Flowers Foods, Supervalu Inc and Kraft Foods gave the top just-food headlines a distinctly American flavour this week. Flowers struck a deal to buy Tasty Baking, Supervalu, one of the largest grocers in the US, announced its annual results and Kraft said it was giving some of its smaller brands a marketing push. On this side of the pond, issues of reformulation and functional foods remained high on the industry’s agenda. Click on on the headlines to find out more.

UPDATE: US: Flowers’ Tasty buy builds on expansion strategy
Flowers Foods’ move to acquire Tasty Baking Co. builds on its strategy to drive branded sales and expand its geographic reach, a spokesperson for the US baker told just-food today (11 April). 

In the spotlight: Supervalu looks to move on after challenging year
Supervalu Inc, one of the largest grocers in the US, has had a troubled 12 months – some would argue two years – but the company’s management is looking to the new financial year with optimism. Dean Best reports. 

US: Kraft launches “entrepreneurial” brand push
Kraft Foods has launched a project to drive sales of its “entrepreneurial” brands – smaller products than its “power” brands like Cadbury – but lines from which the US food giant wants to drive growth. 

Quote, unquote: Food and Drink Innovation Dialogue – reformulation, functional foods and EU health claims
This year’s Food and Drink Innovation Dialogue, held in the UK town of Windsor this week, has heard what factors are affecting NPD in our sector. The likes of Heinz, United Biscuits, Baxters Food Group and Mead Johnson Nutrition have headed to the event to discuss issues including reformulation and the EU health claims legislation. Here are some of the more notable soundbites. 

UK: Exemptions needed on EU FOP labelling regs – FDF
Blanket European regulations requiring front-of-pack GDA, energy or nutrient labelling across all products – including items such as gifted chocolate and confectionery – would be an inappropriate measure, the UK’s Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has suggested. 

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EU: EFSA rejects 80% of health claim proposals
The European Food Safety Authority has rejected 80% of the claims reviewed under new health claims legislation, prompting industry to suggest that EFSA’s requirements are “too strenuous”.

UK: Findus Group refinances for expansion
Findus Group has confirmed that it has approached its lending syndicate to seek long-term financing to fund the European frozen food firm’s future expansion.

COTE D’IVOIRE: Barry Callebaut cautious over cocoa exports 
Barry Callebaut, the business-to-business chocolate maker, said today (13 April) that it is “too early” to judge when cocoa exports would resume from Cote d’Ivoire.

On the money: Danone to cut more Unimilk SKUs 
French dairy group Danone said today that it will continue to reduce the number of SKUs in its recently-acquired Russian Unimilk division. 

Talking shop: Demystifying the Norwegian grocery sector
The Norwegian government has released a report outlining its concerns around the highly consolidated nature of the country’s grocery retail sector. The report claims that retailers are able to exert excessive influence on suppliers and is seeking legislation to redress the balance. Petah Marian reports.