The trend for US food majors to spice up their growth prospects with the acquisition of smaller brands continued this week with ConAgra Foods moving for sauces-and-salsa group Frontera Foods. Meanwhile, further south in Brazil, it emerged Nestle could be close to clearing anti-trust concerns over its acquisition of chocolate maker Garoto in 2002 and finalising the deal. Our financial pages included analysis of the annual results of bakery giant ARYZTA, which reported declining earnings.

ConAgra acquires Frontera Foods’ “gourmet” brands

ConAgra Foods has acquired fellow US group Frontera Foods, including the Frontera, Red Fork and Salpica brands.

Nestle close to finalising purchase of Brazilian chocolate firm Garoto

Nestle is close to formally completing the acquisition of Garoto, 14 years after it first struck a deal to buy the Brazilian chocolate maker.

Aryzta’s FY results and outlook for 2017 – 6 things to learn

Aryzta, the Switzerland-based bakery products supplier, this week reported a drop in annual profits, although it managed to eke out some growth on its top line. The company has faced challenges in North America in recent quarters and the numbers bore that out, with sales boosted by its businesses outside that region. just-food presents the key takeaways from Aryzta’s results and looks at how the company’s views its prospects for the new financial year.

Investors urge company action on meat production

A coalition of 40 institutional investors representing US$1.25trn in funds is urging 16 multinational food companies – including Kraft Heinz, Unilever, General Mills and Nestle – to take action on the “material risks” posed by industrial animal production.

China lifts 17-year ban on Italian pork imports

Italy has welcomed the lifting of a ban by China on imports of fresh pork from northern Italy that was imposed in 1999 over fears of swine vesicular disease.

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Nature’s Path takes majority stake in raw snack maker Gorilly Goods

Canada-based organic food maker Nature’s Path has acquired a 51% stake in Gorilly Goods, a manufacturer of organic raw snack products.

Dairy-free firm Tofutti weighs up “strategic” options

US dairy-free business Tofutti Brands has appointed advisers to look at “strategic alternatives” for the business, including a possible sale.

Lotus Bakeries plans US factory for Lotus Biscoff biscuits

Lotus Bakeries, the Belgium-based snacks maker, has drawn up plans to build a factory in the US to produce its flagship Lotus Biscoff biscuits.

Vion eyeing investment to fund growth

Netherlands-based meat processor Vion Food Group is in talks aimed at raising additional investment for an expansion of exports to China and “exploiting opportunities” in the wider international meat market.