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Comment: Iglo wise to put emphasis on food, not frozen

29 April 2014 | Katy Askew

Europe's largest frozen food maker, Iglo Group, has developed a strategy that takes the emphasis off the functional aspects of frozen food and instead focuses on taste and quality. This subtle redefinition of its offering is likely to pay dividends but Iglo would also be wise to remember the fundamental appeal of the freezer aisle.... read more


Comment: Chobani spreads wings amid pressure in yoghurt

23 April 2014 | Dean Best

With its latest new products, Chobani has signalled its ambitions - but the moves into categories like desserts and oatmeal could also suggest the privately-owned US yoghurt group is feeling the pressure in its core sector.... read more


Editor's viewpoint: Using M&A for growth Stateside

22 April 2014 | Dean Best

Desperate for growth in a moribund trading environment, there are signs some food manufacturers operating in the US are using acquisitions to bolster their presence in more vibrant parts of the industry. Should others follow?... read more


Comment: General Mills could find it hard to brew growth with Keurig NPD

17 April 2014 | Dean Best

Food manufacturers seem to be willing to take more risks on NPD, which is encouraging after seeing years of caution and a focus on nostalgia or new packaging formats. However, for those operating in struggling categories, innovation may not solve the dilemma of how to reignite growth.... read more


Five ways brands engage consumers on Twitter

17 April 2014 | Katy Askew

In an increasingly connected world, social media sites like Twitter are becoming an ever-more important way for FMCG brands to interact with consumers. With over 200m regular users worldwide tweeting more than 500m times each day, the potential on offer for brands to reach consumers via microblogging site Twitter is self-evident. Here are five tips for successful branded tweeting from just-food.... read more


Comment: Tesco under rare level of scrutiny

14 April 2014 | Dean Best

On Wednesday, Tesco reports its latest set of annual results - and rarely has a major retailer be under so much scrutiny. ... read more


Editor's viewpoint: Tesco's food-to-go push looks foolhardy

11 April 2014 | Dean Best

Tesco is reportedly looking at rolling out a food-to-go concept in London in its latest bid to try to find some growth in its domestic market. But, if the move happens, is it really wise to enter such a competitive space?... read more


Consuming issues: Seven a day, no fooling

10 April 2014 | Ben Cooper

The latest intervention in the diet and health debate in the UK hit the headlines on 1 April. It was not an April Fool but the findings of research from University College London that we should be eating seven portions of fruit or veg a day may have prompted a wry smile from those who struggle to get near the 'five-a-day' recommendation.... read more


Editor's viewpoint: Food security and consumer demand

8 April 2014 | Dean Best

There is a growing consensus that a warming climate has an impact on food production - putting supply firmly at the debate over food security. But the demands of a growing global population are just as important to consider as industry, government and academia wrestle over how to solve the issue.... read more


Comment: Unilever raid shows South Africa eyeing food

4 April 2014 | Katy Askew

News the South African offices of Unilever and Sime Darby were raided by competition authorities this week comes as a further evidence that the country's competition watchdog has set its sights on the food sector, Katy Askew suggests.... read more


Editor's viewpoint: Milking emerging market demand

31 March 2014 | Dean Best

Arla Foods, The Irish Dairy Board and Fonterra have all in the last week announced investments - or hinted at expansion to come - with growing demand for dairy products in emerging markets in mind.... read more


Shopper trends: Too early to call end to consumer recession

26 March 2014 | Richard Moule, IRI

European politicians may be proclaiming the end of the consumer recession, but when it comes to food sales, retailers and manufacturers are continuing to find business tough, writes IRI's Richard Moule.... read more


Comment: Aldi ad spat shows discounters under rivals' scrutiny

26 March 2014 | Dean Best

The UK ad watchdog's order for Aldi to pull a TV advert demonstrates how the discounter will need to be precise in its competitive claims - and how the German giant is being more closely monitored than ever before by the country's rattled major grocers.... read more


Editor's viewpoint: Glanbia has stamina

18 March 2014 | Dean Best

The 2013 results posted by Irish food group Glanbia stood out, both for the growth the company achieved last year and its optimism for its prospects this year and beyond. ... read more


Comment: Chobani wise to consider stake sale

13 March 2014 | Katy Askew

Chobani is the leading US manufacturer in the lucrative, high-growth Greek yoghurt sector. But with rising competition from the larger dairy majors - and Chobani's own growth aspirations globally - the company could well be wise to consider ways to secure a cash injection, Katy Askew suggests.... read more


Consuming issues: WHO influence on sugar may be stronger

12 March 2014 | Ben Cooper

Some campaigners believe the WHO's new guidance on sugar intake did not go far enough and are concerned the organisation will face lobbying from industry. Food manufacturers insist there is no scientific evidence to halve the recommendation from 10% of daily energy to 5%. Governments can, of course, ignore any new guidance. However, Ben Cooper argues the debate around public health and diet has changed and could make the WHO a more influential voice.... read more


Editor's viewpoint - Anything but Co-operative

11 March 2014 | Dean Best

The sense of disarray swirling around The Co-operative Group intensified today (11 March) with the resignation of CEO Euan Sutherland, who took a swipe at the way the UK retailer was being run. Sutherland's exit will add to the sorry headlines made by The Co-op in recent months but, more importantly, they will distract the company away from the work it needs to do to turn around parts of its business, including food retail.... read more


Comment: More heavy lifting needed at Carrefour

7 March 2014 | Dean Best

It is clear Carrefour has made some improvement under the stewardship of CEO Georges Plassat but more work needs to be done, writes Dean Best.... read more


