This week we published an exclusive two-part interview with Unilever CEO Paul Polman who spoke to just-food about the firm’s low-growth food arm, the slowdown in emerging markets and its much talked about spreads business. Elsewhere, we reported from a Marks and Spencer food briefing, during which CEO Marc Bolland was pushed on the group’s position on launching a full online grocery presence. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart outlined plans for China and Nestle confirmed the closure of ready meal production at a French plant as a result of the horsemeat scandal. Here are a selection of quotes from this week’s news and insight on just-food.
“We maintain our profits, we manage it very efficiently. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad business. We’ve sort of translated that if something doesn’t have a growth rate of 4-5%, that it’s bad. I don’t buy that” – Unilever CEO Paul Polman responds to questions over the future of the company’s spreads business.
“It is not on the radar for now, it is not on our agenda” – Marks and Spencer CEO Marc Bolland is keen to reiterate the group’s stance on launching a full online grocery delivery service.
“Because our business is focused on fresh food, the focus on network planning is on the central geographic area and to saturate it” – Henri Honoris, the head of Modern Putra Indonesia says the retailer is happy to remain in Jakarta for the time being.
“It is clear in the group’s latest interim report and it was repeated on Capital Markets Day, that there is no change of course” – a spokesperson for Maersk denies reports it is looking to divest its Dansk Supermarked retail chain.
“As we move into a new era at Tesco, I am determined to make it easier for you to work with us and for us to do more in sharing our ambitions and resources” – Andrew Miles, Tesco’s online marketing director, says the UK retailer wanted to make it “easier” for brands to work with the company online.
“The supermarkets were not concerned about our products following the horsemeat scandal but there was a crisis of trust from consumers and that had an impact on the sale of our products” – a spokesperson for Nestle confirms plans to close down the frozen meal operations at its Beauvais facility in the north of Paris as a consequence of the horsemeat scandal.
“With the leading Canadian brand in fresh pasta, a strong consumer and customer base and highly skilled employees, this acquisition provides Ebro Foods with an excellent growth platform” – Canada Bread CEO Richard Lan on the sale of Olivieri Foods to Ebro.
“Our pastries don’t allow for long trips and we would lose our competitive edge if we tried to ship long distances” – Dulcesol brand manager Alberto Garcia Romero on the benefits of its EUR10m investment in a factory in Algeria.
“China is a key strategic market for Walmart and we are very well positioned to serve the country’s emerging middle class with great products they can trust” – Wal-Mart Stores CEO Mike Duke outlined plans to open stores and distribution centres in China over the next three years.
“The sheer number of food promotions has left shoppers confused, manufacturers worried about their margins and retailers facing fines because they are misunderstanding and misinterpreting the law” – IRI’s UK director of analytics and shopper knowledge Richard Moule discusses who will gain the most from the OFT’s new guidelines on offers.