Looking behind the headlines is just-food’s signature dish and this year we looked at the major stories in-depth, including the possible suitors for United Biscuits’ salty snacks business; the work ahead for China’s Bright Food after it bought Weetabix and the prospects for the two companies created by Kraft Foods’ split in two.

Deal or no deal: Who is in the running for United Biscuits’ salty snacks?
In March, United Biscuits indicated it was ready to sell its salty snacks business and Katy Askew took a look at the likely suitors for the Hula Hoops maker.

Deal or no deal: CSM prepares for bakery bids
In May, Dutch food and ingredients group CSM announced plans to sell off its bakery business earlier this week. The speed of the decision to offload the division may have taken industry watchers by surprise but CSM has been giving off signals that it sees its future as a bio-based ingredients company for some time. Katy Askew takes a speculative look at the interest that the sale could generate.

In the spotlight – Kellogg could need more than brand “refresh”
Kellogg‘s namesake brand is one of the world’s oldest but, in May, the cereal giant announced a relaunch of the 106-year-old label. The US group is operating in a tough domestic cereal market and it is facing challenges in Europe. Analysts have argued Kellogg is trying to breathe fresh life into a brand facing stiff competition, including increasingly from own label.

Talking shop: Morrisons ups the stakes with its “Shop of the Future”
In March, Andrew Don argued Morrisons had “upped the grocery ante” with its new-look stores. He visited an outlet north of London to find out how the UK’s fourth-largest retailer is attempting to stand out from the pack.

In the spotlight: Hard work ahead for new Weetabix owner Bright Food
Ambitious Bright Food, the Chinese state-backed food group, missed out on previous Western targets like United Biscuits and Yoplait but it has planted a flag in Europe with the acquisition of a majority stake in UK cereal manufacturer Weetabix. The deal could give Bright Food some Western expertise to apply to its domestic business but, as Dean Best reports, its faces a challenge in building the brand in China, where it remains early days for breakfast cereal.

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In the spotlight: Kraft’s North American grocery unit
The spotlight fell on Kraft Foods’ North American grocery unit in April when the firm released some details on the shape the business will take after it is spun off from the group’s international snacks division later this year.

Click here and here for profiles on the US-focused Kraft Foods Group and the new global snacks manufacturer Mondelez International.

In the spotlight: Frustration at coy Carrefour CEO Plassat
Robust, single-minded and colourful were three words that sprung to mind as Carrefour CEO Georges Plassat discussed his plans for the French retail giant yesterday (30 August). However, some investors would like a little less gloss and a lot more detail.

BRICs and beyond: Organic food’s identity problem in China
A sign that a branded food market is maturing is the growth of niches and demand for certified-organic products in China is starting to rise. However, as Mark Godfrey reported from Beijing and the south-eastern city of Xiamen in February, in China’s fledgling organic sector, there are no common labelling requirements, leading to consumer confusion over what is truly organic, which could hinder development in the long term.

Talking shop: Does the hypermarket format have a future?
“Soulless sheds”, “beached whales” and “blips in the history of retail” are descriptions that were this year assigned to hypermarkets, a format that seems to have taken on the persona of a dinosaur whose days are numbered. Glynn Davis took a look at whether this once high-flying format could be rejuvenated.

BRICs and beyond: Kraft eyes taste of success in India with Toblerone launch
US food giant Kraft Foods confirmed its much-speculated launch of Toblerone into India in July. Michelle Russell took a look at why Kraft has introduced Toblerone into India, which brands it will compete against and the projected growth for the sector.