Comment: Growth of online channel good news for big brands

6 March 2014 | Katy Askew

Online sales in the UK are on the rise as consumers increasingly shop for their groceries over the internet. Online sales represent a key growth area the country's largest retailers are vying to exploit. In the UK - the birthplace of private label - online expansion is good news for the manufacturers of leading food brands, Katy Askew suggests.... read more


Editor's viewpoint: Obama and obesity

4 March 2014 | Dean Best

Some may argue the Obama administration has done less on obesity than it set out to do but its work to tackle the problem while getting significant parts of the industry on board should be praised.... read more


Shopper trends: Avoiding a promotions catastrophe

28 February 2014 | Tim Eales, IRI

In the latest quarterly food pricing barometer for just-food, manufacturers across Europe and the US continue to increase their use of promotions. However, long-term deals reset the shopper's perception of what a product is worth and it can be hard for brands to recover, writes IRI's Tim Eales. ... read more


Comment: Wal-Mart's McMillon makes early mark

21 February 2014 | Dean Best

Wal-Mart has doubled the number of small stores it said it would build this year - and in a few paragraphs demonstrated new CEO Doug Millon, just three weeks in the hot seat, was making his mark.... read more


Comment: Challenges ahead as ConAgra goes on to the front foot

20 February 2014 | Dean Best

After two profit warnings in five months, ConAgra Foods boss Gary Rodkin was correct to use the CAGNY conference this week to front up about the problems at the US food group - and to try to demonstrate the company can rectify them. Some of these challenges are likely to only be short term. However, ConAgra may face more work with its consumer foods and integration of Ralcorp.... read more


Comment: Poundland now hopes to offer investors value for money

19 February 2014 | Katy Askew

UK value retailer Poundland has confirmed it plans to launch an IPO in London next month. Announcing the news, management offered a bullish outlook for the single-price retail sector and outlined an ambitious view of future expansion. Katy Askew reports.... read more


Editor's viewpoint: McLeod checks out a success

18 February 2014 | Dean Best

Ian McLeod's tenure at Coles should be judged a success, taking a retailer suffering from stock issues, long queues and falling sales and revitalising the business into one that looked one step ahead of its larger rival.... read more


Editor's viewpoint: US consumer chill lingers

17 February 2014 | Dean Best

Read the financial statements and listen to the conference calls from US food manufacturers in recent days and it is clear: companies operating there are still facing tough conditions and cautious consumers.... read more


Comment: Co-op's smart move to win over consumers

17 February 2014 | Katy Askew

The UK's fifth-largest grocer had a challenging year - from trading issues to tabloid scandal and financial problems. However, Katy Askew argues the retailer's move to launch an open dialogue with shoppers on their business could see it re-engage with consumers.... read more


Editor's viewpoint: Nestle's L'Oreal decision is worth it

11 February 2014 | Dean Best

After a period of flagging sales, Nestle investors may have been hoping the food giant would offload its stake in L'Oreal to fund a programme of share buybacks. In fact, the company has decided to only trim its L'Oreal stake and, in the process, gain full control of a skin health venture between the two sides - a move that underlines Nestle's wise longer-term strategy to target health and wellness in its broadest sense.... read more


Editor's viewpoint: Searching for special K

10 February 2014 | Dean Best

Kellogg continues to see its cereal sales come under pressure and is set to launch a marketing push that puts its namesake brand front and centre. But will that be enough to revitalise that part of its business?... read more


In the spotlight: Hain Celestial must be wary of over-extending

7 February 2014 | Katy Askew

Hain Celestial has rapidly grown its business by expanding into new categories and markets through a series of acquisitions, notably in the UK. However, such rapid expansion has its challenges. Perhaps execution issues at Hain Daniels, the US group's UK-focused business, could be viewed as a warning to management that the group should be careful not to over-extend itself, Katy Askew suggests.... read more


Consuming issues: Tacon's role broader than she thinks

6 February 2014 | Ben Cooper

In London this week, UK Groceries Code Adjudicator Christine Tacon outlined what her position was - and was not - set up to do. However, Ben Cooper argues her role has wider implications than policing the relationship between retailers and their suppliers.... read more


Comment: United Biscuits sale unlikely in the near-term

4 February 2014 | Katy Askew

Much media attention has focused on whether the private-equity owners of United Biscuits are preparing to sell off the UK biscuit maker. However, Katy Askew suggests, a sale is unlikely to be on the agenda in the near term.... read more


Comment: Wal-Mart fails to capitalise on Target weakness

3 February 2014 | Katy Askew

News Wal-Mart has lowered its full-year earnings forecast reflects more than the drag of store closures as it adjusts its international portfolio. The US retail giant is struggling to grow its top-line at home and lower fourth-quarter comparable domestic sales suggest it failed to capitalise on the data breach scandal that hit key competitor Target Corp., Katy Askew suggests.... read more


Shopper trends: Measuring the real impact of product availability

3 February 2014 | Mike Ray, IRI

The impact of availability gaps is something not regularly measured by retailer or supplier. Yet readily-available information sources can be used to quantify the effect on the bottom line - and help improve the in-store experience for a shopper, says IRI's Mike Ray.... read more


Comment: Super Bowl ad to pit Nestle against Hershey and Mars

31 January 2014 | Katy Askew

The news Nestle will - for the first time - be buying airtime during the Super Bowl is much more significant that the usual "advertising investment" stories that cross our news desk. It suggests that the company has re-focused its attention on the US market and intends to pit its confectionery brands against the likes of Hershey and Mars.... read more


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