The focus this week has been on consumer confidence in the UK, with the Government set to release ‘austerity measures’ on 20 October and three of the major grocery retailers revealing trading updates. Elsewhere, PepsiCo revealed plans to build a unit to focus on nutrition and Canadian food group Maple Leaf Foods announced an efficiency review. Here is the best of what was said this week.

“No, we don’t expect a double dip. Yes, we expect customers to have a more difficult trading environment but we expect to be well positioned” – MARKS AND SPENCER chief executive Marc Bolland on the UK’s financial outlook.

“We don’t need to overtake Asda to achieve our growth plans” – Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King on the battle between Sainsbury’s and Asda to be the UK’s second-largest grocery retailer.

“Whenever you plan to open stores, you work on the assumption that people will live there” – Tesco CEO-designate Philip Clarke on the decision behind the retailer mothballing some 13 stores.

“Our objective is to position PepsiCo globally as a leader in wholesome and convenient nutrition, and we believe we can through four target platforms that will put us in a uniquely advantageous position” – PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi on the company’s plans to focus on science-based products.

“Eighty five per cent of the money we spend goes straight out the door from our plants and that’s where we have to be competitive” – Maple Leaf Foods president and CEO Michael McCain on the group’s efficiency review.

“Dean is not a core business for us. It’s milk, it’s not my business” – Danone chairman and CEO Franck Riboud quashes speculation that the French food group could buy US dairy giant Dean Foods.

“They are taking costs out and making savings, which is good news, but they are perhaps doing that to the detriment of quality of management” – Panmure Gordon & Co. analyst Graham Jones on Northern Foods’ latest restructuring moves.

“Our footage didn’t show many ‘happy hens’. In fact, what we found was more death camp than holiday camp. Ultimately, they barely have a year’s worth of life as supposedly free range hens before they are sent hundreds of miles to slaughter” – VIVA campaigns manager Justin Kerswell accusing Noble Foods of contravening animal welfare guidelines.

“It takes time for the farmgate price to reflect the ups and downs in the commodity market, but we need to watch the time it takes for the farmgate price to adjust and whether it will attain a level which will provide dairy farmers with a sustainable return” – DairyCo senior analyst Patty Clayton on retailers increasing margins on dairy products while processor prices fall.