This week saw UK retailer Morrisons release its first-half earnings results, through which, CEO Dalton Philips defended its “fresh format” stores and policy on vouchers, two strategies brought into question in recent weeks. Elsewhere, the Barclays Capital Back to School Conference saw companies including General Mills and Heinz talk about their strategies for growth.

“They are not disenfranchising customers in any shape or form otherwise sales wouldn’t be so strongly up” – Morrisons CEO Dalton Philips believes the fresh format stores were a “great concept” 

“Impacted the most severely by the Eurozone crisis, there appears to be a limit to how much shoppers can tolerate in Greece” – SymphonyIRI’s Rod Street says in Greece, an average weekly shopping basket is still the most expensive across Europe

“All of us at Campbell’s agree that the pace of our progress needs to accelerate” Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison believes changes are taking longer than expected and need to be accelerated

“Food industry sales and volume trends in North America remain muted” – General Mills CFO Don Mulligan says the operating environment in the US remains a “challenge”

“This year we are working very hard in Europe where we are driving an aggressive change agenda” – Heinz CFO Art Winkleblack said the company is implementing change on the Continent in a bid to address “the difficult economic environment”

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“We continue to look at 2013 as a transition year with increased potential for variability that may impact our performance” – Hillshire Brands CFO Maria Henry this week reiterated Hillshire’s long-term 2015 operating targets

“Pretty much all supermarkets sell eggs from caged hens” – a Morrisons spokesperson defends the retailers decision to sell battery eggs under its M Savers range

“The business there has proved hugely popular with Thai customers so it’s a very exciting market for Tesco to be in” – a Tesco spokesperson talks to just-food about its Thai operations

“Like everyone else we can’t put dates on it but we’re now seeing the tendency for improvements [in dairy commodity prices]” – an Arla spokesperson says the company is foreseeing “improvements” in the second half of the year

“We’re looking into the claims by Russian officials and will work diligently to quickly resolve this matter” – a spokesperson for Tyson on Russia’s implemention of a temporary import restriction on pork products from Tyson Foods and Triumph Foods due to alleged listeria contamination