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Interview

Dean Best

"It does add some complexities" – General Mills' John Haugen on backing challenger brands as Covid-19 upends consumer habits

5 May 2021 | Dean Best

John Haugen, the head of General Mills' VC-style arm 301 Inc., talks to Dean Best about his unit's investment strategy and how Covid-19 has shaped what the US giant is looking for. ... read more


"We feel the pressure from the market" – Emmi's Gerold Schatt on Swiss dairy group's sustainability targets

14 April 2021 | Dean Best

Emmi has a new set of sustainability targets, with an overall aim to be "net-zero" by 2050. The dairy group discusses its goals and the spotlight being shone on the whole industry. ... read more


"We want to replicate the taste of meat in the healthiest way" – Brazilian plant-based protein firm The New wants to stand apart as market builds

7 April 2021 | Dean Best

The New is a fledgling plant-based protein business based in beef-loving Brazil. We hear from co-founder Bruno Fonseca about the company's ambitions domestically and overseas. ... read more


"We can lead the movement to make plant-based living the new norm. And many people agree" – Kees Kruythoff on The Livekindly Collective's latest funding and growth plans

31 March 2021 | Dean Best

Acquisitive meat-free supplier The Livekindly Collective has announced more funding. Dean Best speaks to bullish CEO Kees Kruythoff about the group's growth plans. ... read more


"The brand is back and reclaiming its roots" – Brian Connolly on bid to rejuvenate US pet-food business Natural Balance

24 March 2021 | Dean Best

Pet-food industry veteran Brian Connolly is Natural Balance's new CEO and he talks to Dean Best about his plans to get the US dog- and cat-food maker growing again. ... read more


Flourishing in food – four female founders share their start-up stories

11 March 2021 | Dean Best

just-food speaks to four female entrepreneurs to hear what they've learnt on their journeys so far and what advice they have to others wanting to start their own food businesses.  ... read more


Arla Foods CEO Peder Tuborgh on retaining dairy giant's new "modus operandi" – the just-food interview

12 February 2021 | Dean Best

The dairy giant developed a new "modus operandi" in response to Covid and managed to grow sales and profits. CEO Peder Tuborgh talks about his desire to retain some of that change. ... read more


"Taste, texture and price will be critical" – Novish's Maiko Van Der Meer on outlook for plant-based seafood

10 February 2021 | Dean Best

Ex-seafood exec Maiko Van Der Meer runs plant-based firm Novish. He discusses the seafood sector's view of plant-based alternatives and how the emerging industry can grow. ... read more


Amy's Kitchen CEO Xavier Unkovic looks to build on Covid-19 boost – the just-food interview

3 February 2021 | Dean Best

Xavier Unkovic, the recently-promoted CEO of Amy's Kitchen, talks about the US group's performance during Covid-19 and the company's plans for further growth. ... read more


"We want to be Asia's leading plant-nutrition company" – Growthwell Group's Justin Chou on how Singapore alt-protein firm plans to grow

20 January 2021 | Dean Best

Growthwell Group executive director Justin Chou on the Singapore alt-protein firm's plans, which involve expansion in Asia and a vision for a presence along the supply chain. ... read more


"We will be very substantial five years from now" – Plant & Bean CEO Edwin Bark on meat-free co-manufacturer’s "ambitious" expansion plans

12 January 2021 | Dean Best

Meat-free manufacturer Plant & Bean argues the industry must work harder on price and quality – and believes it can be a major player through plans for a global production network. ... read more


How could food industry M&A take shape in 2021?

4 January 2021 | Dean Best

We speak to four experienced M&A advisers about how they expect deal-making in the packaged-food industry to take shape in 2021. ... read more


"If it's not affordable, then we're not going to be mass-market" – V2Food co-founder Nick Hazell on why price is central to Australian plant-based meat firm’s strategy

16 December 2020 | Dean Best

After fresh funding, V2Food is eyeing Asia but, at home and abroad, product pricing will be key to success, the Australian plant-based meat firm tells just-food. ... read more


"Now we really are in the right space" – Whitworths CEO Mark Fairweather on how changes at UK group are bearing fruit

29 October 2020 | Dean Best

Whitworths CEO Mark Fairweather reflects on the opportunities presented this year by Covid-19 but also on the UK dried foods supplier's work to revise its strategy. ... read more


"We've done the hard part. We're excited about the year ahead" – CEO Abhishek Sinha on outlook for India plant-based meat firm GoodDot

15 October 2020 | Dean Best

GoodDot Enterprises is seen as being the first modern plant-based meat business in India. The Udaipur-based firm has built a nationwide presence and has international ambitions. ... read more


Bonduelle deputy CEO Gregory Sanson on long-term impacts of Covid-19, resilience and M&A – the just-food interview part 2

1 October 2020 | Dean Best

Bonduelle's deputy CEO Gregory Sanson weighs up Covid could affect working practices in the longer term, sets out his thinking on foodservice and talks M&A plans. ... read more


"We don't see foodservice recovering over next year" – Bonduelle's Gregory Sanson on French group's FY results and outlook

30 September 2020 | Dean Best

Bonduelle saw sales rise but profits fall in the 12 months to the end of June. Deputy CEO Grégory Sanson talks to just-food about the French veg group's numbers and outlook. ... read more


PepsiCo's post-Covid optimism about Europe e-commerce – interview

23 September 2020 | Dean Best

It's no surprise to PepsiCo e-commerce sales jumped through the early months of Covid-19. But does it believe interest in shopping online will continue when the virus is tackled? ... read more


