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Management Briefing

Dean Best

The food industry in 2016 - the trends that will drive M&A

3 January 2016 | Dean Best

Looking to 2016, it seems likely many of the trends that drove a bumper year of deal-making will persist over the next 12 months - consolidation, health, simple foods and emerging markets.... read more

Indonesia dairy - a challenging "dark horse"

2 November 2015 | Dean Best

Indonesia's dairy market has enjoyed solid expansion in the last decade. With China's economy cooling, more attention is being paid to other markets in south-east Asia, suggesting Indonesia could become of growing interest. However, the country has seen its own economic slowdown and its dairy sector has a series of significant challenges to surmount. Dean Best reports.... read more

Indonesia - the key macro issues facing FMCG firms

30 September 2015 | Dean Best

Indonesia is south-east Asia's largest consumer market and is central to the growth strategy of many an international packaged food manufacturer eyeing or operating in the region. However, Indonesia's economy has slowed in recent years, hitting consumer spending, while there are concerns over issues from infrastructure to regulation. just-food gives a run-down of the issues in Indonesia strategy executives need to consider.... read more

Briefing: The emergence of gluten-free in Spain

2 September 2015 | Dean Best

The growth of the gluten-free market in Spain has been solid but not quite at the rates of some of its neighbours in western Europe. Spain's recent economic travails have not helped the category, while the country's culinary traditions have also held back the sector's development. However, gluten-free sales are gathering pace, presenting another opportunity for manufacturers, although the market presents some stiff challenges. Dean Best reports.... read more

Briefing: France's gluten-free market plays catch up

12 August 2015 | Dean Best

France's gluten-free market has taken longer to develop than in some of its neighbours in western Europe. But growth is starting to gather momentum. In this part of just-food's briefing on the region's gluten-free sector, Dean Best looks at the evolution of the French market and its future prospects.... read more

Briefing: The product trends to watch in European gluten-free

7 August 2015 | Dean Best

As the gluten-free market grows and competition - from both specialists and interested conventional manufacturers - intensifies, innovation will be vital. The rate of product development is increasing - Mintel says one in ten products launched in the entire food sector last year was gluten free, up from 2% in 2005. However, as one industry watcher puts it, there is a lot of "spray and pray" to NPD in the category. What trends can manufacturers harness for success? Dean Best reports.... read more

Briefing: How is gluten-free faring in Europe?

29 July 2015 | Dean Best

Much of the commentary around the rise of gluten free has focused on the US, a market that alone accounted for a quarter of global sales in 2014. But what about the opportunities in Europe? The UK, home to its own well developed gluten-free category, also attracts column inches and, despite some concerns about the maturation of the market still offers opportunities. On the continent, a clutch of western European countries are home to categories at different stages of development. In the first part of our management briefing looking at Europe's gluten-free sector, we provide a run-down of the region's major markets - and hint at the countries to watch.... read more

Briefing: What are the foodservice prospects for gluten-free?

10 March 2015 | Dean Best

For some in the industry, gluten free is a "tipping point" in the US foodservice channel. For others, operators have caught up with the trend, with many feeling their menus cater for the current level of demand. Dean Best takes the foodservice temperature of what has been a hot category in US retail.... read more

Briefing: Why foodservice could offer US firms route to growth

3 March 2015 | Dean Best

A swathe of mainstream US packaged food manufacturers are searching for growth as grocery retail stagnates amid significant changes to consumer habits. In just-food's latest management briefing, we look at whether the foodservice channel could present opportunities for growth.... read more

Briefing: Emerging market e-commerce: Poland's online grocery promise

30 January 2015 | Dean Best

Western Europe has been at the forefront of the development of online food retailing but the channel has taken root further east – notably in Poland, with the country seen as having the most advanced grocery e-commerce sector in central and eastern Europe. Dean Best analyses the market.... read more

Briefing: 2015 preview: Asia to see slowing China, buoyant SE Asia

2 January 2015 | Dean Best

The - relatively speaking - sluggishness of the Chinese economy has been a subject of debate in recent months and the country looks set to see GDP growth slow in 2015, which will only intensify competition in an already tough market. However, the prospects for India look brighter and a number of countries in south-east Asia offer opportunities. Dean Best reports.... read more

