Danones Riboud eyeing markets in Russia, China

Danone's Riboud eyeing markets in Russia, China

There was plenty to chew over this week on obesity with Michelle Obama's launch of a US campaign to encourage healthy eating and exercise and the UK's ban on product placement for junk food. Snacks giant PepsiCo sets out its stall to make its portfolio more healthy, while yoghurt maker Danone outlined plans for international expansion. Here is the best of who said what this week.

"For far too long, the nation's response to childhood obesity has been underwhelming, considering obesity’s massive impact on the nation's physical and fiscal health. The First Lady has the clout and visibility to change that and mobilise the nation's resources to address the problem" Margo Wootan, director for US consumer watchdog the Center for Science in the Public Interest, urges Michelle Obama to do more after the launch of the First Lady's "Let's Move" campaign.

"PepsiCo do appear more focused on healthier products but I think that's more of a long-term strategy than an attempt to boost earnings this year or next" - Morningstar analyst Philip Gorham believes the fruits of PepsiCo's health kick will appear - but not quite yet.

"To go into the eastern part of Russia is a new country for me [and] to be very strong in another part of China is a new country for me and we are ready to build a structure" - Danone chairman and CEO Franck Riboud (pictured) sets his sights for Eastern expansion.

"As the year progressed, particularly in the fourth quarter, an increasingly consolidated and more powerful retail base began to seek and obtain price concessions from processors" - Gregg Engles, boss of US dairy giant Dean Foods, reveals the pressure his company has felt from retailers.

"We see 2010 as a year of opportunity" - Sam Reed, chairman and CEO of US private-label firm TreeHouse Foods, is upbeat about the prospects for own label this year.

"What I personally think is irrelevant. It's not my business; it's the shareholders' business. I like the business and the niches it has found [but] it's my job to make sure that they are aware of any sensible approaches" - David Wallis, chairman of UK snacks and candy firm Glisten, in the wake of a takeover bid from Finnish food group Raisio.

"We have gone through a turnaround and an improvement in profitability. This is the third phase. We are looking for growth - both through organic growth and acquisitions" - a Raisio spokesperson says its bid to buy Glisten heralds a new phase for the Benecol brand owner.

"The agreement is good for the company, good for the Duchy Originals brand, good for Waitrose, good for our consumers and good for charity" - Duchy Originals chairman Michael Jary believes the tie-up with Waitrose will help the UK organic firm recover after a year of losses.

"We are very uncomfortable that plans to allow some product placement will still go ahead. This creates the possibility that a future government could still allow placement of junk food through the back" - Children’s Food Campaign co-coordinator Jackie Schneider is wary despite the UK government's ban on product placement for junk food.

"This sends the worst possible message to the 6,000 other Cadbury workers in the UK and Ireland.  It tells them that Kraft care little for their workers and have contempt for the trade union that represents them" - Jennie Formby, the Unite's union food and drink national officer, issues a fiery response to Kraft Foods' decision to follow Cadbury's plans to close the Somerdale plant in the UK.