Covid-19 – US manufacturers talk trading, the economy and consumers

15 September 2020 | Dean Best

US grocery suppliers may largely have a got a Covid boost but, with the health and economic impacts of the virus still being felt, we asked four for their thoughts on trading. ... read more


"Emerging brands are going to come out of Covid even better" – Catalina Snacks president Joel Warady on why outlook for US keto firm is sweet

15 September 2020 | Dean Best

Catalina Snacks president Joel Warady reflects on the boost the US keto firm has seen from Covid and sets out why small brands can continue to thrive. ... read more


"Covid just adds yet another tailwind" – investor Nick Cooney on the opportunities for alternative-protein fund Lever VC

8 September 2020 | Dean Best

Nick Cooney, an experienced investor in alternative protein discusses his venture-capital fund's moves to back start-ups in the plant- and cell-based sectors. ... read more


Freaks of Nature founder Peter Ahye on trying to grow UK plant-based desserts firm amid challenges of Covid-19 – the bitesize interview

22 July 2020 | Dean Best

just-food's latest bitesize interview features Peter Ahye, the founder of Freaks of Nature, as he looks to continue to grow the fledgling, UK plant-based desserts firm. ... read more


"This should be in everyone's household" – Braham & Murray MD David Shaw on the benefits of hemp and what's needed to build interest

7 July 2020 | Dean Best

David Shaw, the MD of UK company Braham & Murray, on why he believes in the health and environmental attributes of hemp – and how the Good Hemp owner is looking to expand. ... read more


"I'm afraid 2020 and 2021 will be not normal" – Oppenheimer's Jeroen van den Heuvel on deal-making in packaged food

1 July 2020 | Dean Best

Oppenheimer's Jeroen van den Heuvel has worked on food M&A for 20 years. He explains how Covid-19 has affected activity in Europe and argues the next 18 months will remain unusual. ... read more


Goodmylk Co. CEO Brooke Harris on less processing in plant-based and pivoting amid Covid-19 – the bitesize interview

17 June 2020 | Dean Best

Goodmylk Co., a US supplier of plant-based dairy products formed in 2018, has had to pivot as Covid-19 hit foodservice, founder Brooke Harris tells just-food. ... read more


"This industry is so nascent" – Dao Foods investor Tao Zhang on taking plant-based meat mainstream in China

10 June 2020 | Dean Best

Can a real, mainstream market for plant-based meat develop in China? Dao Foods investor Tao Zhang thinks so – but he knows there's a long way to go. ... read more


Prepared-veg supplier Mash Direct on the agility needed to adapt to Covid-19 – the bitesize interview

3 June 2020 | Dean Best

Mash Direct COO Jack Hamilton on adapting to Covid-19, with the SME prepared-veg supplier seeing the pandemic affect parts of the business in different ways. ... read more


A bigger fish? BlueNalu CEO Lou Cooperhouse on the prospects for cell-based seafood

1 June 2020 | Dean Best

Forecasts for cell-based protein can be striking but can the emerging industry fulfil predictions? US cell-based seafood supplier BlueNalu is bullish about its prospects. ... read more


Greencore CEO Patrick Coveney on how the UK food-to-go supplier will bounce back - the just-food interview

26 May 2020 | Dean Best

UK supplier Greencore, with its major food-to-go business, has seen Covid-19 hammer sales in recent weeks. Chief executive Patrick Coveney believes the company can emerge stronger. ... read more


"Foodservice is the most exciting part of our outlook when Covid-19 clears" – Andy Shovel, co-founder of UK meat-free brand This, the bitesize interview

20 May 2020 | Dean Best

UK brand This, one of a flurry of firms looking to ride rising consumer interest in meat alternatives, talks adapting to Covid-19 hit, competition and optimism for foodservice. ... read more


"Fermented foods are on fire right now" – Cleveland Kitchen CEO Drew Anderson on US sauerkraut specialist's ambitions, the bitesize interview

6 May 2020 | Dean Best

CEO Drew Anderson talks doing battle with larger competitors, Cleveland Kitchen's stint in Kraft Heinz's incubator and launching a product in the middle of a pandemic. ... read more


"Our vision is for AI-delivered insights tied into automation" - Kraft Heinz on using artificial intelligence in manufacturing

21 April 2020 | Dean Best

How should food companies work with artificial intelligence in their manufacturing supply chain? Kraft Heinz talks about its applications so far – and the future uses for the tech. ... read more


"Covid-19 is reinforcing the need for wellbeing snacks" - Mondelez International's SnackFutures on demand now - and beyond coronavirus - for snacks

17 April 2020 | Dean Best

We talk to Mondelez's SnackFutures hub to hear what the US giant has learnt one year since launch, how it sees snacking evolving – and how Covid-19 is affecting the unit's plans. ... read more


Houlihan Lokey’s food M&A veteran Shaun Browne on sectors to watch – and how Covid-19 is affecting deal-making

1 April 2020 | Dean Best

With 30 years working on M&A in the food industry, Houlihan Lokey's Shaun Browne is well-placed to survey the current factors affecting deals – including Covid-19. ... read more


"I don't think anyone's debating now the meat-free category is going to be very, very large" - the exit interview with Quorn Foods' Kevin Brennan

5 February 2020 | Dean Best

Stepping down after a near-decade at the helm of Quorn Foods, Kevin Brennan reflects on the growth of the UK meat-free firm and what it needs to do to continue to prosper. ... read more


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