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CMA widens scope of Sainsbury’s/Asda merger investigation to include discounters

17 Oct 2018

Asda and Sainsbury's have won their fight to have discounters Aldi and Lidl included in the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)'s investigation into their planned merger. 

Talking shop September 2015 – Margin management in the spotlight 

8 Oct 2015

A consistent challenge facing grocers is maintaining – or strengthening – margins in a frequently hostile retail environment. This must be achieved while also developing the customer proposition and investing in growth. Keeping a lid on costs is a must but that has to be balanced against issues like pressure to raise wages, as we have seen in the UK this month, and the need to keep consumer prices low. 

Talking shop July 2015 – online dictates retailers' strategy

30 Jul 2015

The rapid development of online retailing has long been a key part of the strategic direction of global food retailers. While the channel represents a growth spot in what can – in many markets – seem a sector struggling for sales growth, there is as yet no clear formula for profitably exploiting it. However, as this month's Talking shop round-up illustrates, a number of grocers are further investing in the channel.

Sainsbury's launches kids frozen meal range

28 Jul 2015

UK supermarket Sainsbury's has introduced a new frozen kids meal range under the Kiddyum brand.

Young's Seafood mulls closure of two plants

9 Jul 2015

Young's Seafood has outlined plans that could lead to the closure of two processing sites in Scotland - and the loss of over 900 jobs - in the wake of Sainsbury's moving a contract away from the UK group.

Scandi Standard CFO Jonny Mason resigns

30 Jun 2015

Swedish chicken processor Scandi Standard has announced the resignation of its CFO Jonny Mason.

Young's Seafood loses Sainsbury's salmon contract

23 Jun 2015

Young's Seafood confirmed it has lost a contract to supply fresh salmon and smoked salmon to UK retailer Sainsbury's.

MRSA in pork prompts call for action on antibiotic use

18 Jun 2015

The discovery of "superbug" MRSA in pork on sale in several UK supermarkets has prompted renewed calls for the food sector to change the way it uses antibiotics in meat production.

Editor's viewpoint: Waitrose's personalised promos will stir industry

17 Jun 2015

UK grocer Waitrose has got industry watchers talking this afternoon (17 June) with the launch of a promotional programme that lets consumers choose which products they want to buy on offer. Rivals and suppliers will be watching very closely.

Food industry quotes of the week: Wessanen, Dean Foods, Mondelez

11 May 2015

This week, Kellogg reported its first-quarter results and, despite sales and profits being down, CEO John Bryant said the firm was on the right track. Elsewhere, Mondelez International took steps to bolster its e-commerce efforts, announcing a tie-up with technology firm ChannelSight. Dean Foods announced it was bringing its 31 milk brands under one label, a move we analysed to find out whether it could put the dairy maker back on the road to recovery after a string of loss-making quarters. Here is the week in quotes.

Food industry news of the week: Wessanen, Kellogg, Lactalis

11 May 2015

Kellogg reported its first quarter results and despite sales and profits being down, CEO John Bryant said the firm was on the right track. We took a look at the Chinese milk market which revealed the importance of international dairies in its future. Lactalis swooped to acquire a majority holding in Yildiz Holding's AK Gida. And we explored what UK supermarket Sainsbury's latest loss and plan to cut prices would mean for suppliers. Here are the highlights from just-food this week.

What Sainsbury's numbers mean for suppliers

7 May 2015

The annual results from UK grocer Sainsbury's have underlined the pressure mainstream supermarkets in the country are facing as discounters continue to gain market share.

Cereal faces fresh criticism over sugar content

28 Jan 2015

Manufacturers and retailers in the UK - including Kellogg, Sainsbury's and Aldi - have again come under fire over the high sugar content of some breakfast cereals, prompting calls for the Government-backed Responsibility Deal to be scrapped.

Editor's viewpoint: Global factors hold sway over UK milk prices

23 Jan 2015

The price farmers are paid for milk has again made national headlines in the UK - and again it is the country's supermarket chains in the firing line. Even David Cameron has weighed in on the issue. But, UK farmers, like their counterparts around the world, are at the mercy of global factors.

Briefing: 2015 preview: How to get better deal for main-street M&A sellers in 2015

2 Jan 2015

Upward pressure is continuing in food industry M&A transactions, as demonstrated by some large public deals in 2014. However that has not fed through to smaller, non-public deals, which make up the bulk of M&A deals. Stefan Kirk draws attention to one potential driver of higher-equity values, and thus higher transaction volume, in so-called main-street M&A - changes in valuation methodology, forced over the line by long-term low interest rates.

