Woolworths’ Macro deal a competition concern: Metcash
May 27, 2009

Metcash is keen to see the ACCC block the acquisition of Macro Wholefoods by Woolworths, according to a report in the Australian Financial Review. Woolworths, Australia’s largest supermarket chain, announced a fortnight ago that they had reached an agreement with organic food retailer Macro to purchase the company’s stores and organic private label brand. The deal will see all Macro stores re-badged as ‘Thomas Dux’ – the upmarket grocery chain owned by Woolworths. Interested... ...Read more »

Pringles lose crisp battle in Court of Appeal
May 27, 2009

Pringles have been officially been declared as potato crisps (chips) in the UK, obliging Procter & Gamble to continue paying millions of pounds in value added tax (VAT). In Britain, most bakery products such as cakes and bread are free from the VAT, but potato crisps are liable for the 15 per cent tax. As a result, Procter & Gamble have been trying to overturn a decision which lists Pringles as a potato chip. Last year, at the High Court in the UK, Procter & Gamble claimed that Pringles... ...Read more »

Danone seeks funds for acquisitions as dairy slump takes toll
May 27, 2009

The world’s largest yoghurt maker, Danone, has announced a 3 billion-Euro (A$5.4 b) rights offering, to secure acquisition funding as it predicts long-term market difficulties. The French-based dairy firm will use the funds to reduce their debt to position themselves for minor acquisitions and growth in emerging markets. However, they have distanced themselves from any immediate takeovers, with CFO Pierre-Andre Terisse indicating they won’t make any purchases in the “coming weeks... ...Read more »

Dairy Product Awards celebrate the pinnacle of Australian produce
May 27, 2009

The Dairy Industry Association of Australia has praised the leading firms in the dairy sector with the announcement of the winners of the annual Australian Dairy Product Awards. The winner of the DTS Food Laboratories Award for ‘most outstanding food exhibit’ was National Foods, with their Kind Island ‘Dairy Stormy’ Rind cheese. While the NAB Agribusiness Trophy, for the most successful exhibitor, went to Sublime Gelato. Other major winners were Haigh’s in the chocolate... ...Read more »

Food outlets face safety crackdown
May 27, 2009

Every food outlet in the state of New South Wales can expect a random health inspection in the year ahead as the number of additions to the name and shame website causes concern for health authorities. Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald said 40,000 food service premises would be the subject of about 50,000 inspections a year. “In practice, every food premises should be inspected at least once each year,” Mr Macdonald said. “All food businesses in NSW are inspected according... ...Read more »

Foster’s management shake-up continues
May 27, 2009

Foster’s, Australia’s largest brewer, today announced that Martin Hudson, Chief Legal Officer and Company Secretary, would leave the business July 3. He leaves after a year of extensive change at Foster’s since CEO Trevor O’Hoy left in July last year. Since then, the maker of VB has appointed a new CEO, seen their MD of Australia and Asia Pacific resign, introduced the positions of Chief Information Officer and Transformation Director, announced a restructure, had their Chief... ...Read more »

Victorian supermarket chain enters voluntary administration
May 26, 2009

Supermarket clearance outlet NQR has called in administrators after 22 years of business in Victoria. Privately-owned Not Quite Retail opened two decades ago to help retailers sell excess stock, discontinued lines and cancelled supermarket orders. The company, which operates in all food categories commonly seen at the supermarket, currently runs 26 stores – all in Victoria.It is another example of the pressure on smaller food retailers and follows the recent takeover of Macro Wholefoods by... ...Read more »

Alcohol not recession-resistant after all?
May 26, 2009

Alcohol may not be recession proof but it remains relatively resistant, save for a few sectors, according to new research from the US. Results of an American consumer survey, presented at Nielsen’s recent Consumer 360 conference, show that, with around half of consumers cutting back on restaurant outings and one in three on bar/nightclub visits, the alcohol industry has some concerns. “While alcohol beverages are sometimes thought to be ‘recession proof’, we’re seeing... ...Read more »

Red Bull under scrutiny after cocaine traces discovered
May 26, 2009

Food authorities in Germany have discovered trace amounts of cocaine in Red Bull Cola, leading to a ban by six states in the European country. The drink, which is 100% natural, contains kola nut and coca leaf – the same botanical ingredient used to make cocaine. The company said that similar extracts from coca leaf are used in other foods for flavouring worldwide; and, as the addictives are removed beforehand, the drink – available in seven European countries and the US - has no health... ...Read more »

In-store communication technology set for Australian launch
May 26, 2009

Media Cart, a computer screen fixed on the nose of supermarket trolley to provide targeted communication, will officially launch their first fleet of trolleys into Australia in October. The system offers shoppers access to a wide range of features including ads for store specials, a map showing product locations in the store and even nutritional information and recipes relating to products. The concept was developed by two Australians, David Brice and Geoff Brown, who were keen to create a more effective... ...Read more »

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