In the spotlight

In the spotlight

Which manufacturers, retailers or issues are grabbing the headlines?



Big Food's stake in the future - in-house venture-capital funds  6 Apr 2018

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


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.


Can Nomad Foods heat up Goodfella's sales? 22 Jan 2018

UK-based, US-listed Nomad Foods - a business with M&A at its very origins – has re-entered the fray after pressure on sales and margins caused the company to focus inwards. The owner of the Iglo and Birds Eye (in the UK) brands has snapped up a clutch of pizza assets from UK group Boparan Holdings. Dean Best reports.


Is the Bell Food Group-Huegli deal a win-win? 19 Jan 2018

Andy Coyne looks at the motives behind Bell Food Group's acquisition of Huegli and asks whether both parties are likely to benefit from this all-Swiss affair?


What next after Ferrero's move for Nestle's US candy assets? 19 Jan 2018

After months of speculation, Italian candy maker Ferrero finally emerged this week as the winner in the race for Nestle's US confectionery assets, reportedly pipping rival Hershey to a business that has largely been sluggish in delivering results. But what lies ahead? Simon Harvey investigates.


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.


Campbell's move for Snyder's-Lance is positive but risks lie ahead - analysis 4 Jan 2018

Campbell Soup Co., facing continued pressure on its core soup business in the US, has again used M&A to broaden its range, striking a deal to buy US snacks maker Snyder's-Lance. Snacks will become a larger component of Campbell's sales mix but integrating a business that has had its own issues in recent quarters will be a challenge. Dean Best reports.


What will KKR do with the former Unilever spreads division? 21 Dec 2017

Analysts have been trying to predict what private-equity firm KKR is likely to do with its new asset - the former Unilever spreads division. Andy Coyne picks through their musings.


Does Hershey's acquisition of Amplify Snack Brands make sense? 19 Dec 2017

Andy Coyne looks at the US confectionery giant's latest move to broaden its portfolio and weighs up reaction to the deal.


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