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Comment: Kroger eyes two growing trends with Vitacost deal

2 July 2014 | Dean Best

US retail giant Kroger, one of the largest traditional supermarket chains in the country, today (2 July) announced a deal that showed it has recognised two key macro trends in the grocery sector - and wants a piece of the action.... read more

Industry view: CPG futures online - beware the drones

2 June 2014 | John Lawrence, business development director, SGK Europe

With CPG sales migrating online, innovative delivery methods being developed by the likes of Amazon will have profound implications for food manufacturers, SGK Europe's John Lawrence suggests.... read more

Comment: Food industry failing to attract the next generation of talent

30 April 2014 | Hannah Abdulla

There is a lot to be said about a career in the food industry. But, as the Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum heard yesterday (29 April), the sector is failing to attract a new generation of talent. This represents a significant long-term threat and food manufacturers must act to attract the innovators and decision makers of tomorrow, Hannah Abdulla suggests.... 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: 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

Best bits: Little sign of challenges easing for Tesco

9 December 2013 | Dean Best

This coming March, Philip Clarke will have been Tesco CEO for three years. It has been a challenging period and, at least in the short term, there is unlikely to be any let up.... read more

Shopper trends: OFT rules mean changes to promo landscape

24 October 2013 | Richard Moule, IRI

The UK's Office of Fair Trading's new guidelines on offers will shake up the way products are promoted, argues IRI's Richard Moule - and manufacturers are set to gain the most.... read more

Best bits: Morrisons calms City but tests lie ahead

16 September 2013 | Dean Best

After recent criticism in the City, Morrisons last week sought to soothe any anxiety among investors. Even as it reported lower half-year sales and profits, the UK retailer in some ways succeeded - its share price jumped - but the country's fourth-largest grocer still faces challenges within its core business and with its newer ventures in the convenience and online channels.... read more

Comment: Finding growth spots in developed markets

27 August 2013 | Katy Askew

Operating in developed markets poses a particular challenge. Food manufacturers and retailers must look for pockets of growth in a sluggish landscape that is competitive to the point of saturation.... read more

Comment: Co-op should tread carefully in online push

23 August 2013 | Katy Askew

To much fanfare, The Co-operative Group confirmed that it will be the last of the "big five" UK retailers to throw its hat in the ring and enter the online channel. While the company is emphasising the growth potential offered by rapidly expanding online sales, Katy Askew suggests that the grocer will have to think outside the box if it is to combine an online offering with what remains its point of difference - convenience... read more

Shopper trends: Define goals before embarking on promos

26 July 2013 | Tim Eales, IRI

Trade promotions don't seem to boost or sustain sales volumes in the way they used to, so manufactures and retailers need to think again about how they promote their wares.... read more

Comment: Amazon looks to take bigger bite of online grocery

6 June 2013 | Michelle Russell

Online retail giant Amazon is said to be preparing to take on the well-established US food market with a major roll-out of its fresh grocery business, a move that could make other players sit up and take notice.... read more

Comment: French retailers battle over convenience, online

29 May 2013 | Katy Askew

The French food retail sector is notoriously competitive and hard to operate in. As the country's retail giants slug it out for a higher share of a relatively stagnant market, the battle is raging on all fronts. With low overall growth, retailers are zoning in on the areas of greatest potential: online and convenience.... read more

Comment: Pragmatic deal for Morrisons, Waitrose risk for Ocado

17 May 2013 | Dean Best

A deal with Ocado represents Morrisons best route into the UK online channel as it plays catch-up with rivals. For the online specialist, it looks a good deal, although it could threaten its agreement with another partner, Waitrose.... read more

Shopper trends: Time to renew focus on the shopping experience

25 April 2013 | Laura Volponi, IRI

Retailers in Europe are looking again at the in-store experience for shoppers, refurbishing outlets and using technology, writes IRI's Laura Volpini.... read more

Talking shop: Morrisons core issues persist

15 March 2013 | Katy Askew

Morrisons' announcement that it is planning to launch an online grocery offering this year dominated the headlines in the wake of the group's full-year results. While the news is certainly of strategic significance for the UK's fourth-largest retailer, it should not overshadow ongoing problems that the firm is having in its core business.... read more

Comment: Trust still vital in tech rush

13 March 2013 | Dean Best

Technology offers consumer-facing businesses huge opportunity. FMCG companies need to embrace channels like online and mobile. Asda CEO Andy Clarke is a firm believer in their potential. However, Clarke argues winning - and retaining - consumer trust is more important. He is right and perhaps, Dean Best writes, it is even more so in this new multichannel age.... read more

Comment: Tesco looks to stand out from the crowd in UK retail

13 March 2013 | Katy Askew and Michelle Russell

Tesco has once again ignited the price war with the launch of its Price Promise, garnering a mixed reaction from analysts who suggest it could just be an extension of other retail schemes or the retail giant trying to regain the initiative on pricing.... read more

