The spectre of the economy continues to loom large of the consumer goods industries this week. Job cuts at PepsiCo and Cadbury, slowing sales at Hershey and the prospect of a food shortage crisis in Iceland. Elsewhere, Heinz has been bucking the trend of bad news whilst Nestle has turned its wrath on global biofuels policy. Read on for more of the stories that grabbed our readers' attention this week.

US: PepsiCo to axe 3,300 jobs

PepsiCo said today (14 October) that it would cut around 3,300 jobs from its business after posting a 10% fall in quarterly net income.

UK: Cadbury announces more job cuts

Confectionery giant Cadbury has announced 250 job cuts in its UK head office as part of the company's ongoing restructuring.

US: Hershey sees sales growth slowing

US chocolate maker Hershey has said that it expects full-year sales to come in at the low end of its forecast, as rising prices and tough economic conditions drive down volumes.

US: Bullish Heinz eyes acquisitions

HJ Heinz has not been hit by the global economic slowdown and is currently on the look-out for potential acquisitions, CFO Art Winkleblack told investors yesterday (14 October).

EU: Commission fines "banana cartel"

The European Commission has fined banana importers Dole and Weichert EUR60.3m (US$81.9m) after ruling that the two companies - alongside Chiquita Brands International - broke EU laws on price fixing.

US: Global governments to blame for food crisis - Nestle

Global governments' biofuels policies have triggered the current food crisis and water shortage concerns, Nestle chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe has claimed.

UK: Tesco, Sainsbury's losing share - TNS

Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose are losing share of the UK grocery market, according to the latest figures from TNS Worldpanel, as consumer demand for value continues.

Crunching the numbers: Iceland's food industry

Nowhere in the world can the impact of the credit crunch be more clearly seen than in Iceland, a nation on the brink of financial implosion. As the events of the last week unravel, Iceland has found itself struggling to avert the alarming possibility that the financial meltdown could spread to the "real" economy and Iceland's food industry now has to face a crisis not of its own making. Katy Humphries reports.

UK/ICELAND: Baugur dismisses administration rumours

Icelandic retail investment company Baugur Group said it has no plans to place its UK business into administration as it faces up to Iceland's banking turmoil.

UK: Bernard Matthews loses brand value in 2008 poll

Following last year's bird flu health scares, Bernard Matthews lost 28% of its brand value, according to a survey listing the top 100 brands in the UK.