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

By Dean Best | 13 January 2014

Morrisons CEO Philips announced near-6% fall in like-for-like sales over Christmas and New Year

Morrisons CEO Philips announced near-6% fall in like-for-like sales over Christmas and New Year

Danone announced this week it would take Fonterra to court to recoup damages from last year's botulism recall. In the UK, the country's major grocers announced how they performed over Christmas, with Tesco and Morrisons under pressure. And health campaigners said they are targeting the level of sugar used by the food industry.

"This affair illustrates serious failings on Fonterra's part in applying the quality standards required in the food industry" - Danone announces it will sue the New Zealand dairy giant - and end its existing contract with the company - after last year's botched botulism recall.

"In a very tough market our sales performance over Christmas was disappointing" - Morrisons CEO Dalton Philips admits the UK grocer's trading over the festive period was below expectations.

"We continued to invest in the most compelling offer for the tens of millions of customers who chose to shop with us this Christmas, but further weakness in the grocery market as a whole continued to impact our performance in the UK" - Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke reflects on another period of falling domestic like-for-like sales.

"Sugar is dangerous exclusive of its calories, just like alcohol. Children are the primary targets of marketing campaigns, and the least able to resist the messaging. That makes sugary drinks like the alcohol of childhood, which makes them obese" - Robert Lustig, Professor of Paediatric Endocrinology at the University Of California, explains why health academics have formed a campaign group to try to get to the food industry to lower the level of sugar in food.

"They must sustain that reduction, as they've pledged to do, and other food companies should follow their lead to give Americans the lower-calorie foods and beverages they want" - James Marks, director at US philanthropic group Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, speaks after its study into the manufacturers' efforts to cut calories in food.

"WhiteWave will be extremely well positioned to expand its business to this important geography" - Gregg Engles, chairman and CEO of WhiteWave Foods, talks up the US group's new venture in China with local operator Mengniu Dairy.

"Among the highlights of 2013 have been the double digit growth in dairy and beef export values, the strong recovery in sales to eurozone destinations, and the exceptional performance of the industry in China, now Ireland’s second largest dairy and third largest pork market" - Aidan Cotter, chief executive of Bord Bia, the Irish food board, reflects on the country's food export sales in 2013, which rose 9%.

"Over the last two years Dansk Supermarked has undergone a rejuvenation and has a strong future ahead of it" - Nils Andersen, the CEO of shipping-to-oil conglomerate A.P. Møller-Maersk explains the company's decision to sell most of its interest in Denmark-based retailer Dansk Supermarked.

"We have a great business model and ample growth opportunity, and I know we can do better" - Family Dollar Stores chairman and CEO Howard Levine speaks after the US discounter issues a profit warning after falling sales - and announces the exit of its COO.

"The company notes the recent press speculation regarding a potential transaction with the independently owned Jersey Royal Company and can confirm that the company has entered into heads of terms and has agreed a period of exclusivity in relation to a potential acquisition of the Jersey Royal Company" - UK produce group Produce Investments reveals it is in talks to buy the local potato supplier.

Sectors: Baby food, Bakery, Canned food, Cereal, Chilled foods, Commodities & ingredients, Condiments, dressings & sauces, Confectionery, Dairy, Emerging markets, Financials, Food safety, Health & wellness, Ice cream, Mergers & acquisitions, Natural & organic, Snacks, World foods

Companies: Fonterra, Danone, Tesco, Morrisons, Mengniu Dairy, WhiteWave Foods

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