Commenting on topics as diverse as sugar reduction, job cuts and M&A, here is a summary of the food industry’s week in its own words. 

“While we rejected their offer, we do see it as an inflection point that is why after a thorough discussion in the board this week we announced a couple of days ago we will be launching a comprehensive review of value-creation options…The events of last week show us the challenge to unlock more value faster in the shorter term rather than focusing more heavily on steady value creation over the longer term, which is what we do. This has been a trigger moment for Unilever and we will not waste it.”– Unilever CEO Graeme Pitkethly explained why the company rejected Kraft Heinz’s takeover bid. We asked what will be next for the company – could a split of its food business be on the cards? – in our analysis pages this week

“Will there be another deal at Kraft Heinz someday? My guess is yes, but who knows when … it would have to be friendly and frankly, the prices in that field make it very, very, very tough to make an intelligent deal.” – Warren Buffett, the US billionaire investor who, with Brazil-based BuffettWarren private-equity group 3G Capital, owns a majority stake in Kraft Heinz on future M&A plans 

“A wide range of products will be made gluten free, including a selection of Maggi products sold in supermarkets for at-home use, and a wide range of Maggi flavour boosters, recipe bases, gravies, sauces, soups and Nestle Docello dessert mixtures used in professional food service.”
Nestle New Zealand CEO Veronique Cremades revealed as she detailed the company’s plans to open a gluten-free facility in the country

“We are conducting a business review of MG’s assets and distribution network, which if progressed may deliver further efficiencies and value into the milk pool in the future. The review is focussed on aligning our organisational capacity and capabilities with future milk intake and we will continue to provide updates on review outcomes as appropriate.” – A spokesperson for Murray Goulburn tells just-food that the company is launching a business review after it booked fisrt-half losses

“Hershey has tremendous assets – its iconic brands, remarkable people and a history of executional excellence – that position the company well to deliver top- and bottom-line growth. We’re making progress against the ‘Margin for Growth’ related initiatives that should give us the flexibility to invest in certain parts of our business.” – Michele Buck, Hershey’s incoming president and CEO, said as he detailed plans to cut 15% of the group’s global workforce

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“We believe that supply chain flexibility is important in the paediatric nutrition category. This acquisition further strengthens our ability to protect and expand our growth in China by creating both additional capacity and the ability to adapt to a changing regulatory environment.” – Kasper Jakobsen, Mead Johnson’s president and CEO, said the group’s acquisition of production capabilities in Australia from Bega Cheese would position it for growth in China’s infant formula sector

“When one in three children is overweight or obese, it is clear that we have to do more to offer them healthier choices and help promote an active lifestyle… Nestle products represent only a few percent of food products on the shelves. If we want to change consumer preferences we need the whole industry, including private label producers, to be on-board.” – Marco Settembri, director for the company’s business in Europe, the Middle East and north Africa, issued a call to arms for the food industry as the company announced new sugar targets

“Wanting to get closer to the end-users of our products is part and parcel of our 4WD strategy. This is by no means a major acquisition, but it is an important step in our efforts to create the right conditions for our UK foodservice business to be able to grow organically.” – Danish Crown Group CEO Jais Valeur on the company’s plans in the UK following its acquisition of foodservice company Leivers Brothers

“In order to improve the efficiency of our UK snacks manufacturing operations, we are proposing the closure of our factory at Peterlee. Peterlee has been an important site for our business but the changes we are proposing present significant productivity and efficiency savings crucial for ensuring the long-term sustainable growth of our business in the UK.” – Site MD Tracey Foster detailed PepsiCo’s plans to close a UK Walkers production site in Peterlee