2013 was a bumper year for senior executive interviews on just-food and your top ten most-read pieces included our meetings with the CEOs of Nestle, Unilever and Greencore.
The just-food interview part one – Patrick Coveney, Greencore
Convenience food group Greencore has experienced an eventful few years. In 2011, the Ireland-based manufacturer was beaten to the acquisition of the UK’s Northern Foods. This year, Greencore was caught up in the horsemeat contamination saga that rocked the European food industry. However, the company has continued to expand in the UK and in the US. In part one of the just-food interview, Michelle Russell speaks to chief executive Patrick Coveney about the challenges of operating in a difficult UK market.
Interview: R&R chief: We can be “real alternative” to Unilever
James Lambert, CEO of UK-based R&R Ice Cream, has suggested the company’s plan to buy local rival Fredericks Dairies will give retailers a “real alternative” to market leader Unilever.
Interview: Boulder Brands CEO Stephen Hughes – part one
Boulder Brands is a business under a decade old but one now approaching annual sales of over US$450m. CEO Stephen Hughes set up an investment vehicle in 2005 that became Smart Balance in 2007 when it acquired GFA Brands, the owner of the Smart Balance brand. However, in the last two years, with the spreads sector under pressure, Hughes has brought balance to the business with moves into gluten free – and changed its name to reflect its wider portfolio. In part one of a two-part interview, Hughes discusses Boulder Brands’ buoyant gluten-free business.
The just-food interview part two: Nestle “best placed” to meet Chinese challenge
Nestle is witnessing dynamic growth in China thanks to a combination of M&A and organic growth. As we discovered in part one of this two part interview, regional chief Roland Decorvet attributes much of its success to Nestle’s use of both local and global brands. But operating in China is not without its challenges. Katy Askew caught up with Decorvet to find out more about why he believes Nestle is best-placed of all the multinationals to succeed in China.
The just-food interview part two: Nestle CEO Bulcke expounds benefits of “good food, good life”
Nestle is a company on a mission to drive long-term, sustainable organic revenue growth across its geographies. The world’s largest food group has embarked on a different type of mission, with the goal of bringing healthy, nutritious food to a well educated consumer base. To some, this might seem at odds with a portfolio heavy in confectionery, pizza and ice cream. In part two of the just-food interview, Nestle CEO Paul Bulcke brushes off such concerns and insists the group will leverage its strength in science-based nutrition as it works towards a healthy future. Katy Askew reports.
Interview: ISM: United Confectioners looks beyond Russia for growth
United Confectioners has plans to grow its business beyond its stronghold in Russia, where it holds the number one position in the confectionery market. Michelle Russell caught up with export director Timothy Odenwald at the ISM confectionery exhibition in Cologne to find out more about the firm’s plans for Europe and beyond.
Sustainability Watch – Barry Parkin, Mars
Barry Parkin, chief sustainability officer at Mars Inc, spoke with Ben Cooper about the US giant’s strategy on issues including coca sourcing.
The just-food interview: Fonterra CFO Jonathan Mason
New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has increased its focus on emerging economies as the battle among global dairy companies for a share of high-growth markets in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America intensifies. This strategy has proven fruitful, with emerging markets making a sizeable contribution to group revenues and offering scope for future growth. just-food’s Jonathan Dyson spoke to Fonterra CFO Jonathan Mason in Auckland yesterday (27 March) about how the world’s leading dairy exporter plans to exploit this opportunity.