We lift the lid on safety in our sector
7 March 2014
This week Unilever was gain rumoured to be looking to sell a food brand - this time Ragu pasta sauces. UK group Premier Foods announced a new refinancing package, while in the US, a mega-merger in the retail sector is on the cards, after Albertsons owner and private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management struck a deal to buy Safeway.
4 March 2014
Japanese food group Nissin Foods Holdings has invested JPY6.3bn (US$61.8m) to expand its global research and development and food safety capabilities.
3 March 2014
Tesco this week outlined plans for a fresh offensive to try to revitalise UK sales. Meanwhile, The Co-operative Group, which has faced its own issues in recent months, announced it was considering the sale of its farm business as CEO Euan Sutherland looks to reshape the mutual. In the US, PepsiCo once again reiterated it is not keen on splitting the company in two, while Hershey, Mars and Nestle breathed a sigh of relief after the price-fixing case it was tied up in was kicked out of court. Here is the week in quotes.
25 February 2014
One person has died and a further seven have been hospitalised in a multi-state listeria outbreak associated with Mexican-style cheese produced by Roos Foods.
24 February 2014
The Consumer Analyst Group of New York annual conference was held in Florida this week and, as ever, produced some notable comments as the great and the good of the US food sector detailed - and sometimes defended - their strategies. Danone issued its full-year numbers and shed some light on how it plans to mitigate surging dairy prices in 2014. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart - the world's largest retailer - offered a sober assessment on the outlook for consumer sentiment in the coming year. Here is just-food's week in words.
17 February 2014
Nestle and Mondelez International were among the major food manufacturers reporting 2013 results last week, although perhaps the most notable financial update was ConAgra Foods' second profit warning in five months. Elsewhere, there was speculation over the future ownership of UK grocer Morrisons and United Biscuits continued its international expansion with an investment in Nigeria.
10 February 2014
Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, caused a stir when it lowered its full-year forecasts this week due to pressure on US sales. Retail sales in the country have entered an upward trajectory and close competitor Target Corp has been hit by a data breach scandal - but Wal-Mart has apparently failed to capitalise. Likewise, Kellogg missed market expectations when it reported fourth-quarter numbers due to an accelerating decline in North American revenues. Here are the highlights from just-food this week.
10 February 2014
Sales growth at Hain Celestial fell slightly short of expectations, prompting the question of whether the natural and organic group is trying to run before it can walk. Elsewhere analysts picked up on Wal-Mart's failure to impress with its quarterly figures. Kellogg results also fell short and CEO John Bryant insisted the initial start-up costs of Project K will pay off in the long term.
30 January 2014
A worker at Maruha Nichiro Holdings, the Japanese company at the centre of a recent food recall, has been arrested and the recall expanded in the wake of news the malathion contamination scare is believed to be the result of deliberate tampering.
20 January 2014
This week, we interviewed the boss of UK-based meat-free business Quorn Foods, which saw sales jump last year, helped by the horsemeat saga. We also spoke to the chair of the National Obesity Forum after its report warned forecasts on UK obesity rates may have under-estimated the problem. Elsewhere, Fonterra was caught up in another recall, Saputo received a boost in its bid to buy Australian dairy Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory and Hain Celestial swooped to acquire UK rice firm Tilda.
20 January 2014
US group Hain Celestial swooped again in the UK last week, snapping up UK rice business Tilda. Meanwhile, obesity grabbed UK headlines with warnings forecasts for the condition could have under-estimated the problem. Fonterra issued another product recall, Saputo received a boost in its bid to buy Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory, while our first just-food interview of 2014 saw us meet Quorn Foods CEO Kevin Brennan.
15 January 2014
Food recalls are part of the industry in which we operate. Even companies with best-in-class safety and quality standards can, from time to time, be forced to recall product. However, when New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra issued an E.Coli recall earlier this week, echoes of last year's botulism scare jumped to mind. With this fresh recall coming hot on the heels of such as massive blow, Katy Askew suggests Fonterra could find its reputation tarnished further still.