UK mulls adding official "five-a-day" mark to ready meals

9 Dec 2014

The UK government is considering allowing ready meal manufacturers to put the official five-a-day logo on their products.

The bitesize interview: Cricketer Farm MD Greg Parsons

28 Nov 2014

UK cheese maker Cricketer Farm supplies the country's major retailers with low-fat cheese, a category growing amid the rising consumer interest in health. However, in the last 18 months, the business has added a new brand - Cheeky Cow - to its portfolio, with half the fat of mature cheddar. MD Greg Parsons talks to Dean Best about the brand's early performance, the competition and how there are plans for "evolution" in 2015.

Campylobacter in 70% of UK supermarket chicken - FSA

27 Nov 2014

More than 70% of fresh chickens being sold in UK supermarkets are contaminated with campylobacter, a survey by the Food Standards Agency has unveiled.

Comment: Price is the word in UK grocery

12 Nov 2014

It hardly even seems to count as news: the German discounters continue to make strides in the UK. The trend has been in evidence for years now, as a tight focus on price and improved ranging enable Aldi and Lidl to continue to win shoppers in their droves. This week's announcement that Aldi plans to invest heavily in the market should be viewed as a signal of intent. The Germans are coming - and their advance is likely to put even more pressure on pricing for food makers. Katy Askew reports.

Warburtons adds "premium" loaves to range

4 Nov 2014

Warburtons has added a line of "premium" loaves to its bakery range.

Comment: Definitive action needed if poultry industry to win consumer confidence

6 Aug 2014

The UK's Food Standards Agency has issued the results of its first set of quarterly campylobacter tests, part of a year-long study into the prevalence of the bacteria in the UK poultry supply. The results reveal that around three-fifths of chicken sold in UK supermarkets are contaminated with the bacteria and the regulator has conceded that more must be done to win over consumer trust. After a personal brush with the issue, having found offal in pre-packed supermarket chicken, Katy Askew would strongly concur.

Editor's viewpoint: Why whole sector should take heed of UK, China meat allegations

24 Jul 2014

The meat supply chain is in the spotlight this week, with allegations in the UK and China of poor and potentially unsafe practices at firms supplying retail and foodservice giants including Tesco and McDonald's. But the entire industry needs to pay attention: consumer interest in what they eat is at its highest-ever level.

UK: Discounters' share to almost double by 2019 - IGD

1 Jul 2014

Discount retailers' share of the UK grocery market will almost double by 2019, according to forecasts from industry analysts IGD.

Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

30 Jun 2014

In a week when ConAgra Foods faced uncomfortable questions over its performance, Ben & Jerry's waded into the GMO-debate and the UK government revealed that it is looking at various ways to curb sugar consumption - including fiscal levers - here is just-food's week in words.

Talking shop: Sainsbury's tries to shore up flank with Netto JV

24 Jun 2014

In a surprise move, Sainsbury's has reacted to the continued growth of discount retailers in the UK with a venture to bring the Netto banner back to the country. Sainsbury's and Netto owner Dansk Supermarked will launch a clutch of stores on a trial basis but Netto, which struggled on its previous visit to the UK, faces even stronger competitors now. Dean Best reports.

FREE FROM FOOD EXPO: Moo Free aims to "dominate" dairy-free chocolate market

11 Jun 2014

Ambitious dairy-free chocolate maker Moo Free aims to "dominate" the world market for dairy-free milk chocolate by expanding in new markets and increasing its exposure to the supermarket channel.

UK: Unilever responds to frozen yoghurt demand with Snog minis

10 Jun 2014

Unilever is extending its presence in the frozen yoghurt sector with the development of mini frozen yoghurt pots under the Snog brand.

FREE FROM FOOD EXPO: Doves Farm eyeing growth at home and abroad

10 Jun 2014

Gluten-free and organic firm Doves Farm plans to expand its UK sales through new product development, while also eyeing expansion in key overseas markets.

Quote, unquote: Innovation and trends in UK food

22 May 2014

Dairy Crest, Alpro, Mizkan Group, Asda and Sainsbury's were among the manufacturers and grocers that attended a conference in London to discuss the challenge of developing a food product that sticks in the UK grocery market.

Talking shop: Sainsbury's stresses value as UK price war intensifies

7 May 2014

UK retailer Sainsbury's has downplayed concerns over increased competition around price in the UK grocery sector. The supermarket group has insisted that a combination of its own label offering and "tough" supplier negotiations mean that it remains price competitive, while a broader definition of "value" enables it to extend its points of difference. Katy Askew reports.

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