The IGD’s annual convention attracts the leading executives from the UK FMCG sector and last week they heard the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Unilever and Heinz discuss the economy, multichannel strategies, labelling and innovation. Elsewhere, Wal-Mart outlined its expansion plans for next year, Mars called on the chocolate sector to co-operate more on sustainable cocoa (which it said would cost billions) and Kellogg revealed the possible financial impact of its latest recall.

IGD CONVENTION: Tesco pledges new co-operation with suppliers
Tesco wants to work more closely with its suppliers as it reacts to changing consumer behaviour, the retail giant’s chief executive Philip Clarke said today (9 October).

UK: Sainsbury’s King calls for “universal” food labels
Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King today (9 October) called on the UK food industry to adopt common front-of-pack nutrition labels.

Comment: Wal-Mart outlines prudent expansion plans
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, plans to spend an eye-watering $12-13bn on expansion in its next financial year. However, the amount equates to a cut in capex spending and the US retail giant wisely has said it plans “to do more with less”.

GLOBAL: Sustainable cocoa will cost billions, warns Mars
Creating a sustainable cocoa sector that will meet the demands of the chocolate industry and improve the livelihoods of farmers will require “billions of dollars” of investment, Mars Inc has warned.

US: Kellogg may take US$30m hit from Mini-Wheats recall
Kellogg has admitted the cost of recalling boxes of Mini-Wheats cereal across the US could cost the company up to US$30m.

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In the spotlight: Zetar aims for sweeter future with Germany’s Zertus
Just before the UK stock market closed last Friday, UK confectioner and snack firm Zetar made the surprise announcement that its board had accepted a takeover bid from the almost identically-named Zertus, a privately-owned German food group.

UK: William Jackson Food Group buys online organic firm Abel & Cole
William Jackson Food Group, the company behind Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire puddings, has acquired UK online organic firm Abel & Cole.

On the money: Safeway “winning share” in tough environment
US retailer Safeway has insisted that it is performing ahead of the market, despite posting a fall in third-quarter operating profit.

On the move: Brasher faces challenge as Pick n Pay CEO
The appointment of former Tesco UK chief Richard Brasher as Pick n Pay’s new CEO last week may not be enough to turn around the fortunes of the South African supermarket operator, some analysts have suggested.

IRELAND: Kerry to establish Kildare R&D facility
Kerry Group has announced plans to establish a EUR100m (US$129.4m) global R&D centre in Ireland.