Yet more signs of how challenging trading conditions are emerged this week, with UK retailer The Co-operative Group’s gloomy prognosis over the country’s retail sector and Heinz, which has enjoyed recent growth in the UK, admitting the environment was tough in the US and, notably in Australia. Elsewhere, we took a look at the impact of inflation in China, the prospects for Glanbia and started our monthly column from SymphonyIRI. Click on the headlines for more.

On the money: Heinz battles to adapt to “difficult” Australian market
HJ Heinz is taking action to revitalise its operations Australia, where its business put in a “poor performance” in the first quarter of its financial year, CFO Art Winkleblack has said.

On the money: Ahold to enter Germany in 2012 
Ahold, the Dutch retail giant, plans to move into Germany next year with stores similar to its domestic AH To Go convenience outlets.

UK: The Co-op’s food profits tumble in H1
UK retailer The Co-operative Group today (25 August) reported a slide in profits from its food stores in the first half of 2011.

BRICs and beyond: Spectre of inflation returns in China
Food prices are on the rise in China and analysts from all over the world are keeping a close eye on the situation. Inflationary changes in China do not just affect the people of Shanghai and Beijing – the whole world feels their ramifications, writes Sam Webb.

In the spotlight: Nutrition key to Glanbia’s long-term health
Glanbia, the Irish dairy and nutrition group, this week reported a jump in first-half profits and, notably, upped its forecast for annual earnings after growth across the business. However, questions remain over its domestic dairy operations and, in the longer term, the prospects for its nutrition business look stronger. Dean Best reports.

FRANCE: Danone CEO in call for tax on rich to help public finances
Danone chairman and CEO Franck Riboud is among a group of France’s wealthiest people who have offered to pay higher taxes to ease the country’s debt burden.

UK: Lindt holds firm on price despite pressure on sales
Lindt & Sprüngli has insisted it will maintain its “premium” prices in the UK despite sales coming under pressure in the country in the first half of the year.

US: Brynwood Partners buys Pearson Candy Co.
US private-equity fund Brynwood Partners has bought Minnesota-based confectioner Pearson Candy Co.