The prospects for protein: Drinks at centre of NPD push in dairy

5 November 2014 | Dean Best

The dairy category has been one of the hotspots for protein-focused NPD in recent quarters, as manufacturers look to tap into rising demand for foods packed with the nutrient. Dean Best looks at the products launched and what else could be on the horizon.... read more

Japan and growth: Why exporters still see opportunities

15 August 2014 | Dean Best

An economy in the doldrums for years, stagnant consumption, a falling population. To some, Japan may not appear the most attractive market for international food companies. Food imports have also fallen in recent years. However, the country still has to import 60% of its food, while export bodies believe there are growth opportunities to exploit. Dean Best reports.... read more

The rise of Vietnam: Interview: Ambitious Vinamilk eyes growth at home and abroad

12 June 2014 | Dean Best

Multinationals have flocked to the booming dairy markets of the East, attracted by the potential rewards on offer. But in many countries homegrown giants have developed, presenting stiff competition. However, few domestic companies dominate their markets to the extent that dairy processor Vinamilk does in Vietnam. Vinamilk has ambitious goals to grow further - and not just domestically. Dean Best met Nguyen Quoc Khánh, Vinamilk's executive director for R&D and production, at the company's newly-built plant north of Ho Chi Minh City to find out more.... read more

The rise of Vietnam: Opportunity knocks despite recent wobbles

12 June 2014 | Dean Best

Rising incomes, a relatively young population and a growing urbanisation have meant Vietnam has been held up as one of the next wave of emerging markets, beyond the BRICs. However, growth has slowed and a recent dispute with China has knocked investor confidence. Nevertheless, industry analysts believe Vietnam still offers plenty of opportunities for food companies. Dean Best reports.... read more

The rise of Vietnam: Milking the growth of Vietnam's dairy sector

12 June 2014 | Dean Best

There are challenges, notably in distribution, and the market has some well-entrenched players but Vietnam's dairy sector is growing rapidly and consumption is still below neighbouring countries. Dean Best analyses the market.... read more

FMCG in the Middle East: Profile - Almarai

2 May 2014 | Dean Best

For packaged food manufacturers with ambitions for international growth, the Middle East presents an opportunity, with growing populations enjoying rising incomes. However, in recent decades, a number of local industry giants have developed, building robust positions in a number of food sectors, armed with solid supply chains and intimate knowledge of the consumers of the region. One such company is Almarai, the bakery, dairy and poultry processor based in Saudi Arabia.... read more

FMCG in the Middle East: How leading execs view the region

2 May 2014 | Dean Best

For packaged food manufacturers with ambitions for international growth, the Middle East presents an opportunity, with growing populations enjoying rising incomes. In its management briefing on the region, just-food provides a flavour of what leading food and drink executives have said about Middle East in recent weeks.... read more

Confectionery: BRICs and beyond: China a sweet spot for gum makers

24 March 2014 | Dean Best

Chewing gum manufacturers have seen sales come under pressure in developed markets in North America and Europe but other parts of the world are providing growth - and China is one such market. Dean Best reports.... read more

Confectionery: Interview: Jelly Belly eyes international growth

10 March 2014 | Dean Best

Jelly Belly Candy Co., the privately-owned US confectioner famed for its jelly beans, has, in the last decade, expanded rapidly overseas and international ambitions show no sign of easing up just yet. Dean Best met Sharon Duncan, the vice president of Jelly Belly's international operations to find out more.... read more

Confectionery: Interview: UK firm Bon Bon Buddies turns to brands, overseas to drive growth

10 March 2014 | Dean Best

Amid challenges at home, UK confectioner Bon Bon Buddies is looking for new avenues of growth. just-food met MD Chris Howarth to discuss the company's plans.... read more

just-food's outlook for 2014: health still key to NPD but is fast evolving

31 January 2014 | Dean Best

With economic conditions improving, the budgetary shackles on NPD teams may be loosened, with more new products hitting the market. However, health will still dominate the minds of product developers and their marketing colleagues. That said, different themes are emerging, as industry watchers told just-food.... read more

just-food's review of 2013: discounters, multichannel key themes in grocery

6 January 2014 | Dean Best

It can be difficult to identify common trends across markets but, in many ways, two key trends dominated the grocery retail sector in 2013 in a number of countries - the durability of discounters and the heightened interest and investment in developing multichannel retail businesses.... read more

