PepsiCo was forced to shrug off a call to break up the business and merge its food operations with Mondelez International again last week as the company issued its first-half results. CEO Indra Nooyi urged the market to “look beyond the noise” surrounding pressure from activist investor Nelson Peltz. Elsewhere, Premier Foods CEO Gavin Darby revealed it was asking suppliers to sign up to “strategic partnership” as part of its plans to cut numbers by half.

“We have disposed of many of our businesses around the peripheries. As a result our sales are now concentrated on fewer bigger brands” – Unilever CEO Paul Polman explains that disposals weighed on the group’s first-half net sales.

“Campbell’s is a food company with a… powerful equities with core consumers who we continue to treasure for their loyalty and their trust in our products and brands. We have no desire to steer our company away from these consumers” – Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison emphasises it is looking to strengthen its relationship with its loyal consumer base, while extending its appeal to new – and growing – consumer groups in the US.

“We had the crucial amount of support so we wanted to launch this initiative but that doesn’t mean it stops there; the door is open” – Tove Larsson, director of environmental affairs at FoodDrinkEurope says the FDE was keen to get the Every Crumb Counts food waste initiative off the ground, but the intention is to garner more signatories as the initiative proceeds. 

“There are some important opportunities in terms of reducing our suppliers” – Premier Foods plc’s chief executive Gavin Darby claims some of its suppliers are “more committed to growth than others”.

“Such work was clearly evident in H1 but in a measured manner more is to come, particularly against an increasingly competitive and challenging market context” – Clive Black, Shore Capital analyst offers his views on Unilever‘s first-half results.

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“It is by working together with the authorities that a real, transparent framework can be set up. And that is what is happening. It is a shaping and confirming of a regulation framework in China, which we welcome. It is only [through] clear rules that… you really have honest and sustainable competition” – Nestle CEO Paul Bulcke gives his views on China’s infant formula pricing probe.

“What you’ve got between retailers and brands is a power balance that retailers predominantly own. What it means is brands can’t have a direct relationship with consumers” – Co-founder UK tech start-up Shopwyre, Katie Harvey, says its main objectives is to give brands the opportunity to talk to consumers directly.

“PepsiCo is an extremely well architected portfolio geographically. From a product perspective, we are hitting our stride. Every part of the business is functioning well and we do not need large scale M&A to deliver on our financial goals” – PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi rules out activist investor Nelson Peltz’s suggestion PepsiCo should acquire Mondelez.

“The NDRC noticed a suspicious trend in recent years: one of the baby formula manufacturers would increase the price of its formula and the other manufacturers would in turn raise the price of their formulas. Different companies would take the lead at different times. If verified, this potentially collusive practice may constitute a concerted effort to eliminate or restrict competition” – Michael Gu, partner at Beijing law firm AnJie speaking about China’s infant formula pricing probe.

“While it has a leading portfolio of 22 billion-dollar brands, PepsiCo has underperformed its peers as it grapples with the differing needs of its fast-growth (snacks) and slow-growth (beverages) businesses and the resulting inherent conflict in allocating its resources” – Peltz – who holds significant stakes in both Mondelez and PepsiCo – claims the latter is at a “strategic crossroads”.