Our interviews with senior United Biscuits executives – in the year the company’s owners agreed to sell the UK snack maker to Turkey’s Yildiz Holding – featured highly on the list of 2014’s most-clicked interviews on just-food. Interviews with the CEOs of the UK’s Premier Foods and Canada’s Agropur, as well as the CFOs of Arla Foods and Brazil’s BRF were also popular as we continued to gain access to some of the industry’s leading lights.
United Biscuits driving UK growth – MD
United Biscuits has embarked on a strategy it believes will grow UK biscuit sales over the next three years. The company is unifying its offering under two “master brands” – McVitie’s and Jacob’s – as well as stepping up investments in production and marketing. Jon Eggleton, MD for United Biscuits’ UK business, spoke to just-food about the group’s domestic expansion drive.
Click here for our interview later in the year with Jeff van der Eems, the head of United Biscuits’ international operations.
Gulfood 2014: Mondelez’s Middle East snacks ambitions
They may be growing quickly but the Middle East’s snacks and confectionery sectors present a challenge for companies looking to grow their share of sales. Vishal Tikku, vice president and area director for Mondelez International in the region, spoke to Hannah Abdulla at the Gulfood 2014 exhibition in Dubai about the company’s ambitions for the region.
The just-food interview: Premier Foods CEO Gavin Darby
Premier Foods plc is emerging from the long shadow of its debt burden with a new refinancing package and a clear mandate to grow its categories and brands. But, in the tough UK operating environment, growth is proving hard to come by. Premier CEO Gavin Darby speaks to just-food about balancing the need to invest in Premier’s stable of well-known brands – as well as some of the more neglected areas of its business – while also managing a fragile balance sheet.
Interview: Ben & Jerry’s backs GMO labelling in US
Ben & Jerry’s is supporting the campaign to introduce GMO labelling in the US. Unlike the majority of conventional US food manufacturers, the Unilever-owned ice cream maker is also throwing its weight behind the introduction of such legislation on a state-by-state basis. Katy Askew spoke to Ben & Jerry’s social mission activism manager Chris Miller to find out more.
The just-food interview: Agropur CEO Robert Coallier
Acquisitive Canadian dairy co-op Agropur this month finalised its largest deal to date – its purchase of US cheese and dairy ingredients business Davisco Foods International. In a two-part interview, Dean Best speaks to Agropur CEO Robert Coallier about the transaction and its recent flurry of acquisitions.
Sustainability Watch: Deanna Bratter, WhiteWave Foods
WhiteWave Foods, the US-based organic and natural foods specialist, was spun off from dairy giant Dean Foods last year. Deanna Bratter, senior manager of corporate sustainability at WhiteWave, spoke with Ben Cooper about the company’s approach to sustainability as an independent operation.
The just-food interview: Arla Foods CFO Frederik Lotz
Scandinavian dairy giant Arla Foods CFO Frederik Lotz spoke to just-food about the group’s priorities in core European markets and the stepping up of the pace of its investment programme in high-growth emerging markets.
Interview: Miguel Bostock, CEO of US snacks group Wise Foods
US salty snacks group Wise Foods faces some stiff competition but under the ownership of Mexican Coke bottler Arca Continental it believes it can grow. With Arca eyeing rapid growth from its snacks businesses in the US and in South America, Wise Foods is looking to NPD – notably with Hispanic-inspired flavours – to drive sales. Dean Best discussed Wise Foods’ strategy with CEO Miguel Bostock.
The just-food interview: BRF CFO Augusto Ribeiro
Brazilian food giant BRF has an ambitious agenda. The company hopes to expand in what it calls the “white space” of the global protein sector. The group has laid the groundwork by undergoing a far-reaching organisational transformation, which CFO Augusto Ribeiro tells Katy Askew, will enable BRF to deliver a stable margin profile – forming the foundation for planned international expansion.
just the answer: Scott Wotherspoon, CEO of A2 Milk UK
New Zealand-based A2 Milk Co. is looking to revitalise its business in the UK. It entered the market in 2011 through a venture with Robert Wiseman Dairies. However, the sale of A2’s partner to German dairy giant Muller a year later held back its ambitions. Scott Wotherspoon, recently-appointed CEO of A2’s UK arm, talks to Dean Best about the company’s plans.