The results continued to roll in last week and we heard from the likes of Hain Celestial and Ahold on how they performed and their outlook for the year ahead. Just-food also spoke with Lindt & Sprüngli CEO Ernst Tanner, who told us about how the company is convincing consumers to trade up – and why he sees cause for optimism in developed markets. Elsewhere, The Co-operative outlined its online grocery ambitions.
“We are the only company who is really bringing news to the marketplace. Others are still selling the same stuff as they did 50 years ago” – Lindt CEO Ernst Tannersays it has expanded its appeal to more consumers in North America.
“Wherever we are, wherever we work, in whichever market … we always have to follow what the customer wants on positioning and value. There is no other way, that is retail” – Ahold CEO Dick Boer says it will continue to evaluate its price positioning in the US as retailers in the country face pressure on sales volumes.
“When you look at the entire food industry, our organic and natural products outpace conventional products by three times” – Hain Celestial president and CEO Irwin Simon says the company has capitalised on continued demand for natural and organic products in the US.
“Why is it that manufacturers and retailers seem unable to take advantage of the long-standing opportunity to create value that is, so clearly, available to them by perfecting the in-store shopper experience?” – Rod Street explains why retailers need to focus on the in-store experience.
Árni Mathiesen, assistant director general, FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture, says the partnership between the Global Salmon Initiative and the FAO offers “the potential to improve access and the exchange of information and expertise to support global improvements in environmental and social performance across the industry”.
“Establishing a premium brand takes time. If you are in the mass market you can go to market and focus on pricing and what have you. But a premium brand you have to establish step-by-step in a new market” – Lindt CEO Ernst Tanner suggests the firm is not impatient with the pace of progress being made in the developing world.
“It’s worth emphasising that we are still in the growth stage so therefore cutting the volumes is not the big plan, it’s a tactical move to consolidate the units that we have and improve operational performance” – Raisio CEO Matti Rihko says the fall in branded sales in the first six months of the year was due to some calculated decisions to boost its branded division.
“We recognise that the online grocery market is a rapidly growing channel, which provides a significant opportunity for us as, primarily, a convenience retailer” – The Co-operative Group’s retail chief Steve Murrells outlines the group’s online ambitions.
“Once the redundancies had been made, the company decided to renege on long standing recognition agreements and make up the ensuing staff shortfall with agency labour” – The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union says it balloted its members following the introduction of agency staff by Premier Foods Plc on “zero-hours” contracts following redundancies and cuts to pay and hours.
“While we regard volume growth as the chief risk for this business and its food peers in the future, the risk in 2013 is more heavily focused on increased promotional spending” – Stifel analyst Chris Growe regards Pinnacle Foods’ full-year estimates as “achievable”, with a numer of tailwinds providing a welcome lift.