The leading story this week was clear: the UK’s announcement of what the new front-of-pack nutrition label will look like and crucially, which companies have signed up – and which haven’t. The Australian government also put forward plans for a front-of-pack label, although the country’s food industry was less than happy. Elsewhere, M&A dominated, with Archer Daniels Midland admitting it was in talks to sell its cocoa business, Chinese dairy giant Mengniu looking to buy local infant formula firm Yashili and Campbell Soup Co. making another acquisition outside the soup sector.
UK industry signs up to new nutrition labels – but only partially
The country’s largest grocers and – some – of its leading food manufacturers are to use a new “hybrid” front-of-pack nutrition label that includes controversial traffic light colour-coding. However, suppliers including Kellogg, Mondelez International and Unilever have so far refused to sign up. Our coverage includes Ben Cooper’s latest Consuming issues column.
In the spotlight: Campbell continues to rebalance portfolio
Campbell Soup Co. has gone on quite the acquisition spree of late as it looks to rebalance its portfolio. From US chilled foods firm Bolthouse Farms, and organic baby food maker Plum, to this week’s deal to acquire Kelsen, Campbell is trying to boost its presence in high-growth categories and high growth markets. At the same time, the firm is making continued progress in revitalising its core US operations. Katy Askew reports.
BRICs and beyond: Mengniu plays catch-up in infant formula with Yashili buy
Chinese dairy giant China Mengniu Dairy Co. just got bigger. It has entered into an agreement that will see it take control of local infant formula maker Yashili. Mengniu is looking to reverse its fortunes in a category in which it has struggled. However, with concerns over food safety remaining high, there is a long road ahead as the company – and the country as a whole – look to build a safe and reliable dairy supply.
US: ADM confirms talks over cocoa unit sale
US agri-giant Archer Daniels Midland has confirmed it is in talks over a potential sale of its cocoa business.
Deal or no deal: 2 Sisters touted prime Bernard Matthews bidder
Bernard Matthews Farms has admitted it may look for outside investment and 2 Sisters Food Group is reportedly considering a bid for the business. Industry watchers believe the UK food giant is the prime candidate to acquire the poultry processor. Michelle Russell reports.
US: B&G, Pinnacle “interested in Unilever’s Wish-Bone”
Unilever’s US salad dressings business, Wish-Bone, has reportedly attracted interest from food firms B&G Foods and Pinnacle Foods.
AUS/NZ: Ministers put forward front-of-pack “health star” labels
Australia and New Zealand have set out plans to introduce a front-of-pack “health star” rating system for packaged foods on sale in the countries.
CROATIA: Retailer Agrokor to buy majority of rival Mercator
Croatian retailer Agrokor has agreed a deal to acquire a majority stake in Slovenian rival Mercator for EUR240m (US$320m).
US: Sandridge Food acquires majority stake in RMH Foods
US sandwich-to-soup firm Sandridge Food Corp. has acquired a majority interest in RMH Foods, a manufacturer of fully-cooked, refrigerated and frozen entrees.