Mondelez details strategic direction

Mondelez details strategic direction

This week a swathe of quarterly results were accompanied by strategic announcements. Mondelez International said it is stepping up its work on margins and increasing its focus on snacks, separating its coffee business. Tyson Foods insisted it remains well-placed to pursue M&A in the US and internationally. And Hain Celestial updated us on the progress it has made following its recent acquisition spree. Elsewhere, we saw food manufacturers attempting to capitalise on growth spots - from NPD in gluten-free to expansion in China. There was also evidence of the challenges that this can present - UK cheese imports to China were banned and the GMO labelling debate once again returned to the fore in the US. Here are some of the highlights on just-food this week.

On the money: Spotlight on M&A ambitions as Tyson rides protein wave
Tyson Foods has seen sales and earnings growth lifted by consumer demand for proteins. The company has emphasised its strategy to grow organically, with a particular focus on prepared foods. However, Tyson also hopes to raise its growth trajectory through M&A - and here the group is coming up against some stiff competition. 

On the money: Could greater snack focus make Mondelez an M&A target?
Mondelez International is focusing on its snacks business, cutting costs and separating out its coffee operations in a tie-up with D.E Master Blenders. The strategic shift is likely to reduce volatility and boost margins. But could it also increase the chances that Mondelez will itself become an acquisition target?

FMCG in the Middle East: Interview: Ramsden International CEO Sean Ramsden
The Middle East is often seen as a bit of a golden nugget for exporters, with 98% of its consumables coming from elsewhere in the world. But Sean Ramsden, CEO of UK wholesale exporter Ramsden International, says it's not always the easiest market in which to operate, with strict compliance legislation and a focus on driving down prices. Hannah Abdulla caught up with Ramsden on the sidelines of Gulfood where they exchanged notes on the challenges and advantages of being an exporter to the Middle East.

US: Hain Celestial shares rise on sales, earnings growth
The company said sales in the nine months to the end of March rose to US$1.57bn, up from $1.27bn in the comparable period of last year. Acquisitive Hain has driven growth through a series of acquisitions, including US firm Rudi's Organic Bakery last month and, earlier this year, UK rice supplier Tilda. Hain said its top line had also benefited from higher consumption of natural and organic products

Comment: Vermont labelling law puts spotlight back on GMOs
The GMO debate has again taken centre stage in the US, with Vermont becoming the first state to require the labelling of genetically modified organisms in food products.

US: Kellogg drops "all natural" label for Kashi and Bear Naked
US cereal manufacturer Kellogg has agreed to drop "all natural" claims contained on Kashi and Bear Naked labels in order to settle a class-action lawsuit against the group.

CHINA: FrieslandCampina, Huishan in infant-formula JV talks
Dutch dairy firm FrieslandCampina has announced it has entered into discussions with China Huishan Dairy Holdings Company for an infant-formula joint venture.

AUS: Murray Goulburn eyes overseas with new capex
Australian dairy co-op Murray Goulburn is looking to build on the business it does in Asia with a series of capital investments.

CHINA: British cheese imports banned after health alert
China has issued a temporary ban on the import of British cheese amid Beijing's concerns over hygiene issues.

US: Unilever launches 36 gluten-free Breyers varieties
Unilever is launching 36 gluten-free flavours of Breyers ice cream in the US.