Food industry news of the week: Nestle, Unilever
Nestle this week admitted 3G Capital and Warren Buffett's investments in the food industry had led to "accelerate" efforts to "adjust" its portfolio. The food giant was also one of the companies reporting first-quarter results, a group that included Unilever, which saw food volumes rise 3%, although it remains too early to call a sustained recovery from the unit.
Comment: Nestle reacts to world of 3G and Buffett
Nestle must adapt to emerging consumption trends and consolidation in the food sector with an "acceleration" of its portfolio adjustment efforts, chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe indicated yesterday (17 April). However, the struggling US frozen food business looks like it will avoid the axe – for the time being at least. Katy Askew reports.
Editor's viewpoint: Too early to call Unilever food revival
Today was a positive day for Unilever in some ways. The FMCG giant's first-quarter sales beat expectations and its shares rose steadily in London. Broadly, however, it is too soon to say whether Unilever can enjoy sustained growth from its food business.
Focus: How will Flowers grow in organic, speciality bread?
US baker Flowers Foods has typically increased sales by focusing on regional growth. During the group's investor day in New York this week, it was made clear extending its geographic reach in the US will remain a key strategic pillar. However, the company has also set its sights on growing share in on-trend areas such as organic, speciality and breakfast items. Katy Askew reports.
In the spotlight: France's big step to uniform front-of-pack labels
France's new health bill, which subject to two further votes could be ratified later this year, includes provision for a voluntary colour-coded front-of-pack nutritional labelling scheme. The debate this has sparked, Ben Cooper writes, mirrors closely that seen in the UK, with food manufacturers sternly opposed to the use of colours.
Nestle confirms "exclusive" Davigel talks with Brakes
Nestle today (15 April) confirmed it is in "exclusive" talks to sell its France-based foodservice arm Davigel subsidiary to Brakes Group, a UK foodservice supplier owned by Bain Capital.
Organic food sales in US up 11% in 2014
Sales of organic food in the US grew 11% in 2014, with dairy sales growing at their fastest rate for six years.
Dutch poultry group Plukon eyes eastern Europe
Dutch poultry processor Plukon Food Group is eyeing expansion in eastern Europe as it moves into a "new growth phase" with a new-look consortium owning the business.
FAO warns of pressure on food, water supplies
Over-consumption and climate change will put pressure on food and water supplies in more of the world's regions, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization has warned, in a report looking at food and water security in 2050
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