Tesco this week announced plans to cut GBP500m (US$773.6m) from the price of thousands of items in the UK in a revamp of its promotional strategy. Suppliers and rival retailers will be weighing up the impact on their businesses and the move comes at a difficult time for online retailer Ocado, which has a high-profile price-matching campaign aimed at Tesco and has seen its shares fall this week. Elsewhere, Kerry Group boosted its ingredients business with a move to buy Cargill‘s flavours arm while one deal that will not happen is ConAgra Foods’ bid to buy Ralcorp Holdings, which again refused to talk to its suitor.

UK: Tesco unveils promo revamp
Tesco is to cut GBP500m from the price of thousands of items in the UK in a revamp of its promotional strategy. 

IRELAND: Kerry strikes deal to buy Cargill’s flavours arm
Kerry Group has secured a deal to buy Cargill’s flavourings ingredients arm for US$230m. 

On the money: ConAgra committed to M&A in wake of Ralcorp snub
US food giant ConAgra Foods has spoken of “robust” acquisition plans in the wake of its unsuccessful US$5.18bn bid for private-label company Ralcorp Holdings. 

GLOBAL: PepsiCo targets “breakthrough” snacks R&D
PepsiCo is to create a global snacks unit to improve the way it develops new products around the world. 

Talking shop: Uncertainty grows about whether Ocado can deliver
Ocado’s shares have dropped 30% this week after investors were spooked by a trading update and fears of a step-up in competition in the UK. There appears to be a rocky road ahead for the online retailer. Dean Best reports. 

Focus: The uncomfortable truth for Australian food suppliers
In describing Australia as an “inhospitable” market, Heinz expressed what many suppliers feel but fear to say. But it’s an awkward truth, Ben Cooper writes. The last thing the Australian food industry wants is international investors viewing it as a hostile market.

GERMANY: Haniel U-turn on Metro CEO contract
The largest shareholder in Metro Group has thrown its weight behind the German retailer’s CEO Dr Eckhard Cordes, days after saying it did not want him to remain at the business beyond his current contract.

FRANCE: Carrefour refutes talk of Russia return
Carrefour has brushed off reports it is looking to re-enter Russia two years after making a surprise exit from the market.

IRELAND: Food sales fall in Ireland
Food sales in Ireland have fallen for the first time in a year, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel.

Comment: PureCircle results cause misgivings over stevia
After stevia producer PureCircle today (19 September) reported an annual loss, industry observers may question whether the alternative sweetener is living up to the hype.