Kraft Foods shook the food industry this week with its surprise plans to split into two, while speculation continued that Unilever might sell off its food division. In the US, the industry was also stunned by one of the largest meat recalls in history Meanwhile, as the second-quarter and half-year results continued to come in, Premier Foods described its first-half performance as “poor” but retail giant Metro Group defended its showing in the first six months of the year, despite profits falling. Here’s the best of what was said this week:

“We’ve been evaluating this for quite some time. A transaction of this magnitude cannot be pulled off overnight” – Kraft Foods chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld admits the plan to divide the business in two had been under consideration for a while.

“The splitting of Unilever is an old recurring story. I still consider it unlikely. Food allows too many entry points into emerging markets and into new price segments. It also gives Unilever extra critical mass in others” – independent analyst James Amoroso explains why Unilever is unlikely to sell its food division.

“They were poor by any measure. Nevertheless, we believe we are doing the right thing in this difficult environment” – Premier Foods plc CFO Jim Smart reflects on the manufacturer’s first-half results.

“Despite unfavourable conditions, Metro Group held up well” – Metro Group CEO Dr Eckhard Cordes said as the company saw first-half decline by a third.

“Public health and the safety of consumers cannot be compromised. It is regrettable that people may have become ill from eating one of our ground turkey products and, for anyone who did, we are truly sorry” – Steve Willardsen, president of Cargill‘s turkey processing business, as the food giant announces one of the largest meat recalls in US history due to a possible link to a fatal salmonella outbreak.

Poundland is a tremendously effective and successful retail format under a magnificent CEO in Jim McCarthy and I see no reason, given the similarities in markets, why its broad formula cannot work in the Irish Republic, where discount retailing is less ingrained than Continental Europe or the UK” – Shore Captial analyst Clive Black on Poundland’s move into Ireland.

“Eating less gluten probably makes a lot of sense to a lot of consumers, whether it does physiologically or not, so there’s an interesting opportunity to grab what looks to be a major growth segment within the natural segment” – Smart Balance CEO Stephen Hughes explains why the company acquired gluten-free manufacturer Glutino.

“They have to go on a gluten-free diet for life, to cope with their condition, so they will always be our core target market” – Dr Schar retail brand manager Emma Herring on why the gluten-free manufacturer focuses its marketing efforts on coeliacs over people who are interested in a gluten-free diet.