General Mills announced the takeover of Annies

General Mills announced the takeover of Annie's

In this week's big acquisition, General Mills moved to boost its domestic business with a deal to buy natural and organic firm Annie's. Elsewhere Arla Foods announced it had entered the race to take over Egypt's Arab Dairy Products Co. Indian dairy firm Amul hinted at plans to start exports to Russia while local conglomerate ITC announced it would grow its presence in the Indian dairy sector. Things also continued to heat up in the battle for Chiquita Brands International, with the produce giant announcing it had been granted a waiver from Fyffes to enter into discussions with Cutrale Group and Safra Group.

"Annie's competes in a number of attractive food categories, with particular strength in convenient meals and snacks - two of General Mills' priority platforms" - General Mills COO Jeff Harmening says the firm's acquisition of organic food brand Annie's complements its growth strategy.

"The company seems well-aligned with our ambitions in Egypt, and we are now looking at the details before deciding whether or not to actually purchase a share of the business" - Rasmus Malmbak Kjeldsen, senior vice president for Arla's business in the Middle East and Africa comments on Arla's non-binding bid for the acquisition of Arab Dairy Products Co.

"At this juncture we need to first get our products approved by Russian authorities as dairy products from India are not allowed yet" - On a return to India after a trip to Russia, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation MD Rupinder Sodhi says he hopes Amul will secure Russian government approval to export dairy products to the country.

"We believe that this decision makes it extremely difficult for companies to make lower fat, salt or sugar claims" - a spokesperson for Kellogg UK says the firm is disappointed after the advertising watchdog banned an ad over nutritional claims made.

"We can beat competition because our new range of differentiated, value-added dairy products are based on extensive consumer research" - Indian dairy firm ITC has confirmed it plans to open dairy plants in seven Indian states.

"The figures submitted for some products are several times higher than the total EU average annual exports to Russia" - The European Commission announces it is pulling the EUR125m emergency fund for growers and is looking at a more targeted scheme.

"Kingsmill is a young brand... Kingsmill can definitely bring something to the sector that isn't already there" - Allied Bakeries strategy and insight manager Matt Watkins believes innovation and product development will help the Associated British Foods unit appeal to the next generation of consumers.

"It's all very well to have these special things and say 'aren't we clever we have a product with less sugar and salt' but unless its the main selling one it doesn't affect public health at all. That's not going to tackle obesity - it's a joke" - Professor Graham MacGregor, chair of campaign grpup Action on Sugar lashes out at Heinz new 50% Less Sugars Ketchup, which he believes does nothing for tackling the problem of excess sugar consumption in the UK.