The latest numbers from two Cs – Carrefour and Cargill – proved among the more popular stories on just-food this week. Carrefour insisted it had put in a “resilient” performance during the first quarter of 2009 – despite seeing sales drop almost 3%. Cargill, the agribusiness giant, blamed the downturn for a slump in third-quarter profits. Elsewhere, sales of frozen food in the US are predicted to grow 25% by 2013, according to a US study and in the UK frozen foods are proving ever more popular in the credit cruch, further evidence of the popularity for frozen food on both sides of the Atlantic. These are the top stories on just-food this week.
FRANCE: Carrefour CEO upbeat despite Q1 sales fall
The chief executive of Carrefour today (16 April) insisted that the French retail giant had put in a “resilient” performance during the first quarter of 2009, despite posting a 2.8% fall in sales. Carrefour, the world’s second-largest retailer, reported first-quarter sales of EUR22.72bn (US$29.9bn). At constant exchange rates, sales were down 1.4%.
US: Cargill Q3 profit plummets
US food and agriculture giant Cargill today (14 April) posted third-quarter net earnings of US$326m, down 68% from last year’s profits of $1.03bn. “Cargill’s earnings turned down in the third quarter, as the troubles in the global economy and financial system arrived at our company’s doorstep,” said Cargill chairman and CEO Greg Page.
US: Health, convenience NPD to drive US frozen sales – study
A focus among frozen food makers in the US on launching products targeting consumer demand for convenience and health will continue to drive the category – even when the country’s economy emerges from recession, new research has claimed. Sales of frozen food in the US are forecast to grow by 25% between 2008 and 2013 to reach US$64.8bn, analysts Packaged Facts have claimed.
UK: Consumers look to frozen food in credit crunch
Almost half of UK consumers believe that frozen food will “help them through” the credit crunch, new research has claimed. According to the Food and Drink Federation’s (FDF) Frozen Food Group, 49% of consumers are looking to frozen foods to survive the economic downturn, while 70% of consumers believe that frozen food minimises waste and means less frequent shopping trips.
IRELAND: Glanbia stands firm amid farmers protests
Glanbia insisted today (15 April) that it was “mindful” of its “social responsibility” to its stakeholders as Irish farmers continued their protests at the company’s recent milk price cuts. The Ireland-based dairy and ingredients group has faced two days of protests from thousands of angry farmers, upset at last week’s price cut.
DENMARK: Arla axes 250 jobs in global cuts
Arla Foods, the dairy group, is to cut 250 jobs across its global operations as it looks to ride out the global economic downturn and weak demand for high-end dairy products. The company, which makes brands including Lurpak butter and Castello cheese, told just-food today (16 April) that half of the jobs lost would be administrative posts in Denmark.
UPDATE: CHINA: Wal-Mart revamp to “help regional growth”
Wal-Mart is looking to push on into China’s regional cities in 2009 and has insisted a restructuring of its management team in the country would help the business grow. The US retail giant had earlier moved to quash reports that it planned to cut up to 1,400 jobs across its Chinese operations.
AUS: Woolworths shares rise on domestic strength
Shares in Woolworths Ltd, Australia’s largest retailer, rose today (17 April) after the company booked a 6.5% increase in third-quarter sales. Woolworths shares finished the day’s trading in Australia up 1.2% at A$25.88 after booking revenues of A$12.33bn (US$8.88bn) for the three months to 5 April.
US: PepsiCo plans “compostable” SunChips bag
Frito-Lay, the PepsiCo snacks unit, has set out its stall to package its SunChips brand in a “fully compostable” bag by next year. The company announced the move today (16 April) after launching a SunChips bag made with 33% renewable materials.
US: Stater Bros. to sell dairy unit to Dean Foods
Stater Bros. Markets, a subsidiary of Stater Bros. Holdings, is to sell Santee Dairies to US dairy giant Dean Foods. Jack Brown, chairman, president and CEO of Stater Bros. Holdings, said the future of Santee Dairies’ products was “limited”.