In the spotlight

In the spotlight

Which manufacturers, retailers or issues are grabbing the headlines?



Cereal? Health? A company split? What might be next for PepsiCo under new CEO Ramon Laguarta 8 Aug 2018

Indra Nooyi is stepping down as PepsiCo CEO, to be replaced by another 20-year company veteran, group president Ramon Laguarta. What could lie ahead for the food and beverage giant? Dean Best reports.


What could no-deal Brexit mean for UK, EU food sectors? 31 Jul 2018

The prospect of the UK and the EU not reaching a deal on the country's departure from the bloc has risen in recent weeks amid close votes at Westminster and Brussels expressing opposition to London's latest proposals on customs. As food-industry concerns mount, Rose Pengally surveys what could be the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the sector on both sides of the Channel.


Nestle results provide food for thought - key takeaways 30 Jul 2018

Nestlé revealed a generally positive set of first-half results on Thursday that were received favourably by the stock market, despite a tweak to the Swiss food giant's organic growth outlook. But what was most interesting is what can surely only be deemed as a veiled kickback by CEO Mark Schneider at activist investor Daniel Loeb. Simon Harvey looks at the key takeaways.


Will incoming Hain Celestial chief usher in new era? 10 Jul 2018

Finding a successor to Hain Celestial founder and chief executive Irwin Simon could prove tricky in light of the pressure from activist investor Engaged Capital to sell the US business. But what might the options be for an incoming CEO faced with a product portfolio bloated by acquisitions and with 'Big Food' companies and retailers fast encroaching on its organic roots? Simon Harvey investigates.


Big Food's stake in the future - in-house venture-capital funds  25 Jun 2018

Our guide to some of the main in-house venture capital funds operated by major food businesses. 


Frustration with Brexit blind date prevails at FDF's annual gathering 15 Jun 2018

With nine months to go until the UK is set to officially leave the EU, politicians are still battling it out to resolve complex trade and regulatory issues two years after the Brexit referendum. The UK food industry can only sit and watch events unfold but is eager to see concrete resolutions so they can get on with planning for an exit. Simon Harvey went to the UK Food and Drink Federation's annual convention to hear what delegates had to say.


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.


What are the options for incoming 2 Sisters CEO Ronald Kers? 24 May 2018

After 25 years at the helm of 2 Sisters Food Group, one of the UK's largest food companies, multi-millionaire founder Ranjit Singh Boparan is stepping aside. Having recently faced a recent hygiene scandal, which dug holes in its finances, he has hired Ronald Kers as CEO. Simon Harvey looks at the challenges ahead for the former Müller executive.


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.


Greencore warning vindicates market doubts about US foray - analysis 15 Mar 2018

Ireland's Greencore has disappointed investors and analysts alike with a profit warning, a US factory closure and a shake-up of its US leadership team. Andy Coyne looks at the issues it is facing.


Can new CEO Steven Oakland rebuild TreeHouse Foods? 8 Mar 2018

TreeHouse Foods has hired industry veteran Steven Oakland to rescue what has become a sinking ship under the weight of its acquisition of the then ConAgra Foods' private-label arm in 2016. Simon Harvey looks at the job in hand for the former J.M. Smucker chief executive, who inherits a transformation programme still in its infancy and losses of more than US$200m.


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.


These are troubling times for the UK meat sector - analysis 26 Feb 2018

The recent spate of food safety infractions in UK meat and poultry production was followed by the publication late on Friday of further worrying revelations in The Guardian newspaper. Ben Cooper assesses the implications of this succession of incidents and reports for the UK meat sector, its regulators and the food manufacturers that depend on them both.


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.


General Mills' bid for growth - CAGNY 2018 takeaways 22 Feb 2018

In General Mills' most recent financial year, the Cheerios-to-Yoplait owner saw its net sales tumble 4% on an organic basis - and that decline followed two successive years of its sales by that metric being flat. However, company veteran and now CEO Jeff Harmening believes General Mills can get back to growth and, at this year's Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference, outlined why. Here are the top takeaways from the group's presentation.


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