Talking shop: Plassat aware more work ahead at Carrefour

8 March 2013 | Dean Best

Carrefour's 2012 results offer signs of encouragement for the world's second-largest retailer. However, some analysts insisted much more work is needed. That is true but Carrefour CEO Georges Plassat recognises the challenges that still lie ahead.... read more

Comment: Waitrose reaps rewards of strategic initiatives

7 March 2013 | Katy Askew

Waitrose booked a stellar set of results for 2012, a year of tough trading that nevertheless saw the upmarket supermarket group prosper. Katy Askew takes a look at how.... read more

Comment: Organic growth priority for prudent Ahold

13 February 2013 | Dean Best

Ahold's exit from its ICA retail venture in Scandinavia and the Baltics looks set to net the Dutch company a cool US$3.4bn - but do not expect the Albert Heijn and Giant Food owner to go on an acquisition spree.... read more

COMMENT: British snowfall brings panic buying

21 January 2013 | Michelle Russell

While high street stores across the UK braced themselves for a slump in shopper numbers ahead of the country's heavy snowfall, it may be that the supermarkets turn out to be the winners here, if indeed, they are well-equipped to cope.... read more

Comment: UK retailers had little Christmas cheer, more clouds gathering

3 January 2013 | Katy Askew

It was not a good Christmas for UK retailers this year. But, as we gear up for next week's round of results form the largest UK supermarket operators, Katy Askew believes it is clear the sector is also grappling with some more meaty issues.... read more

The most-read comment from just-food in 2012

18 December 2012 | Dean Best

just-food does not shy away from commenting on the major developments and issues in the industry and this year its focus centred on issues from traffic-light labels to sustainability, on deals like Kellogg's takeover of Pringles and Arla Foods' latest venture in China.... read more

Street talk: Digital drives shoppers to find best deals

10 December 2012 | Rod Street

The arrival of digital shopping in the FMCG marketplace has taken 15-20 years but is now firmly here and encroaching on the household routine of food shopping in a very significant way, writes SymphonyIRI consultant Rod Street.... read more

Comment: Communication key for next stage of Sainsbury's CSR push

23 November 2012 | Dean Best

Sainsbury's is one of the more proactive and open FMCG companies on sustainability and deserve plaudits for its work so far. However, as Dean Best writes, the UK retailer needs to communicate its initiatives more to be seen to be at the forefront of developments on such issues, as consumer interest is growing.... read more

Street talk: Brands face private-label fight for share of mind

22 November 2012 | Rod Street

With retailers investing heavily in own label, the fight for sales is as fierce as ever. However, shifts in how shoppers buy groceries presents opportunities for brand owners to connect with consumers but, writes SymphonyIRI's Rod Street, they must act now.... read more

Street talk: Food brands fight to withstand own-label onslaught

24 October 2012 | Rod Street

Retailers are still driving most of the share gains but food manufacturers are holding their own, pressing on every aspect of the marketing mix to optimise their offer to the consumer and drive share, argues Rod Street.... read more

Comment: Kirin's conundrum over Fraser and Neave

28 September 2012 | Chris Mercer

Now that Heineken has airlifted Fraser and Neave's share of Tiger beer out of the company's hands, all eyes turn to Kirin Holdings and ThaiBev's intentions for the Singapore food and drink group, writes Chris Mercer.... read more

Comment: More reasons to be upbeat about Morrisons

7 September 2012 | Chris Mercer

Morrisons is paying for playing catch-up but do not write the UK's fourth-largest grocer off just yet, writes Chris Mercer.... read more

Comment: Wyke Facebook campaign suggests new supplier tactic

16 August 2012 | Michelle Russell

The decision by Wyke Farms to launch a Facebook campaign to get its cheddar re-listed at Morrisons could signal a new tactic from suppliers in getting their voices heard.... read more

Street talk: Frugal shoppers means promo game must change

31 July 2012 | Rod Street

What role should promotions play when consumers are savvier and more value-conscious? SymphonyIRI's Rod Street believes offers can still be a sound short-term sales strategy - if implemented with the new consumer in mind.... read more

Comment: Booker sees strength in food

18 July 2012 | Katy Askew

UK wholesaler Booker Group unveiled a resilient first-quarter sales performance. While lower tobacco sales weighed on the firm's revenues, non-tobacco, which primarily includes food and drink products, saw strong growth despite fears the poor weather and tough comparisons would dampen the result.... read more

In the spotlight - Sainsbury's success points to position of strength

11 May 2012 | Dean Best

Sainsbury's full-year profits came in ahead of City forecasts this week. Dean Best takes a look at how the UK retailer believes it can withstand fresh competition and how its success in the downturn means it is now in a position of strength.... read more

Best bits: Iceland Foods seals week of headlines for UK retail

12 March 2012 | Dean Best

It was, in the end, no major surprise. But it did mark the end of a saga that had lasted the best part of two years. A consortium led by Malcolm Walker, founder and chief executive of UK frozen food retailer Iceland Foods, has taken over the company.... read more