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Mar 24, 2014

Australia tobacco sales edge up despite plain packaging -industry

LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) – Deliveries of tobacco to
retailers in Australia rose slightly last year for the first
time in at least five years, even after the introduction of
plain packaging aimed at deterring smokers, according to
industry sales figures to be released on Monday.

Australia, which in December 2012 became the first country
to ban branded cigarette packs, is being closely watched for
signs of success as other nations including Ireland, New Zealand
and the United Kingdom explore similar measures.

Mar 12, 2014

Whyte & Mackay sale attracts several suitors – sources

LONDON, March 12 (Reuters) – United Spirits’ Whyte
& Mackay whisky unit has attracted interest from several drinks
makers and private equity firms and is expected to fetch about
350 million pounds ($582 million), according to sources familiar
with the matter.

SPI Group, owner of Stolichnaya vodka, Italy’s Campari
and private equity firms Lion Capital and TPG Capital
Management are among the interested parties likely to
have bid, said the sources, who declined to be identified since
the process is private.

Mar 12, 2014

Danone looks to Shakira to help revive Activia growth

LONDON, March 12 (Reuters) – Danone unveiled its
biggest ever dairy ad campaign on Wednesday, hoping to revive
sales growth of its top yogurt brand Activia by focusing on
global pop star Shakira, instead of specific health claims whose
permissibility varies by country.

The French food group will launch the campaign in 55
countries with print, outdoor and digital advertisements, as
well as television commercials featuring the Colombian singer’s
new song.

Feb 23, 2014

Big consumer companies cut costs, Wall Street wants bolder steps

BOCA RATON, Florida (Reuters) – Investors are growing impatient with the makers of global brands like Cadbury chocolate, Campbell Soup and Tide laundry detergent, as these stalwart consumer products companies try to boost profits through cost cuts and brand makeovers while smaller rivals take risks and grab market share.

Organic and soy milk seller WhiteWave Foods Co (WWAV.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), privately owned yogurt maker Chobani Greek and Keurig coffee brewer seller Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc (GMCR.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have shaken up their categories and chalked up enviable growth while big companies such as ConAgra Foods Inc (CAG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Danone S.A. (DANO.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and General Mills Inc (GIS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) struggle.

Feb 19, 2014

Nespresso takes aim at Green Mountain’s Keurig with big-cup brewer

, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Nespresso is launching
a new single-serve coffee brewer that makes larger
American-sized portions, putting its Swiss parent Nestle
in direct competition with U.S. market leader Green
Mountain Coffee Roasters.

Nestle, the world’s largest food company, said on Wednesday
its new VertuoLine system will go on sale in the United States
and Canada this week. It will make larger cups of coffee as well
as the smaller espressos, popular in Europe, for which the brand
is already known.

Feb 18, 2014

Mondelez details margin progress amid investor pressure

BOCA RATON, Florida (Reuters) – Mondelez International Inc (MDLZ.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sought on Tuesday to convince investors that it can increase profit margins in the coming years despite volatile emerging markets, days after a second activist investor disclosed a stake in the maker of Cadbury chocolate and Oreo cookies.

Mondelez reported a string of disappointing quarterly results since it was split from Kraft Foods Group (KRFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in October 2012. Investors have called on the company to slash costs as the packaged food industry struggles to offset tepid global demand, volatile emerging market economies and changing consumer tastes.

Feb 14, 2014

No appetite for big consumer goods? Try their suppliers

LONDON (Reuters) – As a slowdown in emerging markets takes the shine off shares in consumer goods makers like Nestle (NESN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Unilever (ULVR.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Danone (DANO.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Procter & Gamble (PG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), hungry investors have been sampling more of the companies that supply them.

Scent and flavor makers such as Symrise (SY1G.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Givaudan (GIVN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), and food ingredient names like Glanbia (GL9.I: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Kerry Group (KYGa.I: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are attractive, analysts say, because they’re more resistant to weak consumer spending and benefit from health and wellness trends forcing so many brands to modify their products.

Feb 14, 2014

Analysis – No appetite for big consumer goods? Try their suppliers

LONDON (Reuters) – As a slowdown in emerging markets takes the shine off shares in consumer goods makers like Nestle (NESN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research), Unilever (ULVR.L: Quote, Profile, Research), Danone (DANO.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) and Procter & Gamble (PG.N: Quote, Profile, Research), hungry investors have been sampling more of the companies that supply them.

Scent and flavour makers such as Symrise (SY1G.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), Givaudan (GIVN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) and International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF.N: Quote, Profile, Research), and food ingredient names like Glanbia (GL9.I: Quote, Profile, Research) and Kerry Group (KYGa.I: Quote, Profile, Research) are attractive, analysts say, because they’re more resistant to weak consumer spending and benefit from health and wellness trends forcing so many brands to modify their products.

Feb 13, 2014

Imperial Tobacco considers market listing for logistics unit

LONDON, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Imperial Tobacco Group is
considering listing shares in its European logistics division on
the stock market, as it focuses on its core cigarettes business
that is declining in many markets.

Imperial, the world’s fourth-largest international tobacco
company by market share, said on Thursday it was reviewing
options related to a potential initial public offering (IPO).

Feb 13, 2014

Nestle hints at more deals after deeper healthcare dive

LONDON (Reuters) – Swiss food giant Nestle’s deeper dive into healthcare by taking over the dermatology joint venture it had with L’Oreal suggests further deals in the space are likely.

The move underscores Nestle’s determination to move beyond relatively stagnant traditional food markets into “wellness”, where growth prospects and profit margins are more enticing.