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How brands are eyeing their own retail presence

Unilever is building on its push into branded ice cream retail with the acquisition of Italian gelato group Grom. And Unilever is not the on...

What lies behind Ferrero's move for Thorntons?

Italian confectioner Ferrero has made a surprise move for UK chocolate maker and retailer Thorntons. One cannot ignore the fact Thorntons ha...

Dean Best | 19 May 2015

In some ways, Jonathan Hart will leave the UK chocolate maker and retailer Thorntons next month in a better position than he found the business when he joined in January 2011. However, when Hart steps down on 27 June, a decision announced yesterday (18 May), Thorntons should be looking for - or be set to install - a new chief executive with more experience in FMCG and in selling branded products to UK and international grocers.

Michelle Russell | 11 Sep 2013

UK chocolate firm Thorntons has said it believes it can create a "viable" and "sustainable" store estate despite sales from the outlets declining for the fifth straight financial year.

Katy Askew | 25 Feb 2013

Thorntons' improved first-half performance demonstrates that its strategy to shift towards sales through its commercial arm while working to revitalise the brand is starting to pay off, the group insisted this morning (25 February).

Katy Askew | 21 Jan 2013

Retailers in the UK and Ireland faced some difficult questions last week, when it emerged that horse and pig DNA had been discovered in beefburgers and "beef" ready meals.

Latest Interviews

Michelle Russell | 1 Jul 2013

Earlier this year UK baker Finsbury Food Group offloaded its gluten-free bread business to venture partner Genius Foods. However, Finsbury, which makes cakes for brands under licence and for UK retailers, still sees potential in bread and today announced plans to significantly increase capacity. Michelle Russell spoke to CEO John Duffy.

Michelle Russell | 17 Jan 2013

UK confectioner Thorntons is undergoing something of a transformation. The chocolate and toffee producer, which has been hit hard by the consumer downturn, is midway through a strategic shift to close the bulk of its store network and focus on commercial sales. Since taking the helm in May 2011, Jonathan Hart has had a mountain to climb: rebalancing the portfolio while tackling weak consumer demand. Nonetheless, the chief executive tells Michelle Russell that the firm is now on the right road for its strategy re-think to deliver improved results.

Latest News

Simon Harvey | 12 Dec 2017

Ferrero has painted a bleak picture for its business in the UK should the country fail to reach a suitable trade agreement upon leaving the EU, with a potential increase in import tariffs and a divergence in labelling among the key risks to higher costs.

Andy Coyne | 5 Sep 2017

UK bakery business Finsbury Food Group has renewed its long-standing partnership with chocolate maker Thorntons.

John Shepherd | 19 Jul 2016

UK cake and bread maker Finsbury Food Group has reported increased sales revenue of nearly 25% for the full financial year ended 2 July in a pre-close trading statement released today (19 July).

Hannah Abdulla | 9 Sep 2015

Finsbury Food Group has launched Thorntons Little Temptations, a line of cake bites, in the UK.

Katy Askew | 26 Jun 2015

This week has been bumper for food sector M&A. Ferrero announced that it is gobbling up UK chocolate maker Thorntons. JBS is taking control of Moy Park from heavily indebted Brazilian meat group Marfrig. Grupo Bimbo also announced it has purchased parts of Spanish baker Panrico. Meanwhile, in the world of retail, Delhaize and Ahold revealed plans to combine. Here is just-food's top news and insight coverage from this week.

Katy Askew | 22 Jun 2015

Italian confectioner Ferrero has launched a takeover bid to buy UK chocolate group Thorntons, in a deal valuing the business at just under GBP112m.

Hannah Abdulla | 26 May 2015

This week, Arla Foods struck a notable deal in Egypt, with plans for a local venture with Juhayna Food Industries. Elsewhere, Unilever announced CFO Jean-Marc Huet would step down from his post and Thorntons said CEO Jonathan Hart had decided to leave the business. Premier Foods announced its annual results and CEO GavinDarby said the UK group would continue to focus on revamping its range.

Dean Best | 26 May 2015

The US Department of Agriculture's development of GMO certification scheme emerged this week, adding to the debate over the labelling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients. Elsewhere in the US, Mondelez International revealed jobs will go at a biscuit plant in Chicago. Meanwhile, dairy giant Arla Foods announced a deal in Egypt with local processor Juhayna Food Industries.

Dean Best | 18 May 2015

Thorntons CEO Jonathan Hart has decided to leave the UK chocolate manufacturer and retailer.

Katy Askew | 1 May 2015

A busy week for results as the first-quarter reporting season got into full swing. We heard from global food manufacturers as far afield as Latin American and Russia, with the likes of Sigma Alimentos owner Alfa and Cherkizovo Group updating the markets. Here is just-food's weekly financial round up.

Katy Askew | 2 Mar 2015

Thorntons has booked a drop in half-year sales and net profit after what it described as a “disappointing” performance.

Hannah Abdulla | 23 Jan 2015

Unilever revealed its 2014 results this week and revealed its food sales fell last year, prompting CEO Paul Polman to admitted the Flora and Becel maker had lagged the change in how consumers viewed spreads. Elsewhere, Lifeway Foods CEO, Julie Smolyansky, insisted the business is not for sale.

Hannah Abdulla | 19 Jan 2015

Thorntons has booked an 8% drop in half-year sales on the back of "challenges" with some retail customers.

Hannah Abdulla | 23 Dec 2014

Shares in UK-based confectioner Thorntons slid 23.17% today as the firm issued an annual profit warning.

Dean Best | 13 Oct 2014

Shares in Thorntons tumbled today (13 October) after the UK chocolate maker booked a drop in first-quarter sales - but the business insisted its annual profits will hit market expectations.

Dean Best | 10 Sep 2014

Thorntons today (10 September) said it expected the US to become its largest overseas market as the UK chocolate maker continues to build its international presence.

Hannah Abdulla | 15 Jul 2014

Symington's has teamed up with confectioner Thorntons for the launch of a range of home baking and dessert mixes in the UK.

Hannah Abdulla | 9 Jul 2014

UK confectioner Thorntons has reported flat annual sales, with a decline in its retail stores offsetting growth from its FMCG arm, which sells to customers including supermarkets.

Hannah Abdulla | 3 Jul 2014

Shares in Thorntons jumped today (3 July) as the UK confectioner revealed it had secured new credit facilities with lenders.

Katy Askew | 30 Apr 2014

UK chocolate group Thorntons booked a drop in third quarter sales as a "strong" Easter failed to offset slow trading in February and March and a performance at Valentine's Day and Mother's Day that "fell below expectations".

Dean Best | 3 Mar 2014

UK chocolate manufacturer and retailer Thorntons has reported half-year profits ahead of market expectations.

Katy Askew | 16 Jan 2014

UK chocolate maker Thorntons said today (16 January) it has made "good progress" on its turnaround plan, which has seen it refocus the business to concentrate on sales through retailers.

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