Wall Street analysts questioned the extent to which ConAgras performance was due to market conditions

Wall Street analysts questioned the extent to which ConAgra's performance was due to market conditions

Trading conditions in the UK and US remain tough and this week two companies - Premier Foods and ConAgra Foods - saw their shares hit after reporting sluggish sales but analysts wondered to what extent the moribund environment could be blamed for their performances. Elsewhere, the CEOs of the world's largest food manufacturers announced actions they believe will improve consumers' health.

Editor's viewpoint: Questions mount for ConAgra
After three profit warnings in a year, it is little wonder the performance of US food giant ConAgra Foods is under scrutiny. This week's downgrade has heightened concerns over the company's performance.

GLOBAL: Food groups set out industry-wide health pledges
Food giants including Nestle, Kellogg and Mondelez International have drawn up a series of initiatives, including the end of advertising junk food to children, they believe will improve the health of consumers.

Comment: Increased competition could revitalise US frozen sector
Sales in the frozen aisle have been lacklustre in the US for some years. However, increased competitive activity from the likes of Nestle, ConAgra Foods and Tyson Foods could help rejuvenate the sector, Katy Askew suggests.

Editor's viewpoint: Premier feeling the pressure
The City has welcomed Premier Foods' moves to spin off parts of its businesses into joint ventures but it is still the performance of the UK group's core brands that moves its shares - and that concerns investors.

US: Hillshire board withdraws backing for Pinnacle buy
Hillshire Brands' board has withdrawn its support for the US group's acquisition of local peer Pinnacle Foods in the wake of Tyson Foods' US$8.55bn takeover bid for the Jimmy Dean sausage maker.

Focus: Thai seafood scandal puts food supply chains back in the dock
Harrowing accounts of forced labour, torture and murder on board fishing boats providing feed for the massive Thai shrimp industry have shocked the public and given the global food industry tough questions to answer about its ability to ensure ethical standards in complex supply chains. Ben Cooper reports.

CHINA: Beijing pushes for M&A in infant formula
China's state council has launched a detailed policy plan to push consolidation within the country's infant formula manufacturing sector.

FRANCE: Poultry firm Doux coy over JBS, BRF "interest"
French poultry processor Groupe Doux has refused to be drawn on reports claiming Brazilian meat giants JBS or BRF are interested in buying the business.

FRANCE: PE firm PAI in acquisition talks with Labeyrie Fine Foods
Private-equity firm PAI Partners is in exclusive talks to acquire a 50% stake in the holding company of French food firm Labeyrie Fine Foods.

The rise of Vietnam: Infographic: The largest companies in Vietnam by numbers
The strong growth potential offered by Vietnam's expanding food sector means many multinationals are making inroads in the market. However, the largest companies in the country are domestic players. As part of our latest management briefing, just-food charted the competitive landscape of Vietnam through a breakdown of the biggest companies by sales in 2013.