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May 13, 2013

Quote, unquote: just-food’s week in words

The quarterly results continued to roll in this week and we listened to a number of CEOs talk about the challenges and opportunities they face in 2013. Elsewhere, just-food covered Hofex, the largest food and hospitality tradeshow in Asia-Pacific, where we spoke with UK SMEs about their international ambitions. Retailer Delhaize Group has also begun the search for a new CEO following the resignation of Pierre-Olivier Beckers.

The quarterly results continued to roll in this week and we listened to a number of CEOs talk about the challenges and opportunities they face in 2013. Elsewhere, just-food covered Hofex, the largest food and hospitality tradeshow in Asia-Pacific, where we spoke with UK SMEs about their international ambitions. Retailer Delhaize Group has also begun the search for a new CEO following the resignation of Pierre-Olivier Beckers.

“While we are well-positioned in many of the [emerging] countries, today the race is clearly on to fortify and expand our presence” – Mondelez International CEO Irene Rosenfeld says the company will reinvest some of its profits in emerging markets.

“There are a lot of Asians that are now eating western foods and – like consumers in the west – they are also interested in eating healthily and controlling their weights” – The Good Carb Food Co director Nigel Bryan, exhibiting at the Hofex show in Hong Kong, says the growing acceptance of western diets and an interest in healthy eating options has allowed it to grow its revenues in Asia.

“This brings with it the risk that operational strategy will shift over the coming two years” – Citi analyst Alastair Johnston believes the departure of Delhaize Group CEO Pierre-Olivier Beckers could herald a radical shake-up of strategy.

“We are seeing momentum in the right direction in those key fresh categories” – Morrisons CEO Dalton Philips, speaking after the UK retailer’s Q1 update, points to gains in fresh food.

“The capital returns we can achieve on our convenience estate are broadly speaking one-and-a-half times what we can achieve on our supermarkets, so they represent an attractive opportunity to grow” – Sainsbury’s is stepping up its investment in convenience stores and the UK retailer’s finance director, John Rogers, believes the return on capital investment is higher on convenience stores than its core supermarkets.

“We are not aware of any public food retailers producing these levels of same-store-sales results and believe our efforts around value and differentiation continue to be a significant contributor to our market share gains” – Whole Foods Market co-CEO John Mackey says the US retailer has outperformed the country’s grocery sector.

“This is a very significant step as we’re excited about our incremental spending on our advertising and marketing and primarily, against our SOH brand” – Snyder’s-Lance CEO Carl Lee says the US snack firm has stepped up its marketing investment.

“I think long term, this validates our business model in China, which emphasises biosecurity, supply-chain integrity and food safety” – Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith is optimistic about its prospects in China despite the avian flu outbreak.

“The number of agriculture-related projects or food security-related projects is increasing, and that’s a specific strategy from the IFC, and so I think there’s increasing worry about what is the focus of those projects and who’s benefiting from them and who’s not benefiting from them” – Peter Chowla of the Bretton Woods Project highlights concerns over the environmental and social sustainability of some initiatives funded by the International Finance Corporation.

“Consumer demand for convenient and tasty products that offer ProPoints values equivalent to other popular products on the market remain a core focus for us” – David Guest, commercial manager at Walkers Shortbread, says the UK firm is increasing its focus on NPD to drive growth of its Weight Watchers line.

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