Tesco and Sainsbury‘s trading updates dominated the industry headlines here in the UK but, as the week came to a close, another profit warning from the country’s largest food maker, Premier Foods plc, stunned the sector. Elsewhere, Hershey and Ferrero joined forces on logistics, while there was plenty of M&A talk, including a significant deal in the sugar sector.

On the money: Suppliers could fund price cuts, admits Tesco
Tesco CEO Philip Clarke has admitted suppliers could be asked to fund the retailer’s new promotional strategy.

On the money: Sainsbury’s King sanguine about Tesco threat
Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King has expressed confidence that the retailer can compete with Tesco despite its larger rival’s move to revamp its promotional strategy.

In the spotlight: Logistics maps route for further Hershey, Ferrero JVs
Confectionery makers Hershey and Ferrero are to work together on logistics in North America and there are hints they could one day take this partnership into other markets. However, as Sam Webb reports, industry watchers believe the venture could be the first stage of a wider relationship in the future.

On the money: City ponders Premier’s future
The City weighed up the future for Premier Foods plc after the UK’s largest food maker published another profit warning today (7 October).

Talking shop: Costco faces questions over fees
On Wednesday (October 5) US warehouse retailer Costco announced a rise in sales and profits in its annual results for the year ended 28 August. However, they also released details of a 10% rise in membership fees which caused a bit of a stir among analysts. Sam Webb reports.

The just-food interview – Brian Stein, Samworth Brothers
Privately-owned Samworth Brothers is one of the UK’s largest chilled food producers, owns the Ginsters brand and makes own-label convenience food for the likes of Tesco and Waitrose but it operates away from the public eye. Dean Best spoke to CEO Brian Stein about the company’s development and its ambitions.

INDIA: Danone to launch yoghurts for the masses
French dairy giant Danone has launched a range of yoghurt products for people on the lowest incomes.

FRANCE: Bonduelle in talks to buy CECAB’s Russian operations
Bonduelle is looking to buy the Russian operations of fellow French food company CECAB.

FRANCE: Sugar maker Cristal Union to buy rival Vermandoise
French sugar refiner Cristal Union has struck a deal to buy local rival Groupe Vermandoise.

UK/SINGAPORE: SATS confirms Daniels Group for sale
The owner of Daniels Group, which produces the New Covent Garden Soup Co. range, has confirmed it is in negotiations to sell the company.