Diamond Foods’ move for global snacks brand Pringles was the stand-out story this week, with the US snack firm set to add to a burgeoning stable that already includes Kettle Foods. Elsewhere, Smithfield Foods announced plans to take a majority stake in Europe’s largest packaged meats maker Campofrio, while Marks and Spencer struck an upbeat tone as it published its latest sales figures. Click on the headlines to find out more.

In the spotlight: Diamond Foods goes global with Pringles buy
Every now and then, a deal is done that significantly alters the direction of a business. Diamond Foods’ agreement to buy the Pringles brand looks set to do just that, tripling the size of the US firm’s snacks business and boosting the company’s exposure to overseas markets. Dean Best reports.

US/SPAIN: Smithfield eyes majority stake in Campofrio
Smithfield Foods is looking to increase its shareholding in Campofrio Food Group and take a majority stake in the Spanish processed meats maker.

On the money: M&S’s Bolland confident despite decreased consumer confidence
Marks and Spencer’s chief executive Marc Bolland has suggested that the UK retailer’s positioning has allowed it to buck industry trends – and insisted that its offer has been well received in the face of decreased consumer confidence.

Talking shop: Ban on Spanish planning curbs cheers retailers across EU
Big European food retailers have expressed their delight at a new ruling by the European Court of Justice that slapped down regulations imposed by the Spanish government to restrict the location and operations of hypermarkets in Catalonia.

JAPAN: Earthquake may have “dire” effect on food industry – Rabobank
The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan could have a “dire” impact on the country’s food and agriculture sectors, analysts at Rabobank have warned.

AUS: Manufacturers and retailers to reduce fat and salt
A number of Australian grocery retailers and manufacturers have agreed to reduced the amount of salt and saturated fat in selected products as part of a partnership with the country’s government.

GERMANY: Dr Oetker admits “sluggish” start to 2011
German food group Dr Oetker has admitted it has had a “sluggish” start to 2011 with all its business lines – apart from chilled products – “falling below target”.

FRANCE/ITALY: Fleury Michon, Beretta JV to buy deli firm Fres.co
French charcuterie and ready meals specialist Fleury Michon and its Italian counterpart Beretta have signed a draft deal to buy 80% of Fres.co, an Italian fresh deli firm. 

FRANCE: Pains Jacquet owner Limagrain in talks to buy Brossard 
French co-operative Limagrain is in exclusive talks to buy bakery firm Brossard, which is quoted on Paris’s Alternext stock market.

Focus: What is the future for the nanomaterials sector?
Three years of talks to update the EU Novel Foods regulations fell apart last week when a last-ditch attempt to reach a compromise between the EU Parliament, the European Commission and the EU Council of Ministers failed. The talks fell down on the use of cloned animals and their descendants but it will have wider ramifications, with the disagreement meaning that there will be no updates on legislation around nanotechnology. What is this likely to mean for the burgeoning sector?