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

By Katy Askew | 4 January 2013

It may have been just-food's first week back after the Christmas break, but we hit the group running with the news that Unilever has sold its Skippy peanut butter brand to Hormel. Kraft Foods Group has also been quick off the blocks in 2013, unveiling its first major NPD drive with plans to launch more than 40 products. Elsewhere, Tyrells outlined its growth ambitions, Nestle won an appeal in its tit-for-tat trademark battle against Mondelez-owned Cadbury and EU welfare regulations that are likely to have far-reaching consequences for the pork industry came into force. Here are this week's highlights.

On the move: Can Safeway fly without Burd?
News that Safeway's long-standing CEO, Steve Burd, is to retire in May has spawned greater uncertainty among some analysts about the retailer's competitive position.

Focus: Hormel's acquisition of Skippy
The sale of Unilever's Skippy business was confirmed yesterday (3 January) when it was announced that the iconic peanut butter brand would find a new home with Hormel Foods

US: Kraft plans launch of 40 products
Kraft Foods Group has unveiled plans to launch more than 40 new products, marking the first swathe of NPD since the group separated from Mondelez International and became an independent publicly traded group last October.

Interview: Tyrrells keeps firm eye on export opportunities
As competition in the global snacks market heats up, so to has the need for manufacturers to explore overseas growth opportunities in both developed and emerging markets. Michelle Russell speaks to Tyrrells head of international Laurence Bass about the company's export ambitions and its focus for the future.

EU: Nestle "delighted" at KitKat trademark win
Nestle has won an appeal to protect the unique shape of its KitKat chocolate bar in the European Union, overturning a previous ruling in favour of Kraft Foods-owned Cadbury.

UK: Diet food industry under pressure, says Mintel
The UK's diet food industry has lost more than a tenth of its value in real terms over the past five years, a new report from Mintel shows.

Comment: Dole Food Co changes yet to bear fruit
Dole Food Co's share price nose-dive, following worse-than-expected earnings guidance, highlights that the fresh fruit and vegetable giant will have to work hard to rebuild confidence in 2013.

US: Hostess expects to complete sale within months
Hostess Brands has indicated that it expects to complete the auction process selling off its brands and assets within a matter of months.

Interview: NPA chairman Longthorp on EU stall ban
The European pork industry is bracing itself as it prepares for the impact of EU aminal welfare regulations banning the use of stalls in pig farming. Katy Askew speaks to the National Pig Association's chairman Richard Longthorp on the implications the news has for UK pig producers.

Comment: UK retailers had little Christmas cheer, more clouds gathering
It was not a good Christmas for UK retailers this year. But, as we gear up for next week's round of results form the largest UK supermarket operators, Katy Askew believes it is clear the sector is also grappling with some more meaty issues. 

Sectors: Advertising & labelling, Baby food, Bakery, Canned food, Cereal, Chilled foods, Commodities & ingredients, Condiments, dressings & sauces, Confectionery, Dairy, Dried foods, Emerging markets, Financials, Food safety, Fresh produce, Frozen, Health & wellness, Ice cream, Meat & poultry, Mergers & acquisitions, Natural & organic, NPD & innovation, Private label, Retail, Seafood, Snacks, Sustainability & the environment, World foods

Companies: Nestle, Tyrrells, Unilever, Kraft Foods Group, KitKat, Cadbury, Hormel Foods, Mondelez International, Hostess Brands

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