A tragic fire in a Chinese poultry facility highlighted continued concerns over safety standards in emerging markets last week. The just-food briefing looked at the need to innovate to prevent breakfast cereal sales going soggy, insight that was swiftly followed by the news that Kellogg is launching a number of breakfast bar and drink products in response to changing consumption patterns. Meanwhile, chocolate giants Nestle and Mars were accused of price fixing in Canada. Here are the highlights on just-food this week.

Comment: Amazon looks to take bigger bite of online grocery
Online retail giant Amazon is said to be preparing to take on the well-established US food market with a major roll-out of its fresh grocery business, a move that could make other players sit up and take notice.

CANADA: Nestle, Mars accused of price fixing
Confectionery giants Nestle and Mars have been charged by Canada’s Competition Bureau for alleged criminal conspiracy to fix the prices of chocolate products in the country.

In the spotlight: PepsiCo, Muller must beware promo intensity in US yoghurt
PepsiCo and Muller this week opened their US yoghurt plant with much fanfare. Demand for yoghurt has increased in recent years, per capita consumption is relatively low and the companies believe they can benefit. However, the new facility has added to the already increasing capacity in the sector, which is now seeing only sales of Greek yoghurt grow and an intensification in promotional activity.

Breakfast cereal firms search for growth
Breakfast cereals – a staple in Western diets – are under pressure as consumer habits change. In this month’s briefing we look at the factors hitting cereal consumption and how manufacturers are looking to revitalise sales.

US: Kellogg launches hot cereal, bars, shakes
Kellogg is hoping to tap into consumers’ changing preferences for breakfast in the US with the launch of three products focusing on convenience, health, and expanding into the complementary formats of breakfast bars and drinks.

UK: Maple Leaf looks to lift NY Bakery Co. sales
Canadian food group Maple Leaf Foods plans to increase its sales of New York Bakery Co. branded-bagels in the UK by expanding production and increasing marketing spend.

On the money: Tesco CEO defends international strategy
Tesco CEO Philip Clarke today (5 June) brushed off suggestions the retail giant might have to adapt its strategy outside the UK – where sales in all but two of its markets fell in its first quarter.

UK: Horsemeat saga prompts government review into food system
The UK government has launched a review into the country’s “food system” in the wake of the horsemeat contamination scandal this year.

FRANCE: Mars to cut jobs at Wrigley France facility
Mars Inc’s, chewing gum unit, Wrigley, has confirmed plans to cut over 200 jobs at a production site in France in response to declining demand in Europe.

UPDATE: CHINA: Poultry plant death toll grows
The number of people killed by a fire at a poultry plant in northern China has risen, state media has reported.