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

By Dean Best | 24 February 2014

Pelts is still urging food and drink group PepsiCo to divide in two

Pelts is still urging food and drink group PepsiCo to divide in two

This week, the annual CAGNY investment conference took place in the US, with leading FMCG companies discussing their strategy and outlook for their businesses. One of those, PepsiCo, found itself in the spotlight again after activist investor Nelson Peltz called - not for the first time - for the group to split in two. Elsewhere, US beef jerky firm Jack Link's snapped up Unilever's meat snacks arm and Ian McLeod, the MD of Coles, said he would step down after a successful five years at Australia's number two grocer. Click on the headlines for more.

CAGNY 2014
Mondelez International, PepsiCo and General Mills are among the manufacturers presenting to Wall Street at the annual CAGNY conference in Florida, with analysts keen to hear how the companies plan to grow in still tough trading conditions.

US: Trian pushes for PepsiCo split - again
Trian Partners, the investment vehicle of US billionaire Nelson Peltz, has renewed its call for PepsiCo to separate its snacks and drinks businesses.

UK/US: Jack Link's snaps up Unilever meat snacks arm
Unilever this morning (21 February) announced a deal to sell its meat snacks division, including the Peperami brand to beef jerky business Jack Link's.

Editor's viewpoint: McLeod checks out a success
Ian McLeod's tenure at Coles should be judged a success, taking a retailer suffering from stock issues, long queues and falling sales and revitalising the business into one that looked one step ahead of its larger rival.

On the money: Danone turns to product mix to offset margin pressure
Danone plans to improve its sales mix through product innovation to offset margin pressure across its markets in 2014, a year in which it now expects margins will not grow as much as it had expected.

AUS: Coca-Cola Amatil: SPC Ardmona closure reports "mistaken"
Coca Cola Amatil has denied speculation it is to close Australian canned food business SPC Ardmona despite it booking another writedown of A$404m on the division, which hit profits at the Coke bottler.

On the money: Market buys into Casino's confidence
Casino's share price has been on something of a rollercoaster in the early weeks of 2014. However, the French retailer's 2013 results and optimism for the months ahead seemed to be echoed by the market today (18 February) with its stock recovering some of the ground it had lost since the start of the year.

Sustainability Watch: Trust and the triple bottom line
Reflecting their growing significance to businesses across all sectors, issues around sustainability, climate change, food security and the like are now much discussed at the World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual get-together in Davos. Ben Cooper reports.

US/CHINA: Jelly Belly: China could become top market
China could be Jelly Belly Candy Co.'s largest market within three years, the privately-held US confectioner has told just-food.

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

Companies: Unilever, General Mills, Danone, PepsiCo, Coles, Jelly Belly, Casino

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