Editor's choice: The highlights on just-food this week
China's drive to develop a safer food supply was in evidence this week, as authorities cut the number of domestic infant formula production licenses issued by almost 40% and issued a list of international dairy importers approved to ship product into the country. Separately, Chinese food giant COFCO teamed-up with private equity investors in a more to strengthen its integrated pork supply base and improve safety and quality standards. Elsewhere, in the US and UK sector consolidation trends continued apace and Nestle detailed plans to revitalise the Lean Cuisine brand.
CHINA: COFCO, PE consortium to invest in hog production
Chinese food giant COFCO has formed a strategic partnership with a consortium of private equity investors, led by KKR, that will allow the firm to increase its investment in large-scale industralised hog farms and meat processing plants in the country.
CHINA: Beijing issues register of approved dairy importers
Chinese regulators have published lists of the "first batch" of international manufacturers registered to import infant formula and other dairy products into the country.
CHINA: Four in ten formula manufacturers fail permit review
Almost four in ten of China's domestic infant formula manufacturers have failed to renew their production licenses, Beijing revealed on Friday (30 May).
UPDATE: UK: ABF confirms Dorset Cereals buy
Associated British Foods has confirmed market rumours that the firm struck a deal to acquire the Dorset Cereals brand from Wellness Foods.
UK: Cloetta and Kellogg's slam "sneaky" marketing allegations
Cloetta and Kellogg's have both slammed allegations they used "sneaky" marketing techniques online and via social media which would ultimately be disallowed on TV.
US: Hillshire confirms higher bid from Pilgrim's Pride
Hillshire Brands has confirmed Pilgrim's Pride has increased its takeover bid for the US food group, following speculation earlier today (3 June).
In the spotlight: Nestle hopes to thaw Lean Cuisine sales chill
Nestle has conceded that it is facing some significant challenges in the US frozen category. However, comments at the firm's investor day this week would seem to suggest that the world's largest food company has set out a roadmap for how to "fix" lacklustre brands such as Lean Cuisine. Katy Askew reports.
Focus: The Amazonian takeover
Amazon's consumer packaged goods (CPG) opportunity is valued at around US$222bn annually in the US, according to analysts at Sanford C Bernstein, and the company is targeting this opportunity aggressively. But with a distinct audience and a very different approach to selling goods, how can CPG firms make the Amazon channel work for them? Hannah Abdulla explores.
Shopper trends: Prices of own-label and brands converge
The gap is closing between own label and brands. The latest quarterly basket data for just-food.com shows own label is becoming more expensive - a trend most likely down to the level of deals that are happening on brands.
Interview: Jelly Bean Factory to accelerate growth under Cloetta
Cloetta announced plans to take control of Aran Candy, a company that manufactures up-market brand The Jelly Bean Factory, last week. Aran co-founder and MD Richard Cullen - who will continue to head up the business following the acquisition - tells just-food that he expects the change of ownership to take The Jelly Bean Factory's growth trajectory to the next level.
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