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

By Dean Best | 10 December 2012

Tesco said it had done "all it could" for US chain Fresh & Easy

Tesco said it had done "all it could" for US chain Fresh & Easy

The week's two major stories broke within hours of each other on Wednesday - Tesco admitted it was "likely" to leave the US and Germany's Intersnack snapped up United Biscuits' salty snacks business. Elsewhere, ex-Tesco CEO Terry Leahy led a private-equity buy-out of UK discounter B&M Retail and Canada's Saputo agreed to buy Dean Foods' Morningstar arm. Meanwhile, Singapore agribusiness giant Olam International found its finances under scrutiny and we interviewed the head of Nestle's operations in equatorial Africa.

Tesco set for likely US exit
Five years after entering the US and yet to make a profit, Tesco has signalled it is likely to quit the market. just-food's coverage included comment from Tesco CEO Philip Clarke and analysis of the decision.

Germany's Intersnack takes bigger bite of UK market
In another German raid on the UK food industry, the Pom-Bear owner has agreed a deal to buy United Biscuits' salty snacks business, including Hula Hoops, McCoy's and Skips. just-food interviewed Intersnack international marketing director Bernd ter Glane.

SINGAPORE: Olam under fire after bond issue
Olam International has once again come under fire from advisory group Muddy Waters after the commodity company obtained a combined bond and warrant issue to the value of US$750m.

The just-food interview: Ian Donald, Nestle CEO of equatorial Africa
The importance of expanding in emerging markets is a constant message from Nestle, a company that has one of the industry's largest footprints in the developing world. While Nestle is expanding in high-growth markets like China, the world's largest food group is looking beyond the BRICs as it establishes a presence in every quarter of the globe. In this month's just-food interview, Katy Askew spoke to the chief executive of Nestle's operations in equatorial Africa, Ian Donald, to discover how the company is working to drive long-term growth in the region.

CANADA: Saputo snaps up Dean Foods' Morningstar unit
Canadian dairy firm Saputo has signed a deal to acquire the Morningstar business of Dean Foods.

The UK pork sector hit the headlines when Dutch food group Vion announced plans to exit the market. The sudden withdrawal of a major player highlights the challenges pork processors are grappling with, including rising input costs and tough pricing negotiations. Nevertheless, as the sector embarks on a process of consolidation and capacity is taken out of the category, the balance of power could be shifting down the pork supply chain. In part one of our two-part Category Crunch, Katy Askew examines some of the issues facing the sector.
Smithfield Foods is confident its fresh pork business will deliver profitable results this year, even as it is squeezed between depressed consumer sentiment and the need to raise retail prices.
Ailing French poultry giant Doux has said it would spend EUR35m (US$45.7m) to modernise its plants as a local court allowed it more time in administration.
Private-equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice's acquisition of a majority stake in UK cut-price retailer B&M Retail may see competition heat up further in the country's fast-growing discount channel.
Under-pressure German retail giant Metro Group has sold off another tranche of stores, with French peer Auchan taking on the bulk of its Real hypermarkets outside Germany. We look at why Metro has offloaded the stores and why Auchan has added more hypermarkets - a format under scrutiny.

Sectors: Baby food, Bakery, Canned food, Cereal, Chilled foods, Commodities & ingredients, Condiments, dressings & sauces, Confectionery, Dairy, Dried foods, Emerging markets, Financials, Frozen, Ice cream, Meat & poultry, Mergers & acquisitions, NPD & innovation, Private label, Retail, Snacks, World foods

Companies: Tesco, Nestle, Intersnack, Saputo, Dean Foods, United Biscuits, Vion, Smithfield Foods, Auchan, Metro Group

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UK retailer Tesco last week published its latest trading update that the City suggested showed it had lost momentum and was facing challenges at home and abroad. Elsewhere, a fire at a poultry facility in China took the lives of nearly 120 workers. just-food also published a management briefing, which took at look at the global cereal market.

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

A tragic fire in a Chinese poultry facility highlighted continued concerns over safety standards in emerging markets last week. The just-food briefing looked at the need to innovate to prevent breakfast cereal sales going soggy, insight that was swiftly followed by the news that Kellogg is launching a number of breakfast bar and drink products in response to changing consumption patterns. Meanwhile, chocolate giants Nestle and Mars were accused of price fixing in Canada. Here are the highlights on just-food this week.

CANADA: Nestle, Mars accused of price fixing

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