UK retailer Tesco last week published its latest trading update that the City suggested showed it had lost momentum and was facing challenges at home and abroad. Elsewhere, a fire at a poultry facility in China took the lives of nearly 120 workers. just-food also published a management briefing, which took at look at the global cereal market.
“Tesco’s trading statement was worse than we expected. Management tried to explain away the disappointing performance pointing to positive customer feedback, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating” – Dave McCarthy, Investec analyst, comments on Tesco’s first-quarter figures.
“We’ve got market-leading positions in Thailand and Malaysia and we’re the number two player in Korea. The businesses there are making good progress, gaining market share” – Tesco CEO Philip Clarke was asked whether he felt the retailer needs to change its strategy in Asia and Europe.
Chinese President Xi Jinping calls on officials to investigate the fire incidentat a poultry facility in China. A government statement read: “Xi has urged authorities to ascertain the cause of the fire and hold those responsible accountable.”
“The increased capacity makes the category ripe for heightened competitive pressures through increased promotional activity, at least in the short term” – Analysts at Sanford Bernstein say they have seen more promotions from Chobani in recent weeks and expect the US yoghurt sector to see more activity in the weeks ahead.
“People are not sitting down to eat breakfast like they used to” – IRI senior insights manager Leon Palmer says changing lifestyles are impacting patterns of cereal consumption in developed markets.
Interim commissioner of competition, John Pecman, called the alleged actions of Nestle and Mars in their alleged chocolate price fixing, “egregious anti-competitive behaviour that harms Canadian consumers” and “a serious criminal offence”.
“Culturally cereal is off-trend. It’s being replaced by other food forms that deliver similar benefits” – James Richardson, senior vice president at Hartman Strategy, the consulting arm of market researchers The Hartman Group, says the firm is “not very bullish” about the prospects for long-term growth in the US breakfast cereal market.
“When you look at some of the product launches that are hitting the boxed breakfast cereal category, you don’t really see a lot of new and different products” – Datamonitor innovation insights director Tom Vierhile argues breakfast cereal manufacturers could be doing more to win over consumers in the UK.
“A hot cooked breakfast that consumers were once used to might not fit in with their new urban lifestyle now” – Marcia Mogelonsky, director of insight at Mintel, suggests cereal manufacturers in emerging markets, could, as in the West, turn to convenience products as more Asian consumers, especially in urban markets, look for on-the-go products.
“The proposed acquisition would combine the two largest suppliers of wet and dry infant food in Australia, resulting in highly concentrated markets where barriers to entry and expansion are high” – Rod Sims, ACCC chairman, explains the Australia’s competition watchdog’s move to block the acquisition of organic baby food manufacturer Rafferty’s Garden by US food giant Heinz.