Editor's choice: the highlights on just-food this week
It seems one of the biggest M&A stories in the food industry in recent months is reaching the final chapter, with the news today (18 March) that General Mills is in exclusive talks to buy into French dairy business Yoplait. The potential investment capped a week in which just-food covered the IFE food-industry exhibition in London, PepsiCo set up a venture to sell dips worldwide with Israel's Strauss Group and Kraft Foods, Unilever and Dr Oetker were fined for anti-competitive behaviour in Germany. Click on the headlines to find out more.
In the spotlight: General Mills moves closer to securing Yoplait brand
Months of speculation were drawn to a close this morning (18 March) when it was confirmed that General Mills has entered into exclusive negotiations to buy a stake in French dairy brand Yoplait from investment fund PAI Partners. If the deal goes through, it will see the US food group acquire a significant holding in the world's second largest dairy brand and draw to a close any question marks over General Mills' rights to the US Yoplait trademark. Katy Humphries reports.
Food-industry expo IFE opens in London
IFE, the biennial food-industry exhibition, has opened in London, attracting visitors and exhibitors from the UK and beyond. just-food brings you the latest news and views from the event.
GERMANY: Kraft, Unilever, Dr Oetker fined for "anti-competitive" behaviour
German competition authorities have imposed fines totalling EUR38m (US$53.2m) on three food companies - Kraft Foods, Unilever and Dr. Oetker - for illegally sharing "competition-relevant information".
GLOBAL: PepsiCo, Strauss establish dips JV
US snack maker PepsiCo has set up a 50-50 joint venture with Israeli food maker Strauss Group to produce and sell fresh dips and spreads in "key markets" outside North America.
BRICs and beyond: Foreign firms face fight for India's biscuit market
Kraft Foods' recent move to launch its Oreo biscuit brand into India has drawn attention to what is a growing sector in the country. India's biscuit market is attracting growing multinational interest but powerful domestic players already dominate the market and the jury is out over whether foreign companies can easily grab market share. Mini Pant Zachariah reports for just-food from Mumbai.
UK: "Value will win this year", says Asda CEO Clarke
The CEO of Asda, the UK's second-largest retailer, has said "value will win this year" as he expects 2011 to be a "tough year".
UK: Tesco looks beyond price for value
The CEO of Tesco's UK division has said that how consumers define value is changing and that retailers cannot only afford to focus on offering products at the lowest prices.
CZECH: Mars loses Twix TM case
Chocolate maker Mars Inc has lost a case to protect its Twix trademark in the Czech Republic.
BELGIUM: PinguinLutosa to buy canned-food firm Scana Noliko
Private-equity group Gimv has agreed to sell canned produce maker Scana Noliko to Belgium-based vegetable processor PinguinLutosa.
VIETNAM: Nissin expands in Vietnamese market
Nissin Foods Holdings, the Japan-based instant noodle maker, plans to invest around JPY3.4bn (US$41.5m) to build an instant noodle plant in Vietnam to meet growing demand.
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Unilever has set a date for the closure of its ice cream plant in the US state of Maryland....
Unilever's Indian unit has appointed former local PepsiCo executive Gettu Verma to lead its food operations in the country....
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Unilever workers in the UK are set to vote on whether to strike in protest at the company's plans to change its pension scheme....
General Mills has been forced to pull an advertisement for Mexican food brand Old El Paso in the UK for misleading consumers....
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