just-food spoke with Thorntons CEO Jonathan Hart this week

just-food spoke with Thorntons CEO Jonathan Hart this week

Horse meat is the topic that kept the just-food newsroom busy last week after food safety officials found horse meat had been used in the production of burgers in the UK and Ireland. Tesco was the first to announce the recall of some ranges of burgers, with other retailers quick to follow suit. Elsewhere, Flowers Food emerged as the "stalking horse" bidder for various Hostess Brands bread brands in the US, and in the UK just-food spoke with Thorntons CEO Jonathan Hart on the firm's second-quarter results and his plans for the confectionery firm going forward.

"In the days of old, being on the high street was accessible to everybody. Now you need to be accessible in the grocers because that's where our customer wants to shop" - Thorntons CEO Jonathan Hart says he is confident the firm's brand positioning can work in the competitive environment and is supportive of its brand values.

"Familiarity with the Lindt brand is gradually being established and enhanced in these countries through an increasingly broad presence in selected retail trade channels and also in the duty free sector" - Kepler Capital Markets' Jon Cox on the outlook for Lindt following its 2012 results.

"We are always looking for potential M&A possibilities. However, for us now it is the first priority to actually, after closing this deal, integrate Petra into the Barry Callebaut family" - Barry Callebaut spokesperson Raphael Wermuth indicates the group has not ruled out further M&A in the near-term following its recent purchase of the cocoa business of Petra Foods.

"Yoomoo has achieved an impressive rise within the frozen yogurt sector and we look forward to maximising the potential of the brand through using the resource and experience of R&R to build on the brand's success" - R&R Ice Cream marketing director Phil Griffin on the company's acquisition of the Yoomoo frozen yoghurt brand.

"The safety and quality of our food is of the highest importance to Tesco. We will not tolerate any compromise in the quality of the food we sell" - Tesco's group technical director Tim Smith says it will not take any products from its supplier's site until the conclusion and resolution of an investigation into the finding of traces of horse meat in samples of burgers on sale in its stores.

"We believe the earnings implication of the share gains in both bread and cake since Hostess halted operations in mid November is dramatic" - BB&T Capital Markets analyst Heather Jones comments on Flowers Foods emerging as the front-runner to snap up a significant chunk of Hostess' bread interests.

"We're a fun, young and innovative brand. There's plenty of room for all of the crisp brands" - Corkers Crisps Co-founder Rod Garnham says the company is finding traction in the UK snacks market with its brand.

"Encouragingly, ABF now seems to be making progress with its Australian meats business, with higher volumes and improved cost control" - Panmure Gordon analysts are bullish on the UK grocery outlook and ABF's success in its Australian meats business.

"We began a phased review of our retail services division last year, to ensure the operation is organised in a way that reflects how our business has grown and to enable us to maintain the enormously important support that our Partners provide to branches" - Waitrose on its plans to reshape its retail services division to reflect changes to the food retailer's growth profile.