FMCG in Russia: Price and premium touted as ways to grow in Russia

1 October 2013 | Dean Best

Russia's robust growth during much of the Noughties attracted FMCG companies big and small looking to for avenues of growth. The recent economic slowdown in the country has made trading conditions tougher. Firms need to adapt to a more price-sensitive consumer but Russia's middle class do present opportunities at the more premium end of the market. Dean Best reports.... read more

FMCG in Russia: Economy slows but opportunities remain

30 September 2013 | Dean Best

Like its BRIC counterparts, Russia's economy, after a booming decade, was hit by the global financial crisis of 2007-09 and, compared to the turn of the century is seeing growth - but at a much slower rate. Dean Best reports.... read more

Navigating Brazil's slowdown: FMCG giants adapt to cooling economy

30 August 2013 | Dean Best

After a decade of solid growth, Brazil's economy has slowed sharply. The fall in the value of the real has also contributed to stubborn inflation, hitting consumer confidence. Many FMCG firms continue to enjoy sales growth but margins have come under pressure and they have had to adapt to the tougher economic climate.... read more

Navigating Brazil's slowdown: Growth prospects for Brazil remain strong

30 August 2013 | Dean Best

Earlier this week, Brazil's finance minister, Guido Mantega, admitted the country's economy was going through a "mini crisis" but said it remained "strong". GDP growth has slowed and inflation is a problem but, for all the immediate challenges, the FMCG sector and industry watchers are largely bullish about the country's prospects.... read more

Navigating Brazil's slowdown: Quote, unquote: FMCG giants upbeat about long-term prospects

30 August 2013 | Dean Best

Brazil has become an exciting investment prospect for both domestic and foreign FMCG firms looking to offset weakness in other markets. Here we offer quotes from a number of firms commenting on Brazil in their recent second-quarter results.... read more

Organic baby food: Ella's Kitchen is Hain's most promising UK buy

17 July 2013 | Dean Best

US manufacturer Hain Celestial has struck again across the pond. And its latest acquisition in the UK seems to be the one with most potential, Dean Best suggests.... read more

Organic baby food: Corporates M&A flurry in growing segment

17 July 2013 | Dean Best

For three weeks in May, the industry's M&A spotlight shone brightest on the organic baby food sector.... read more

Breakfast cereal: Hard work ahead to revitalise sales in US

4 June 2013 | Dean Best

Breakfast cereal is still big business in the US but sales are flat and volumes down. However, there are some growing segments amid increased interest in healthier or natural options. Industry watchers argue that, until now, some of the larger players have not responded quickly enough to these trends and time is ticking, meaning the likes of Kellogg and General Mills should look at M&A for growth.... read more

just-food confidence survey: M&A appetite grows but will deals be done?

2 April 2013 | Dean Best

just-food's industry confidence survey for 2013 indicated an increased appetite for M&A this year after what some saw, globally, as a lacklustre year in the sector for deals. What lies ahead in the mergers and acquisitions arena over the next few months?... read more

Logistics - Norbert Dentressangle reacts to the pressure of the downturn

1 October 2012 | Dean Best

The downturn has made markets like the UK even tougher places to do business. Retailers are watching costs like a hawk while at the same time using promotions like never before. The first part of just-food's latest briefing on logistics features an interview with Dan Myers, head of the food unit at logistics giant Norbert Dentressangle, who outlines the pressures affecting his business.... read more

just-food Confidence Survey - emerging markets and sustainability

30 April 2012 | Dean Best

just-food's Confidence Survey also included questions on the emerging markets and sustainability. Of the BRIC markets, China gave respondents most cause for optimism. Outside those four countries, markets from Colombia to Vietnam filled others with confidence. And, on the issue of sustainability, alleviating their company's impact on the environment remained a priority for many despite the gloomy economic landscape.... read more

just-food Confidence Survey - surprise industry optimism

30 April 2012 | Dean Best

just-food's first industry Confidence Survey came amid the toughest trading conditions for a generation. However, the results showed a level of optimism in the sector about the outlook for 2012. Nevertheless, consumers in many Western markets remain less confident about their own prospects and recent economic data is mixed at best.... read more