Editor's viewpoint

Editor's viewpoint

By: Dean Best

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



Premier Foods boss sees off revolt but still faces slog 23 Jul 2018

Premier Foods chief executive Gavin Darby saw off a shareholder revolt this week, winning the vote on his re-election to the role. But any relief over that result will likely be short-lived as the UK manufacturer continues to face the challenge of eking out sales growth from legacy brands in low-growth categories and paying down debts and a hefty pension deficit.


Scrutiny will only intensify even if Premier CEO gets re-elected 6 Jul 2018

It would be a surprise Premier Foods' under-fire CEO Gavin Darby is not re-elected at the UK group's AGM on 18 July but activist investor Oasis Management has brought to the fore concerns about the manufacturer's performance. The market will be watching closely if Premier moves forward under its current CEO.


Why Kraft Heinz should steer clear of Campbell 26 Jun 2018

Dean Best is unsure whether, as has been reported in the US, Kraft Heinz should be looking at a possible move for Campbell Soup Co.


Google and JD.com - another e-commerce duo to consider 22 Jun 2018

There was another e-commerce powerplay this week, with Google investing in and setting out plans to work with Chinese e-commerce retailer JD.com. Dean Best reflects on the announcement and how suppliers should react.


Bakery giant Aryzta's fresh profit warning raises concerns 29 May 2018

It has been clear for months there are some sizeable challenges facing Aryzta, the Swiss-Irish bakery giant - and there were signs this week the company's problems persist.


Why latest Tyrrells takeover is no major surprise 18 May 2018

UK-based savoury snacks business Tyrrells is getting its third owner in two years - but the latest deal is no surprise, writes Dean Best.


London Mayor's bold plan on food ads should be welcomed 11 May 2018

How the owners of food and drink high in fat, salt or sugar advertise their products has long been a contentious issue in the UK, with campaigners calling for further restrictions. Today (11 May), London's Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has won praise for his proposals to introduce regulations within his area of influence.


What might Pinnacle Foods' new activist investor mean for US group? 20 Apr 2018

Pinnacle Foods has often been touted as a possible acquisition target - and now activist investor Jana Partners has taken a position in the US group that talk will intensify.


M&A, rather than Brexit, is behind Unilever's HQ decision 16 Mar 2018

Unilever this week announced a change in its legal structure, which will see the FMCG behemoth have its main base in the Netherlands. The UK media swiftly pointed to Brexit - but the key factor would likely have been to have given the group more options when it comes to M&A.


The UK's calorie plan is cogent - and industry will be content 12 Mar 2018

Faced with some alarming data on obesity, the UK this week announced its latest strategy to battle the bulge. A target for industry to reduce calories has its merits and, Dean Best writes, will have pleased industry, too.


General Mills sets cat among pigeons with move into pet food - analysis 27 Feb 2018

Three days after signalling more M&A was likely, General Mills on Friday announced a move into pet food with the acquisition of US firm Blue Buffalo Pet Products. The US$8bn deal appears pricey but should give General Mills' top line a boost and the company is confident its new asset can continue to grow. Some in the market, however, raised questions. Dean Best reports.


The new Kellogg CEO's quest for growth - CAGNY takeaways 23 Feb 2018

There were a number of companies presenting at this week's CAGNY conference in the US that had recently-installed CEOs making their first appearance at one of the key dates in the investor calendar as chief executive. Among them was Steve Cahillane, the former Anheuser-Busch InBev and Coca-Cola executive who took the helm at Kellogg in October. His job is to get a business with a sluggish top line back into growth. Dean Best tuned in.


Decision on Murray Goulburn sale delayed 2 Feb 2018

Australia's competition watchdog has pushed back the date on which it is set to announce its verdict on Saputo's planned acquisition of the operating assets and liabilities of local dairy giant Murray Goulburn.


Lactalis scandal puts wider French supply chain in spotlight 12 Jan 2018

The scrutiny of Lactalis has intensified this week as the dairy giant battles to repair the reputational damage from the salmonella scandal that has engulfed the company. However, the latest revelations have meant retailers have also been criticised and led to questions about the wider supply chain, which could fuel anxiety in export markets.


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.


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