Editor's viewpoint

Editor's viewpoint

By: Dean Best

Dean Best's views on the industry's hot issues.



Gove wins UK exporter praise but Brexit looms - editor's viewpoint 15 Dec 2017

For all the qualified optimism about the UK government's renewed pledges to work "in partnership" with the country's food industry to grow the sector, Brexit presents significant unknowns and departure from the EU could have significant ramifications for manufacturers.


It's not child's play for TreeHouse Foods right now - editor's viewpoint 3 Nov 2017

After a largely smooth decade for TreeHouse Foods since its inception in 2005, the largest private-label supplier in the US has found it tough going in the last 18 months or so. And, worryingly for investors, the latest news coming out of TreeHouse this week did not make for happy reading, Dean Best reports.


Eyeing Asia, Saputo moves for Murray Goulburn - editor's viewpoint 30 Oct 2017

Dean Best weighs up why Saputo has moved to buy the embattled Australian dairy group.


Ferrero strikes again in US - but whither Nestle assets? 23 Oct 2017

Ferrero and Ferrara Candy Co. have this summer been named as two possible bidders for Nestle's US confectionery assets. This week, they announced they were to join forces. What, then, could that mean for Nestle's bid to sell the business?


General Mills resolute but home discomfort clouds outlook 25 Sep 2017

General Mills maintained its full-year forecasts after an opening quarter of falling sales and profits but there is uncertainty on Wall Street about the outlook for the US food giant, which continues to toil at home, writes Dean Best.


Recent M&A moves show Nestle has woken up and smelt the coffee 18 Sep 2017

Nestle's investment in US coffee roaster and retailer Blue Bottle is another sign of a change in the food giant's M&A strategy since the arrival of CEO Mark Schneider earlier this year, Dean Best writes.


Food in line for most pain from Brexit self-harm - comment 8 Sep 2017

There have been plenty of occasions since the early hours of 24 June 2016 when those in the UK who voted for the country to stay in the EU would have held their heads in the hands.


Activist grabs headlines but change was already on way at Nestle 29 Jun 2017

Activist investors putting pressure on food companies is not new, especially not in recent years, although Nestle's stature in the industry may have raised eyebrows as US investment fund Third Point made the world's largest food business the latest to feel the heat. However, there were already signs of change at Nestle under new CEO Mark Schneider, Dean Best argues.


Amazon's move for Whole Foods will focus minds 16 Jun 2017

"Every so often an event occurs that shakes the industry to its core. Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods is one of those." So said one US retail analyst today after the e-commerce giant announced a deal to buy the natural and organic grocer for US$13.7bn. The transaction stunned the sector, with analysts hailing it a game-changer. Amazon faces short-term challenges with Whole Foods but the acquisition looks set to give its ambitions in grocery - a sector it entered ten years ago - a boost and rival retailers and manufacturers will be sitting up and taking notice. Dean Best reports.


UK election result - all eyes on Northern Ireland as Brexit talks near 9 Jun 2017

Cor Blimey! exclaimed one Labour-leaning UK tabloid this morning (9 June) as the country awoke to another election result that confounded pollsters.


Unilever’s latest blueprint contains no huge surprises. Yet - editor's viewpoint 7 Apr 2017

Unilever announced the fruits of its business review - convened after the company brushed off interest from Kraft Heinz - yesterday (6 April). The Knorr and Magnum maker set out a measured plan, which included the wise decision to leave the spreads business. But could bolder action be on the horizon in the longer term? Dean Best reports.


Uncertainty reigns but UK exporters facing Brexit pragmatically - column 30 Mar 2017

The UK has triggered Article 50 of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty, so formally firing the starting gun on its departure from the 28-member bloc. Brexit is the most important political and economic event in the UK for a generation and has divided the country. A majority of the UK’s food sector wanted to stay in the EU and have significant concerns about the post-Brexit future. However, increasingly, businesses are acquiring a pragmatic view about the future – with some real anxieties remaining but a recognition opportunities could be seized – a stance heard last week at the IFE trade show in London. Dean Best reports.


Premier Foods has more to worry about than Brexit - editor's viewpoint 19 Jan 2017

This week's profit warning from Premier Foods plc dismayed the market with analysts expressing concern about the UK group's ability to pass on Brexit-linked cost increases, the performance of its brands and its promotional strategy.


Danone's good news on margins but Activia leaves sour taste - editor's viewpoint 21 Dec 2016

Danone surprised the market on Monday (19 December) with a warning on its full-year sales. In more positive news, the French giant also said it expects its comparable operating margins to "be above target" but analysts were concerned about the early results of the relaunch of Activia, with the company citing the brand as a factor in its lower forecast for organic sales growth in 2016.


Don't rule out Kraft and Mondelez going back to the future - editor's viewpoint 15 Dec 2016

The speculation linking Kraft Heinz to a possible bid for Mondelez International is casting just-food's mind back seven years and giving it a wry smile at the thought of a company reunited.


Browse all 185 articles