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July 30, 2010

Editor’s choice: the highlights on just-food this week

Two UK household food brands found new owners this week, with the sales of the Rachel's organic dairy business and canned tuna maker John West. In France, frozen-food retailer Picard was snapped in another deal involving private equity. just-food this week carried three major interviews with senior directors at Uniq, Danisco and stevia supplier PureCircle.

Two UK household food brands found new owners this week, with the sales of the Rachel’s organic dairy business and canned tuna maker John West. In France, frozen-food retailer Picard was snapped in another deal involving private equity. just-food this week carried three major interviews with senior directors at Uniq, Danisco and stevia supplier PureCircle.

In the spotlight – the sale of UK organic dairy firm Rachel’sLactalis, one of Europe’s largest dairy processors, has snapped up UK organic business Rachel’s. The deal will bolster Lactalis’s fledgling organic dairy portfolio, which has a significant presence in France. For Dean Foods, the US group can focus on challenges at home.

THAILAND/FRANCE: Thai Union nets John West tuna owner MWBrandsThailand-based seafood group Thai Union Frozen Products (TUF) has won the race to buy MWBrands, the owner of brands including John West tuna.

Analysis: Will Picard’s unique proposition translate abroad?France’s largest frozen food retailer Picard is being sold to Lion Capital in a deal that is rumoured to be worth EUR1.5bn (US$1.94bn), including debt, a move that analysts have described as a positive one for the private-equity house.

On the money: Kellogg expects H2 improvementKellogg CEO David Mackay has insisted he feels “confident” about the challenging cereal category in the US and believes trends will start to improve in the second half of 2010 after a weak second quarter.

The just-food interview – Geoff Eaton, UniqIn this month’s just-food interview, Dean Best spoke with Geoff Eaton, boss of UK convenience food maker Uniq about improvements at the business – while uncertainty over a huge pension deficit hangs over the company.

On the money: Supervalu focuses on long-term prospectsThe chief executive of Supervalu Inc has insisted he remains upbeat about the US retailer’s long-term future despite the company posting disappointing first-quarter results.

Sustainability Watch – Jeff Hogue, DaniscoJeff Hogue, vice president of corporate sustainability at Danisco, spoke with Ben Cooper about how the Danish ingredients specialist is making innovation a key pillar of its sustainability strategy.

INDIA: Heinz launches raft of NPDUS food giant HJ Heinz has introduced a slew of new products into major cities in India.

just the answer – William Mitchell, PureCircleThe food industry is paying increasing attention to stevia, a natural, zero-calorie sweetener that its suppliers claim can help manufacturers meet growing demand for healthier products. Stevia suppliers like UK-listed PureCircle are securing contracts with more of the food industry’s leading names. The company’s CFO William Mitchell talked to Dean Best about the development and potential of the ingredient.

 

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