The merger of Kraft and Heinz created worlds fifth-largest food and beverage group

The merger of Kraft and Heinz created world's fifth-largest food and beverage group

From the merger that created Kraft Heinz and ConAgra Foods' decision to split in two, through Nestle's uneven sales performance and on to investment in India and China, our analysis pages got you clicking this year. Here's the top ten most-read analysis articles of 2015.

In the spotlight: Is Heinz, Kraft merger "a growth story"?

This morning's (25 March) news HJ Heinz and Kraft Foods Group have inked a definitive merger agreement sent shockwaves through the US food sector. But, when the dust settles, what are we likely to see from the enlarged Kraft Heinz Co.? Katy Askew investigates.

10 Things to Learn - JBS's acquisition of Moy Park from Marfrig

Brazilian protein giants Marfrig and JBS have reached an agreement that will see the ownership of European poultry processor Moy Park transferred to JBS. The deal, which values Moy Park at US$1.5bn, represents a win-win for both parties. Here is what each stands to gain.

ConAgra Foods announces split - what could happen next?

ConAgra Foods CEO Sean Connolly, fresh from securing the sale of the US group's own-label business, has made another strategic move - splitting the business in two. A largely branded business, Conagra Brands, and a frozen potato products supplier, Lamb Weston, are set to be created. Dean Best analyses what could lie ahead for both companies.

Read our top ten interviews of 2015, featuring R&R Ice Cream, Wessanen and Bonduelle, here

Nestle's sales miss - 10 things to learn

Nestle missed analyst expectations for its sales growth today (16 October), when the world's largest food maker reported sales of CHF64.8bn (US$73.8bn) for the nine months to the end of September. The 2% decline was steeper than analysts had expected, with consensus forecasts predicting a sales dip of 0.8%. The closely watched organic growth rate also failed to meet expectations, with analysts predicting a 4.7% gain versus Nestle's organic growth of 4.2%.

Why Lactalis could move for Dairy Crest

With the UK's Competition and Markets Authority likely to approve the disposal of Dairy Crest's milk business in the coming weeks, some industry watchers have been speculating what remains of the local dairy group could be a takeover target. The business will be well teed up financially for a sale that maximises shareholder value in the first half of 2016 with one stand-out potential acquirer, Stefan Kirk believes.

just-food's pick: Top ten on-trend products at Natural Products Expo West

The Natural Products Expo West has become a key date in the US food industry calendar - and its significance has grown amid changes in consumer demand in the country. Increasing consumer interest in health has led to packaged and highly processed foods falling out of favour and demand for simpler products - be they natural, organic and free from artificial additives - growing.

BRICs and beyond: Can Mars challenge Mondelez, Nestle dominance in Indian chocolate?

Mars Inc plans to step up investment in the Indian chocolate sector by investing in local production. The Indian chocolate market is dominated by Mondelez International-owned Cadbury, with Nestle becoming a somewhat distant second. With strong growth in demand and a growing tendency for consumers to trade up to higher-margin products, could Mars' push in India challenge the established players in the market?

On the move: Why China was central to Nestle executive change

Nestle's operations in Asia, Oceania and Africa have had a challenging few quarters. CFO Wan Ling Martello has been asked to take charge of the division to try to revitalise its performance - and must focus on China.

Digesting digital: E-commerce becomes battleground for infant formula brands in China

E-commerce has rapidly emerged as a key battleground for multinational infant formula manufacturers in China. In a category that has come under recent pressure, changing consumer patterns and a shift in the way people shop in the country has resulted in the mass migration of Chinese infant formula purchases to online channels. Katy Askew looks at how this fast-paced sector is developing.

Focus: Why the jury is out for Danone's Oikos Triple Zero

Greek yoghurt has been one of the most buoyant food categories in the US in recent years but, with growth slowing and competition fierce, manufacturers are on the look-out for ways to boost sales. Danone has launched Oikos Triple Zero, a product it hopes will attract more protein-hungry male consumers to the fixture. Will the French company succeed? Dean Best investigates.