During 2023, we sat down with senior executives at some of the largest companies – and some of the most interesting up-and-coming firms – in food to hear how they were trading in what was a challenging year.

“The pandemic brought urgency to automation” – Tyson Foods’ Chetan Kapoor on the meat giant’s push on production technology

Covid-19 laid bare the challenges facing food manufacturers in production. In March, Chetan Kapoor, head of automation at Tyson Foods, discussed the US meat giant’s spending and the gains it hopes to achieve.

Heather Mills to lean into “next generation” gut-friendly vegan foods in “stagnating” UK meat-free market

In July, entrepreneur Heather Mills talked recent M&A, her thoughts on the prospects for meat- and dairy-free and the importance of gut health. By December, she announced her business, VBites, had gone into administration.

“My bigger concern isn’t what we need to get rid of. It’s what we need to add” – Hain Celestial CEO Wendy Davidson talks strategy

Wendy Davidson’s philosophy at Hain Celestial is more about what to add to the US-based group’s portfolio rather than any plans to dispose of brands or businesses – and M&A could be a feature, as Just Food discovered in April.

Hain Celestial CEO Wendy Davidson
Hain Celestial CEO Wendy Davidson

“AI doesn’t replace. It augments” – how AI helps Mondelez’s R&D

Mondelez International is not alone in exploring the potential of AI. In July, Dean Best spoke to Joe Manton about how the company uses the tech in its R&D.

“We are here because we want to change the world” – Upside Foods’ Amy Chen on the US cultivated-meat firm’s plans post-FDA approval

In March, Just Food caught up with Upside Foods’ chief operating officer, Amy Chen, a former PepsiCo senior executive, to find out how the cell-meat firm’s talks with the USDA over product approval were going and to hear about its roadmap for the future. By June, Upside Foods had been given the green light.

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President Joel Warady, who moved from a mentoring role to join Catalina Crunch full-time in 2020, talked to Just Food in May about the US business’ strategy, including a new category launch early next year and a drive into automation.

“We need to up our game on automation” – Danish Crown on the future of meat processing

In October, Danish Crown’s Henrik Andersen discussed the future of robotics in the meat processing industry – and why the group is investing heavily.

“Our vision is to become the European champion” – Heura Foods CEO Marc Coloma says ahead of the alt-protein firm’s new patent

Speaking to Just Food in March, co-founder and CEO Marc Coloma said Spain-based alt-meat group Heura Foods was so far shrugging off sluggishness in the plant-based sector.

Heura CEO Marc Coloma
Heura CEO Marc Coloma

Dr. Schär on under-diagnosed coeliac quest to nullify gluten sensitivity – interview with CEO Hannes Berger

Growth in gluten-free in some countries is hindered by a lack of diagnosis of coeliac disease, which if overcome would provide further global impetus to the category, the recently-appointed Berger told Just Food in February.

“We did ten months’ worth of inventory in the first two weeks after launch” – Bobbie co-founder Laura Modi on demand for the US start-up’s organic, “European-style” infant formula

Modi set out how the US group was promoting its better-for you credentials in a category where parents had been rocked by concerns over product safety.