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September 1, 2015

Food industry quotes of the week – Just Mayo, Mengniu, VSI

US egg-free spread Just Mayo hit the headlines this week after the country's food watchdog said it had broken labelling rules. Among a number of M&A deals, European nutrition bar maker VSI was sold to US group Hearthside Food Solutions and Mengniu Dairy, one of China's largest dairy processors, insisted the prospects for the sector in the country remained strong.

US egg-free spread Just Mayo hit the headlines this week after the country's food watchdog said it had broken labelling rules. Among a number of M&A deals, European nutrition bar maker VSI was sold to US group Hearthside Food Solutions and Mengniu Dairy, one of China's largest dairy processors, insisted the prospects for the sector in the country remained strong. Click on the links for more.

"The use of the term mayo in the product names and the image of an egg may be misleading to consumers because it may lead them to believe that the products are the standardised food, mayonnaise, which must contain eggs" – The US Food and Drug Administration has said upstart firm Hampton Creek has breached regulations with its egg-free mayo Just Mayo.

"The R&D and production expertise of VSI in the fast-growth categories of nutrition, diet, and functional bars enables Hearthside to take a quantum leap forward, providing our customers with the most complete offerings in the industry" – Rich Scalise, Hearthside Food Solutions' founder and chairman, says the VSI acquisition was "both a category and geographic expansion".

"Mediterranean Snacks and Saffron Road are very complementary as well as synergistic given both our consumers and demographics sweet spots are at the centre of the massive US trends for healthy snacking of foods that are gluten-free, Non-GMO Project Verified, high in protein and fibre, clean labelled, and calorically smart" – Adnan Durrani, American Halal's CEO, on the acquisition of Mediterranean Snacks Food Co.

"The frozen berries recall had a significant impact and was the primary reason for the approximate A$14.6m reduction in net profit….However it is important to note that total company revenue grew by 3.7% despite the effects of the frozen berries recall, which indicated that the savoury business performed solidly with all core brands growing revenue and profit" – Patties Foods chairman Mark Smith comments as full year profits plunge at the Australian firm on the back of the Hepatitis scare linked to its frozen berries earlier this year.

"Splenda fits well within our strategy to offer the very best tasting products to sweeten foods and beverages without adding calories. The acquisition of Splenda further enhances our ability to offer our consumers products that support their growing desire to live healthier lives" – Ted Gelov, Heartland Food Group's chairman and CEO, comments on the sweetener supplier's acquisition of Splenda from Johnson & Johnson.

"The debate on nutritional information is very important but we must avoid reducing it to five colours" – Jean-Philippe Girard, president of French food industry association the ANIA, after the public health advisers to the French government backed the idea of traffic-light nutrition labels.

"Given the increase in the urbanisation ratio in the PRC, the penetration of dairy enterprises' sales channels into third and fourth tier cities and rural market, and the fact that the per capita consumption of dairy products in the PRC is far behind than that of Japan and South Korea and large European and North American countries, there is a remarkable growth potential for the consumption of dairy products in the PRC" – Mengniu Dairy comments on the prospects for China's dairy sector after it reports an increase in half-year profits but lower sales.

"Given the undeniable trend towards healthier living, BFY has a clear opportunity to continue to introduce innovative healthier products – differentiated by their outstanding taste – that consumers are seeking and our customers want on their shelves"  – Paul Nardone comments after being appointed as CEO for PopCorners snacks owner BFY Holdings.

"In some ways what the company is trying to do is steal a page from the craft beer market where products from smaller companies are perceived to be better tasting, higher quality and more natural. Will consumers feel tricked if they buy the product and later find out it came from a packaged food giant instead of a small upstart?" – Tom Vierhile, analyst at Datamonitor, warns consumers could react negatively to the launch of General Mills' The Good Table.

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