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July 29, 2011

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

just-food's insight pages were full of interviews and analysis this week. As Auchan's Sun Art Retail Group venture listed in Hong Kong, we looked at the growth of China's hypermarket sector. Our food retail coverage did not stop there, with our latest briefing focusing on the challenge of building a successful online operation. And we interviewed executives at two leading dairy processors, Arla Foods and First Milk, about issues from sustainability to promotions. Click on the headlines for more.

By Dean Best

just-food’s insight pages were full of interviews and analysis this week. As Auchan’s Sun Art Retail Group venture listed in Hong Kong, we looked at the growth of China’s hypermarket sector. Our food retail coverage did not stop there, with our latest briefing focusing on the challenge of building a successful online operation. And we interviewed executives at two leading dairy processors, Arla Foods and First Milk, about issues from sustainability to promotions. Click on the headlines for more.

BRICs and beyond: China’s hypermarkets target provincesThe flotation of China’s largest hypermarket operator Sun Art Retail Group has highlighted the recent rapid growth in the sector and the potential that retailers believe the channel will continue to have. International chains have made their presence known in the country’s main cities. Now, second- and third-tier cities are driving growth and becoming increasingly attractive targets for further expansion but, as Wang Fangqing reports, competition is fierce.

The just-food briefing – the challenge of online food retailConsumers are increasingly shopping online but developing a successful operating model has proven tough – even for the largest retailers. In this month’s just-food management briefing, Glynn Davis analyses the more successful ventures and looks at how the channel could develop.

The just-food interview – Richard Hollingdale, First MilkThe UK cheese sector is one of the most promotion-driven categories in the country, not least with consumer confidence low and retail volumes under pressure. This week, just-food travelled to the Nantwich Show, a key event in the industry’s calendar, and met Richard Hollingdale, commercial director of the UK’s largest dairy co-operative, First Milk. In this month’s just-food interview, Hollingdale discusses the tough trading conditions at home and the company’s ambitions overseas.

just the answer – Robin Dearden, Arla FoodsArla Foods’ UK arm published its first environmental report this month, setting out the company’s achievements in reducing its impact on the environmen and targets for the future. Ben Cooper spoke with the dairy firm’s environment, health and safety manager Robin Dearden.

Focus: Food sector suffers as Greek spending slumpsThe economic crisis in Greece has hit consumer spending, which in turn has had a profound impact on the country’s food industry. Consumers are buying less and, when they do open their wallets, are looking for value and for domestic products. Michael Kosmides reports from Athens.

On the money: Danone defends Unimilk strategyDanone has insisted Unimilk, the Russian firm it acquired last year, provides the French company with a “great platform” in the country despite slowing sales.

On the money: Hershey CEO coy on India JV amid overseas ambitionsHershey’s new president and CEO John Bilbrey today (26 July) outlined his confidence in the US confectioner’s overseas operations but was coy about the future of its Indian joint venture.

US: DuPont silent on rumours of Solae saleUS conglomerate DuPont has refused to be drawn on reports that it and agribusiness giant Bunge are looking to sell their soy products venture Solae.

EU: Eight out of ten health claims unjustified – EFSAEurope’s food safety watchdog rejected 80% of proposed food-related general health claims in its three-year assessment applications from manufacturers, it said today (28 July).

UPDATE: INDIA: Aditya Birla backs plan to ease retail rulesThe chief executive of Indian retailer Aditya Birla Retail has said he supports the idea of opening the country’s retail sector to more foreign investment.

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