This week saw just-food speak with a number of company executives including the chief marketing officer of Burton’s Biscuit Co. about the firm’s plans and Vigor CEO Gilberto Xandó about the Brazilian dairy group’s ambitions. Meanwhile, just-food published an in-depth analysis of our recent confidence survey, which brought together the opinion of food industry professionals from across the world.

“Part of our transformative business strategy is to continue to expand our international footprint across our market leading brands, with a particular focus on our Cadbury biscuit portfolio, which we manufacture under license” – Burton’s Biscuit Co. chief marketing officer Stuart Wilson tells just-food how significant the company’s Cadbury licence is for the UK company’s overseas ambitions.

“Greek-style yoghurt is a crowded segment of the market and only being launched in the second half of 2012 means that Chobani is yet to really establish itself” – Euromonitor ingredients analyst Lauren Bandy says Chobani’s court ruling could come as a blow given it is yet to establish itself as a recognised brand in the UK.

“The certification commitment,” says Andy McCormick, Hershey’s vice president, cocoa sustainability, “assures suppliers that there’ll be a major company in North America over the next number of years buying certified cocoa, helping them make those upfront investments in farmer organisational work and education work.”

“We are well on our way to reach our goal to be the largest dairy company in the country” – Gilberto Xandó, CEO of Brazilian dairy group Vigor, outlines the group’s ambitions to lead the country’s growing dairy industry.

“People recognise it is not just a difficult economic environment but also an increasingly difficult competitive environment – much more competition, many more promotions, much tighter regulation and continued volatility on commodity prices” – SymphonyIRI consultant Rod Street, reflecting on just-food’s confidence survey of the industry, says the sector is getting used to the environment of bad economic news.

“After this year, economic growth will speed up, CBO projects, causing the unemployment rate to decline and inflation and interest rates to eventually rise from their current low levels” – The US Congressional Budget Office predicts the economy will pick up as the year progresses, resulting in declining unemployment, growing household budgets and improved consumer sentiment.

“It has become a much more difficult country to operate in. Local companies have upped their game and forced out the Western more international brands” – Chris Brockman, senior global food and drink analyst at Mintel, offer his outlook on whether China still presents the opportunity it once did.

“Retailers are bearing the brunt of reduced consumer spending and suppliers are dealing with rising commodity costs and in some cases exchange rate exposure” – Charlotte Ashton, who works in Grant Thornton’s UK food and beverage corporate finance team says food businesses were “being squeezed at both ends of the spectrum” in 2012.

“Aldi Australia has made the decision to establish distribution centres and stores in South Australia and Western Australia” – an Aldi spokesperson tells just-food of its plans for Australia.

“Bush Foods Overseas has worked hard to be a respected name in the Basmati rice domain worldwide and now it has become amongst the first Indian food company’s to be acquired by a world-reputed food Company from Qatar like Hassad Food” – Bush Foods MD Virkran Awasty says the firm is “very happy” with Hassad Foods buying a majority stake in the company.