just-food managed to secure a number of key interviews with leading industry figures this week, including that of the new Groceries Code Adjudicator, Christine Tacon, who outlined her new role and the challenges she might face. Other interviews included Warburton’s free-from director Chris Hook, and Plum Organics CEO Neil Grimmer who told just-food about the firm’s recent acquisition of Plum UK. Elsewhere, Unilever CEO Paul Polman told of his disappointment at the performance of its food division last year and the horsemeat scandal rumbled on.
“We had a shared name and a shared philosophy about how we feed our kids, so this is really the culmination of a friendship that has been budding for years” – Plum Organics CEO Neil Grimmer on what attracted the firm to Plum UK.
“I’m not there to protect somebody who has agreed a contract that they can no longer afford to honour” – New Groceries Code Adjudicator, Christine Tacon, outlines her role to just-food.
“In the US, this model is now operating at scale and operating very effectively and driving a very high return on investment for retailers” – Commercial director of coupon technology firm Cardlytics, Charlie Humphreys, outlines a digital couponing system that has been operating in the US for two and a half years that will be launched in the UK this year.
“People have got to start finding it more uncomfortable to be outside of the Responsibility Deal” – Responsibility Deal food chair Dr Susan Jebb accuses some companies of hiding their heads “below the parapet” when it comes to helping deliver healthier diets for consumers.
“Our food category underperformed. We continue to remove small non-core parts of our portfolio to get fully behind our innovations” – Unilever CEO Paul Polman said he expected the firm’s food division to “do better”.
“Innovation is key. We have a good range of core products but in terms of new innovation, that is really this year’s plan to get new, fresh, high quality baked goods onto the market” – Warburton’s free-from director Chris Hook says the company is rolling out a number of new products and free-from innovation will be an important growth driver moving forward.
“We are delighted to see Sir Stuart back in the sector, the banter should be good” – Shore Capital analysts Clive Black and Darren Shirley on Rose’s appointment as chairman of Ocado.
“We are opening as many new stores as we can,” Post says. “It is difficult to get the infrastructure in place… If you look at it in snapshot it does look a bit daunting” – Magnit investor relations director Timothy Post says he expects the firm to open around 1,500 stores and is raising CAPEX to $1.8m this year.
“Adopting the ‘but for the grace of God’ principle, we would also be surprised if retailers not yet implicated in this case of adulteration seek to make commercial advantage” – Shore Capital analysts suggest that any retailers seeking to gain a competitive advantage in the horsemeat situation could be playing with fire after Waitrose denied its criticism of other retailers over the scandal was hypocritical, after withdrawing batches of its own frozen beef burgers as a precautionary measure.
“We still don’t know exactly what the nature of the scheme is” – Richard Evans, chair of the UK Food & Drink Federation’s health and wellbeing group says it is still not clear what the new hybrid nutrition labelling scheme is supposed to look like.