14 January 2014
Fonterra has recalled fresh cream sold under its Anchor and Pams brand in New Zealand after tests indicated products could be contaminated with E.Coli.
13 January 2014
Danone announced this week it would take Fonterra to court to recoup damages from last year's botulism recall. In the UK, the country's major grocers announced how they performed over Christmas, with Tesco and Morrisons under pressure. And health campaigners said they are targeting the level of sugar used by the food industry.
9 January 2014
Danone has said that it will start legal proceedings against Fonterra in an attempt to recoup losses stemming from the New Zealand dairy giant's botched botulism recall last year.
6 January 2014
M&A levels remained relatively subdued in 2013. Growing private-equity interest and something of a shift in capital flows to mature markets have been significant trends shaping the M&A landscape. While gaining routes-to-market in emerging economies has remained key for strategic buyers. Katy Askew examines some of the stand-out deals of the past 12 months.
3 January 2014
Japanese food group Maruha Nichiro Holdings has launched an investigation into how a number of its products became contaminated with a pesticide, sparking a recall of 88 products in the country.
2 January 2014
Wal-Mart has withdrawn batches of donkey meat on sale at its stores in China after the products were contaminated with fox DNA.
2 January 2014
Police are investigating the recall of Tesco own-label ice cream cones in the UK after painkiller tablets were found in the products.
23 December 2013
Tesco and Hershey grabbed the headlines in the last full week before Christmas with potential moves to bolster their businesses in India and China respectively. Beijing, meanwhile, has announced plans to investigate the price of agricultural commodities to try to encourage stability in prices. Horsemeat hit the news again with arrests in France over claims horses tested on in labs have entered the food chain.
23 December 2013
Despite its recent struggles at home and abroad, Tesco this week indicated it had ambitions for growth with its application to run multi-brand outlets in India. Over in China, Hershey sought to further build its business with a deal to buy 80% of local confectioner Shanghai Golden Monkey. And horsemeat returned to the headlines with arrests in France after horses tested on in labs allegedly entered the country's food chain.
19 December 2013
2013 was a bumper year for senior executive interviews on just-food and your top ten most-read pieces included our meetings with the CEOs of Nestle, Unilever and Greencore.
19 December 2013
just-food's team of journalists and columnists took on a range of issues in 2013 - and their views on subjects including Tesco's moves to revitalise its UK business, the speculation of a possible merger between PepsiCo and Mondelez International, the GM debate and the outlook for Heinz under new owners won your attention.
19 December 2013
The horsemeat scandal, the fixing of infant formula prices in China, Fonterra's botulism scare and the UK's push towards "hybrid" nutrition labels were among the news stories that grabbed your attention in 2013.
16 December 2013
The first impact of Kellogg's "efficiency and effectiveness programme" emerged this week with news the US food group will close plants in Australia and Canada. Elsewhere, initial findings from a Government-backed report into the UK food supply chain were announced and the EU's food watchdog announced rules on aspartame were "safe".
13 December 2013
UK Food Secretary Owen Paterson has stressed the Government is working to keep the country's food sector "ahead of the game" on food adulteration by blocking "criminals" targeting the industry.
12 December 2013
The UK food industry is "too vulnerable" to fraud and work is needed to tackle "food crime", the head of a Government-backed review into the sector has warned.
11 December 2013
The New Zealand government has pledged to spend NZ$8-12m in tightening its food safety system following a report into Fonterra's whey protein contamination scare.
10 December 2013
Europe's food safety watchdog has concluded the current level of artificial sweetener aspartame allowed in food and beverage products is "safe".
6 December 2013
This week's batch of featured reports from the just-food store includes the results of an industry survey on the outlook for functional food, the top five emerging markets for frozen food and analysis of the dairy products sector in China.