just-food’s team of journalists and columnists took on a range of issues in 2013 – and their views on subjects including Tesco‘s moves to revitalise its UK business, the speculation of a possible merger between PepsiCo and Mondelez International, the GM debate and the outlook for Heinz under new owners won your attention.
Comment: Tesco looks to stand out from the crowd in UK retail
In March, as Tesco launched its Price Promise price comparison scheme in the UK, Katy Askew and Michelle Russell looked at the retailer’s moves to try to revitalise its domestic business.
Best bits: Nestle China boss espouses benefits of thinking local
To succeed in emerging markets, you have to think – and act – locally. That was the central message from just-food’s interview with the boss of Nestle’s business in Greater China, Roland Decorvet.
Comment: Wheels within wheels: PepsiCo, Mondelez and Peltz
“Round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel. Never ending or beginning, on an ever spinning wheel.” It is not often you get to quote Dusty Springfield lyrics as a business journalist. But this song plays through my head each time I think about the Peltz-PepsiCo-Mondelez rumours that are causing so much excitement.
Best bits: UK, Australia highlight divisive nature of FOP label debate
Front-of-pack nutrition labels. It is a divisive subject that can turn those on both sides of the debate a nice shade of red. In June, there were announcements in two markets on the issue. Both announcements – to varying degrees – highlighted how contentious the issue remains.
Shopper trends: Why you need to focus on in-store experience
With growth in the FMCG sector hard to come by, IRI strategic consultant Rod Street argues more companies must spend more time trying to improve a consumer’s shopping experience.
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Talking shop: Morrisons’ core issues persist
Morrisons’ announcement in March it was planning to launch an online grocery offering this year dominated the headlines in the wake of the group’s full-year results. While the news is of strategic significance for the UK’s fourth-largest retailer, it should not overshadow ongoing problems the firm is having in its core business.
Best bits: Ella’s Kitchen is Hain’s most promising UK buy
US manufacturer Hain Celestial has struck again across the pond. And its latest acquisition in the UK seems to be the one with most potential.
Comment: Tesco, China Resources JV part of growing trend
Confirmation that Tesco is in joint venture talks with China Resources Enterprise highlights a mounting trend in the FMCG sector. International companies eyeing growth in the rapidly expanding Chinese market are seeking out local joint venture partners. If Tesco’s negotiations with CRE prove successful, a stronger business will emerge, Katy Askew suggests.
Consuming issues – GM debate comes down to question of trust
The GM debate re-emerged in the UK in April with the news four major supermarket operators will allow their suppliers to use GM feed for poultry and eggs. For the food industry, this is an awkward moment for the issue to return to the spotlight. The UK has arguably only just begun to stabilise after the seismic shock of the horsemeat scandal. A common thread in both issues is the question of trust.
Comment: Heinz’s new owners make presence felt
Heinz has announced the first significant job cuts since the Warren Buffett / 3G Capital takeover only last year. Given 3G’s track record with previous investments, the news the ketchup and soup company is “streamlining” its business should not be a huge surprise.