Nestle reported its half-year results last week and said innovation was vital to growth in developed markets, where doing business at the moment is, it said, “no walk in the park”. Produce giant Chiquita‘s first-half numbers included plans for a new strategy, while at US dairy group Dean Foods, it announced a move to list its soy and organics unit alongside its figures. In the retail sector, UK grocer The Co-op announced chief executive Peter Marks was to retire. Click on the headlines for more.

On the money: Nestle says innovation “key” to growth in mature markets
Nestle has said innovation is key to growth in developed markets where the company says achieving this is “no walk in the park”.

In the spotlight: Analysts welcome Chiquita turnaround plan
Chiquita Brands International’s plans to pursue a new strategic direction with a focus on driving profits in its core businesses garnered a positive reaction from analysts this week.

Focus: IPO could see WhiteWave become takeover target
Food analysts on Wall Street have touted for nearly two years that Dean Foods, the US dairy giant, could spin off WhiteWave-Alpro, its soy and organic arm. This week, the company took the plunge. But could the new WhiteWave Foods Co. be a takeover target?

On the move: Marks transformed Co-op but more change needed
Peter Marks, the outgoing chief executive of The Co-operative Group, gave the UK retailer its shot at the country’s grocery big league. But, as he prepares to leave the company, the UK’s fifth-largest food retailer may have to refresh its grocery business to compete with the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

Comment: Signs of progress but questions remain for Premier
The City certainly doesn’t know what to make of Premier Foods plc at the moment. When the Sharwood’s sauces owner announced its first-half results on Tuesday (7 August), its shares rose. However, a day later, Premier’s shares fell back as the market digested the numbers and, despite some early signs of progress, the challenges that lie ahead.

On the move: UB’s Bunker appointment adds to M&A talk
The rumour mill over the potential sale of United Biscuits‘ salty snacks division may well start up again this week following the appointment of Kraft Foods‘ Nick Bunker as CEO of the unit.

On the money: Soup “vital” despite closure, insists TreeHouse
US own-label firm TreeHouse Foods has insisted its soups unit remains a “vital” part of the business despite its decision to close a production facility.

On the money: We can up prices, insists meat giant Tyson
US meat giant Tyson Foods has expressed confidence it can push through the higher grain costs it expects to incur after the severe drought in the country.

Sustainability Watch: Tom MacMillan, Soil Association
In this month’s Sustainability Watch, Dr Tom MacMillan, formerly director of the Food Ethics Council and now director of innovation at the Soil Association, speaks with Ben Cooper about the Soil Association’s new strategy and the UK government’s Green Food Project.

UK: R&R Ice Cream scoops up Italy’s Eskigel
UK-based private-label ice cream maker R&R Ice Cream has acquired Italian ice cream manufacturer Eskigel.