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

By Katie Smith | 21 May 2012

Arla Foods revealed 250 jobs could be cut as it drives efficiency and tries to keep pace with its international competitors - and admitted more could be made. The race to buy frozen food giant Iglo Group also continued to make the headlines and this week Thai food manufacturer CP Foods was linked to the business. Meanwhile, in the US, Kellogg "refreshed" its 106-year-old namesake brand, although industry watchers suggested the cereal maker might have to do more to drive sales.

"[Yesterday's restructuring] is looking at administration but we are also in the midst of looking at our production value chain and there might also be other synergies to be had in our production globally" - a spokesperson for Arla Foods indicates the dairy firm may be mulling further efficiency gains after announcing 250 job cuts as it restructures its global business.

"We would like to clarify that we have not entered into a bid for Birds Eye...We have a lot in the pipeline but we are still studying [options]" - CP Foods insists the the company has yet to make a bid for frozen food firm Iglo Group but indicates it is mulling whether to enter the race.

"This move is a necessary, less-risky, pro-active approach to capture volume growth going forward versus a change in overall product selection. Will it work? I don't know. It is just good to see that they're trying" - Consumer Edge Research analyst Robert Dickerson talks about Kellogg re-launcing its 106-year-old namesake label being a "necessary" change that will take the business forward. 

"Our core strategy has been focused on re-energizing the productivity loop. We lower our costs in order to lower our prices, so we can give customers a great assortment at the lowest prices. It's a fairly simple concept, but one that's critically important to our customers, particularly in challenging economic times" - Bill Simon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart's US operations looks to grow customer traffic and loyalty in the US by focusing on lowering grocery prices. 

"One factor remains the same across all convenience stores - the need for technology to deliver reliability with high performance and from a small footprint. Convenience stores don't have spare tills. When technology fails, stores stop trading" - Andy Taylor, director of client engagement for the private sector for Fujitsu in the UK and Ireland outlines why effective technology is vital for convenience retailers.

"Over the next 12 months the overall economic and market conditions are likely to remain very challenging. The consumer products market will continue to experience considerable pressures whilst in the short term returns from dairy commodities look set to be sharply down in comparison to the prices seen over the last two years" - Milk Link chief executive Neil Kennedy outlines how he sees the trading environment for the next 12 months, although he is confident the UK dairy co-op can prosper.

"We expect to grow our everyday business... through product development. We are well-known for being very innovative" - Zetar CEO Ian Blackburn says the UK confectioner and snack maufacturer is looking to bulk-up its branded offering through character-licencing deals. 

"In particular they are eating more meat, and our top quality producers have got huge opportunities to meet that demand and help our economic recovery" - UK Agriculture Minister Jim Paice talks about the UK government's deal to sell British pork in China as Chinese middle class consumers have an appetite for western goods.

"The secretary of the group has invited Mr Plassat attend our next meeting in July, hoping that by then, it has a deeper insight into things, and more concrete answers to give us"spokesperson for Force Ouvriere, the main union at Carrefour, expects answers amid fears the retailer could cut 5,000 jobs in its home market. 

"The culmination of years of work and marks a major milestone in regulating health claims on food" - EU health and consumer policy Commissioner John Dalli believes the European Commission's list of 222 health claims made on food labels on products sold in the EU is a "milestone". 

Sectors: Cereal, Commodities & ingredients, Dairy, Financials, Food safety, Frozen, Meat & poultry, NPD & innovation, Private label, Retail, Snacks

Companies: Kellogg, Arla Foods, Iglo Group, Zetar, Milk Link, Carrefour, European Commission

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