Editor's choice: the highlights on just-food last week

By Dean Best | 3 December 2012

ConAgras acquisition of Ralcorp would create the largest own-label firm in the US

ConAgra's acquisition of Ralcorp would create the largest own-label firm in the US

ConAgra Foods' deal to buy US private-label group Ralcorp Holdings last week added some spice to a pedestrian year for M&A. Staying with acquisitions in the US, Hostess Brands said it had received more than 100 bids for its assets. In Europe, Dutch retailer Ahold said it would up its cost cuts, with a focus on sourcing and promos. And, in the UK, leading grocers signed up to a new code of special offers.

ConAgra eyes US private-label growth with Ralcorp deal
The US food giant's deal to buy Ralcorp Holdings, agreed a year after its approaches were rebuffed, will mean it becomes the country's largest private-label supplier. just-food's coverage includes an interview with ConAgra sales chief Doug Knudsen.

Quote, unquote: UK grocers and OFT code on promos
Eight of the UK's major grocers have today (30 November) announced their agreement to sign up to a set of "principles" on special offers and promotions on food and drink products. The principles will mean consumers can "rely" on promotions "being fair and meaningful". Here, we get the views of the retailers that have signed up, analysts and campaigners.

NETHERLANDS: Ahold to up cost cuts to fuel investment
Dutch retailer Ahold has said it will step up its moves to cut costs in a bid to fuel further investment in the business.

US: Hostess Brands receives 110 potential bids
US baker and Twinkies owner Hostess Brands, which this week received court permission to wind down its business, has received interest from 110 potential buyers.

NETHERLANDS: Wessanen jobs to go in revamp
Around 300 jobs within Wessanen's European operations are set to go after the Dutch food group set out plans to lower costs and improve profits.

NETHERLANDS/UK: Vion nears MBO of UK pork business
Dutch food group Vion, which plans to quit the UK, is close to a deal with management over its UK pork business.

US: Branded cereal firm Post to launch own-label lines
US branded cereal business Post Holdings has revealed it is developing own-label lines.

Sustainability Watch - Narrowing the Atlantic divide
It is often said that European companies are ahead of their US counterparts in how they view corporate sustainability, with the latter too narrowly focused on environmental impacts under their immediate control and failing to see the bigger picture. Ben Cooper found at this year's FMI/GMA Sustainability Summit that attitudes are changing.

GERMANY: Auchan buys Metro's Real eastern Europe unit
German retail giant Metro Group has sold its Real grocery chain in eastern Europe to French retailer Auchan for EUR1.1bn (US$1.4bn).

INDIA: McCain to invest $69m in Gujarat facility
Canadian frozen food specialist McCain Foods is to build a US$69m food manufacturing facility in Gujarat in India.

Sectors: Bakery, Canned food, Cereal, Condiments, dressings & sauces, Dried foods, Frozen, Mergers & acquisitions, Private label

Companies: Ahold, Hostess Brands, Ralcorp Holdings, Wessanen, Vion, ConAgra Foods, Auchan, Post Holdings, GMA, Metro Group, McCain Foods

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