Weight Watchers

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UK/IRELAND: Heinz reshuffles UK, Ireland ops

12 May 2008

Heinz has undertaken a corporate reshuffle in the UK with plans to move its frozen and chilled business into one fully-integrated UK and Ireland business.

Doubts over Danone amid lack of Eastern promise

15 Feb 2008

2007 was something of a watershed year at French food giant Danone. The company behind brands including Activia yoghurts and Evian water has wisely decided to focus more on health and nutrition. However, its ongoing problems in India and China are causing concern among some industry watchers. Dean Best reports.

US: Weight Watchers sales leap; profits dip

15 Feb 2008

Weight Watchers International, the US-based weight management group, posted a jump in revenue for 2007 but said higher interest expenses had weighed on profit.

CHINA: Weight Watchers eyeing rising obesity

6 Feb 2008

Weight Watchers has insisted its weight-management venture with Danone in China will thrive amid a growing local desire to lose weight.

CHINA: Weight Watchers, Danone ink China venture

5 Feb 2008

Weight Watchers is to enter the Chinese market under a venture with French food giant Danone.

UK: Wyke push for "healthy" cheese Leskol

10 Jan 2008

UK dairy firm Wyke Farms is launching a GBP100,000 (US$196,000) advertising campaign this month for cheese brand Leskol.

UK: Heinz claims frozen soup first

9 Oct 2007

Heinz has claimed a product first in the frozen aisle in the UK with the launch of a range of ready-to-serve frozen soups.

UK: Finsbury buys low-fat cake firm Anthony Alan

2 Oct 2007

Baked goods producer Finsbury Food Group has acquired the low-fat cake specialist Anthony Alan Foods for GBP3.75m (US$7.7m).

UK: Heinz unveils frozen Weight Watchers range

11 Sep 2007

Weight Watchers from Heinz is introducing low-calorie products to the frozen category for the first time.

US: Heinz outlines marketing war chest

17 Aug 2007

Heinz is looking to intensify its marketing investment over the next two years, according to CEO William Johnson.

US: Heinz launches Weight Watchers mini-meals

13 Jul 2007

US food giant Heinz has launched a line of hand-held mini-meals under the Weight Watchers Smart Ones brand called Anytime Selections.

FRANCE: Senoble plans manufacturing expansion

3 Jul 2007

Senoble, France’s leading producer of retailers’ own-brand dairy products, is spending EUR30m (US$40.8m) on increasing the capacity of its manufacturing plants.

UPDATE: UK: Zetar chief talks up healthier snacks

24 May 2007

The chief executive of UK snack foods Zetar has talked up the potential of “healthier” snacks in the country after acquiring local bakery group Britannia.

UK: Kavli launches Weight Watchers houmous and tzatziki

25 Apr 2007

Spread and dips producer Kavli is launching two Mediterranean dips under the Weight Watchers licence.

UK: Consumer group hits out at sugar labelling

5 Apr 2007

UK consumer group Which? has criticised food manufacturers and retailers for their failure to communicate the often high sugar content of savoury foods through adequate labelling.

UK: Dairy Crest reports solid year

26 Mar 2007

In a trading statement issued ahead of its year-end results, UK dairy group Dairy Crest has said that the past financial year had been one of "significant progress".

US: Heinz reports Q3 sales and income growth

28 Feb 2007

Food group HJ Heinz Company has posted net income for the third quarter of US$219.0m, or $0.66 per diluted share, against $116.6m, or $0.35 per diluted share, for the corresponding quarter the year before.

US: Heinz predicts strong Q3 driven by innovation and marketing

21 Feb 2007

Speaking at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York, H.J. Heinz president and CEO William R Johnson said the company anticipates a strong third quarter performance, predicting sales growth of 5%, profit growth of 9% and EPS growth of 30%.

US: Weight Watchers completes share purchase

29 Jan 2007

Weight Watchers International has revealed the final results of its "modified Dutch Auction" tender offer. The company has accepted for purchase an aggregate of 8,548,027 shares of its common stock at a purchase price of $54 per share.

CANADA: CoolBrands sells assets to Nestlé unit

25 Jan 2007

Troubled frozen foods group CoolBrands has sold its Eskimo Pie, Chipwich and Real Fruit brands, along with Eskimo Pie soft serve product brands and related foodservice business operations, to Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, an indirect subsidiary of Nestlé, for around US$18.93m.

US: Weight Watchers tender offer in place

22 Jan 2007

Weight Watchers International has announced the preliminary results of its "modified Dutch Auction" tender offer for approximately 8.5% of the company's outstanding shares, which expired last week.

UK: Heinz launches Weight Watchers ads

17 Jan 2007

For the first time in three-years, Weight Watchers from Heinz (WWfH) has launched a new TV ad campaign as part of its overall investment of GBP5m (US$9.83m) to drive growth of the brand and the frozen category, the company has revealed.

CANADA: CoolBrands files details on working capital

16 Jan 2007

In a regulatory filing, the troubled Canadian ice creams, frozen snacks and fresh yogurt producer CoolBrands International has stated that it currently has approximately US$3.5m of excess availability under its existing revolving credit facility and is actively pursuing other sources of working capital liquidity.

UK: Major promotion planned for Weight Watchers cakes

11 Jan 2007

A major campaign has been unveiled for the Weight Watchers low fat cakes range by Anthony Alan Foods, the company which produces the cakes under licence.

US: Weight Watchers commences share offer

19 Dec 2006

Weight Watchers International has commenced a "modified Dutch auction" self-tender offer for up to 8.3m shares of its common stock at a price per share between $47.00 and $54.00, the company said.

US: Weight Watchers declares quarterly dividend

15 Dec 2006

Weight Watchers International, the weight management services group, has declared a quarterly cash dividend of US$0.175 per share, which corresponds to an annual dividend rate of $0.70 per share.

US: Heinz income up on branded growth

30 Nov 2006

HJ Heinz today (30 November) posted strong second quarter operating income growth, which was up 10% year-on-year, driven by the performance of Heinz’s top brands and products.

UK: Weight Watchers launches cookie

6 Nov 2006

This month sees the launch of Weight Watchers cookie foodservice packs, which are designed to meet the needs of caterers.

US: Weight Watchers CEO retires after seven year tenure

3 Nov 2006

Weight Watchers International has released its results for the third quarter of 2006 and also announced the decision of Linda Huett to retire as president and CEO of the company at year-end to be replaced by her successor David Kirchhoff.

Can cheese emulate yoghurt in the low-fat dairy sector?

5 Oct 2006

While yoghurt has long been popular with slimmers, cheese has traditionally been off the menu for consumers trying to lower their fat intake, as healthier cheeses have been slow to achieve the taste and texture necessary to attract a mass market. But, writes Catherine Sleep, this could be about to change.

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