A potential merger combining Symington’s and Premier Foods plc’s brands was a hot topic for analyst speculation this week. Elsewhere, Australian wholesaler Metcash CEO Andrew Reitzer remained optimistic despite announcing 470 job cuts.

“The emergence of a number of possible purchasers of its non core brands should therefore improve the chances of achieving this target” – Panmure Gordon analyst Damian McNeela, believes the potential merger of Syminton’s and some of Premier’s brands increases the UK food giant’s chances of reaching its disposal target.

“These difficult conditions result from continued deflation which is pushing prices and margins down, and a value conscious consumer who increasingly purchases on discount” – Metcash CEO Andrew Reitzer says the Australian wholesaler wants to ensure it “remained optimally positioned to meet the ongoing difficult trading conditions” after announcing job cuts.

“Hypermarkets are not what they used to be but that space has a value because you can’t replicate it any more” – Michael Poynor, managing director of Retail Expertise and global retail advisor to PWC suggests there could be some rarity value in existing hypermarket sites

“Ferrero will be able to compete price-wise in the US market, but they will have to cater to a niche market if they want to make an impact because the chocolate industry in the US is so saturated” – Ferrero’s new plant in Mexico will also supply the US market but IBIS World food industry analyst Mary Nanfelt believes the Italian confectioner will need to target specific consumers north of the border to succeed.

“We were disappointed that we were not able to maintain the final salary pension scheme. However, we were successful in implementing changes to the CARE scheme, which is now best in class” – Unite national officer Jennie Formby reveals why the union’s members had approved the revised pension deal with Unilever.

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“China’s grocery growth story is phenomenal. Between 2006 and 2015, the Chinese grocery market is forecast to triple in value and to be worth nearly a trillion pounds” – IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch believes China is expected to see stronger growth than the US in the coming years

“In this harsh economic climate taking industrial action is the last thing we want to do but the workers can’t keep accepting real terms pay cuts with families and households to sustain – they’ve chosen to fight back” – Scot Walker, an official at UK union unite on workers’ plans for industrial action with meat giant Vion.

“We have listened closely to what our customers want and Everyday Value will provide products that taste better, look better and are healthier – still at the same great price” – Tesco launches a low-price grocery range to replace its Value own-label line.

“We believe FDA made the wrong call. The agency has failed to protect our health and safety in the face of scientific studies that continue to raise disturbing questions about the long-term effects of BPA exposures” – Sarah Janssen, senior scientist in the public health programme at the NRDC on the FDA’s rejection of its petition calling for the elimination of bisphenol A in packaging

“Our produce offer is the first thing our customers see as they enter our shops and we’re confident they will be blown away by the new range” – Morrisons head of produce Andrew Garton on the revamp of its fresh produce packaging