK cereal firm Weetabix, its first investment in Europe.
"Orkla is at a crucial stage of a demanding process of transforming the group into a pure branded goods company. The board of directors wishes to be more closely involved in this process" - Stein Erik Hagen, majority shareholder and chairman of the Norwegian conglomerate, after the company, which is looking to focus on the FMCG sector, announced the resignation of its CEO.
"During the past few months we have invested massively into better prices and additional customer services. In many areas, our measures to improve like-for-like sales are already beginning to show the desired effects" - Olaf Koch, chairman of Metro Group's management board, says sales are improving at the German retail giant, which reported a first-quarter loss this week.
"We are prepared to sit back from this activity rather than pursue small market share gains at any cost. We would rather focus on value in store than customers having to be smart and find a voucher" - Morrisons CEO Dalton Philips said the UK retailer will be careful in how it runs promotions despite reporting a fall in like-for-like sales.
"This investment in Solae, along with the acquisition of Danisco last year, has significantly added to our leadership position in food ingredients" - DuPont executive VP James Borel on the US chemicals group's decision to buy out Bunge, its venture in soy food venture Solae.
"We are committed to enhancing shareholder value and this review is a company priority" - Dole Food Co. president and CEO David DeLorenzo on the US produce firm's decision to launch a "strategic review" of the business, which could lead to a spin off of assets.
"Sometimes you come at these things by looking at the cost first and sometimes you drive value by starting with looking at the environmental impacts. This is a marriage of holistic smart thinking about both the business and sustainability" - General Mills chief sustainability officer Jerry Lynch says companies should look at the issue in terms of environmental and economic benefits.
"We were particularly attracted to the sports nutrition sector where the market in Britain has more than doubled in the last five years, with this strong growth predicted to be maintained over the next five years" - First Milk chairman Bill Mustoe explains why the UK dairy co-op has acquired sports nutrition firm CNP Professional.
"Our exceptional results in the first half of the year have given us the confidence to significantly raise our guidance for the full year" - Whole Foods Market co-CEO Walter Robb after the US natural and organic retailer lifted its profits forecast for the second time this year.
"We hope to utilise Cully and Sully's knowledge and expertise for Hain Daniels and here in the US as we move chilled fresh soups to the North American marketplace" - Hain Celestial president and CEO Irwin Simon says the company plans to use new Irish acquisition Cully & Sully to build a chilled soup business in the US.
Sectors: Baby food, Bakery, Canned food, Cereal, Chilled foods, Commodities & ingredients, Confectionery, Emerging markets, Financials, Free-from, Fresh produce, Frozen, Ice cream, Mergers & acquisitions, Natural & organic, Private label, Retail, Sustainability & the environment
Companies: Weetabix, Orkla, Morrisons, Bright Food, Metro Group, Solae, DuPont, United Biscuits, Yoplait, Bunge Limited, Danisco, Dole Food Co., General Mills, First Milk, Whole Foods Market, Hain Celestial
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