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Apr 21, 2015

Healthy eating sparks M&A on blurring frontier between food and drugs

LONDON (Reuters) – A boom in “nutraceuticals” – food and drinks with potential health benefits – is paving the way for a rush of deals, as food and drug companies compete to dominate a market expected to be worth $280 billion by 2018.

Consumers have been encouraged to eat smarter by an obesity epidemic and a burst of fitness-focused technology like gadgets and apps to track exercise and calorie intake. Now companies supplying goods like probiotic yogurt, advertised as being healthier for the gut, and omega-3 biscuits, thought to improve brain and heart function, have seen demand rise sharply.

Apr 21, 2015

Tate & Lyle to restructure European venture, Splenda unit

LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) – British food ingredients maker
Tate & Lyle announced a major restructuring on Tuesday,
saying it would exit most of its European bulk ingredients
business and make changes to its struggling Splenda sucralose

Tate plans to exit bulk ingredients plants in Bulgaria,
Turkey and Hungary, selling its stake in a European corn
wet-milling joint venture to its partner Archer Daniels Midland
. It will take full ownership of a more specialty-focused
plant in Slovakia.

Apr 17, 2015

Nestle sales top estimates in good start for food firms

LONDON (Reuters) – Nestle (NESN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) became the third European food company to report better-than-expected first-quarter sales on Friday, adding to evidence that the sector is moving past the troubles of 2014.

Last year, makers of consumer packaged goods were hammered by slowed economies, including in once-hot markets such as Brazil and China.

Apr 16, 2015

Nestle says taking action to keep top slot in food industry

LONDON (Reuters) – Nestle (NESN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) told shareholders on Thursday it was taking steps to maintain its position at the head of the global food industry, where consolidation will create two big new rivals.

Nestle Chairman Peter Brabeck-Lemathe told the company’s annual shareholder meeting the creation of Kraft Heinz Co and Jacobs Douwe Egberts, as well as “spectacular” growth of some other companies in developing markets, required two things of Nestle in order to remain the global leader.

Apr 16, 2015

Diageo shares drop after quarterly sales decline

LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) – Diageo Plc, the world’s
largest spirits maker, reported a drop in quarterly sales on
Thursday despite an improvement North America, hurt by
challenges in several emerging markets.

The maker of Johnnie Walker whisky, Smirnoff vodka and
Guinness beer said net sales in the three months to March 31,
the third quarter of its financial year, fell 0.7 percent,
whereas many analysts had expected an increase.

Apr 16, 2015

Unilever sees tailwinds boosting sales hopes

LONDON (Reuters) – Unilever reported better than expected first quarter sales and struck a positive tone on the rest of the year, citing brighter signs in major markets such as the United States, China and India.

The Anglo-Dutch maker of Dove soap, Lipton tea and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream saw its shares jump more than 4 percent to a record high on Thursday after its first-quarter report showed progress after a tough 2014. Last year it was hammered by weakening emerging markets and currency devaluations.

Apr 6, 2015

Battered by currency swings, European firms unpick global production model

LONDON, April 6 (Reuters) – A dramatic fall in the euro has
created an opportunity for European manufacturers to enjoy cheap
production costs at the bases from which they can supply world

But after months of sharp shifts in foreign currencies, many
of these companies are simultaneously reworking strategy in the
hope that by the time of the next sudden tilt they will be
operating in more diverse local markets around the world.

Apr 2, 2015

Tate & Lyle to finalise plan for Splenda this month

LONDON, April 2 (Reuters) – Tate & Lyle Plc is
nearing a decision on how best to maximise returns from its
struggling Splenda sucralose business and will communicate the
result in coming weeks, the company said on Thursday.

Tate’s sucralose problems surfaced in February 2014, when
the company discussed a dramatic drop in prices of the
artificial sweetener it sells to food and drink makers, due to
intense competition from cheaper Chinese rivals.

Apr 1, 2015

Barry Callebaut first-half results surprise on volume gain

LONDON (Reuters) – Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut (BARN.S: Quote, Profile, Research) reported bigger-than-expected gains in half-year sales and profits as cost cuts helped counter the impact of the surging Swiss franc, and confirmed mid-term targets subject to the currency swings.

The company, which sells chocolate and other cocoa products to candy makers such as Nestle (NESN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) and Hershey (HSY.N: Quote, Profile, Research), said on Wednesday that sales jumped nearly 12 percent to 3.24 billion Swiss francs (2 billion pounds) in the half year ending Feb. 28.

Mar 26, 2015

Exclusive: AB InBev to nominate JAB partner as chairman – sources

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s largest brewer, is close to proposing JAB Holding Chief Executive Olivier Goudet as its next chairman, according to four sources familiar with the matter.

The ascent of Goudet, a Frenchman who has been on the AB InBev board since 2011, highlights the close ties between the associates of JAB and 3G Capital, two of the most important private investors in the global consumer goods industry. 3G Capital has four of its founding partners on the brewer’s board.