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European Business News – Week ending March 25, 2011

 Breaking News
  • Dairy Crest to Invest £85 Million to Expand Cheese Business Dairy Crest, the leading British-owned dairy company, is investing £85 million in growing the capacity of its cheese business, £75 million of which will be invested at its Davidstow creamery in Cornwall. The investment will allow further growth of the company’s market-leading cheese brands Cathedral City and Davidstow, enhance whey production capacity and support farmers [...]...
  • Record Annual Sales and Capital Investment at Cranswick Driven by robust growth across all product categories – Fresh Pork, Convenience, Gourmet Products and Poultry – as well as a 30.2% increases in exports, Cranswick, the UK food group, has increased total revenue by 18% to a record £1.464.5 billion for the year ended 31 March 2018. Like-for-like revenue increased 13% over the prior [...]...
  • Challenging First Half For Greencore Group Greencore Group, a leading manufacturer of convenience food in the UK and US, has reported revenue of £1.239 billion for the 26 weeks ended 30 March 2018, up by 22.6% versus first half of 2017. Adjusted operating profit of £59.7 million was 8.0% higher than the corresponding period in 2017, primarily driven by the acquisition [...]...
  • Lurpak Combines Taste and Convenience For Launch of New Softest Arla Foods UK is to expand its spreadable product portfolio with the launch of Lurpak Softest, a new soft blend butter that is spreadable straight from the fridge. The UK’s number one butter brand has combined the great taste that Lurpak is renowned for with the softest, most spreadable butter ever*. With spreadability the most important [...]...
  • Scientific Study Shows Improved Fat Oxidation and Better Performance in Athletes When Using BENEO’s Palatinose™ A scientific study by Professor Daniel König[i] and his team at the Department of Sports and Sport Sciences of the University of Freiburg, Germany, has shown that with a pre-load of Palatinose™ endurance athletes “maintained a more stable blood glucose profile and higher fat oxidation, which resulted in improved cycling performance compared with maltodextrin.” The study used a [...]...

European Business News – Week ending March 25, 2011

March 27
10:52 2011

An outstanding feature of the past week has been the number of joint ventures formed, especially within the dairy sector. By sharing the cost and risk of an enterprise, joint ventures are becoming a popular vehicle for expansion in the current economic climate where investment capital is still limited. Joint ventures have long been used by spirits groups and major brewers to expand brand distribution internationally. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have also employed a joint venture approach to develop their domestic and overseas bottling networks.

Two dairy joint ventures have materialised during the last seven days.

Two dairy joint ventures have materialised during the last seven days. Scandinavian and international dairy co-operative Arla Foods has allied with DMK, its German counterpart, to established 50/50 joint venture business, ArNoCo, which will invest Eur44 million to process whey for the global food manufacturing industry. DMK is being created through the merger of Nordmilch and Humana and will become Germany’s biggest dairy company and the sixth largest in Europe.

General Mills Enters Another Joint Venture

General Mills is set to pay Eur800 million to acquire PAI Partners’ 50% share of its Yoplait international yoghurt joint venture with Sodiaal.

US-based food group General Mills is set to pay Eur800 million to acquire PAI Partners’ 50% share of its Yoplait international yoghurt joint venture with Sodiaal, the French dairy group. The private equity company put its Yoplait stake up for sale last year. General Mills already operates the Yoplait franchise in the US.

Of course, General Mills already participates in two other major international joint ventures – Cereal Partners Worldwide and Haagen-Dazs Japan – which generated sales of $1.2 billion for the US group last year.

Established in 1991, Cereal Partners is a 50/50 partnership with Nestle and is the second largest breakfast cereals manufacturer in the world, selling products in more than 130 countries. General Mills is the second largest cereals manufacturer in North America. In February, Cereal Partners opened a new $50 million Innovation Centre in Switzerland. Haagen-Dazs Japan operates General Mills’ ice cream business in Japan and involves partnerships with Suntory and Takanashi Dairy both domestically and internationally.

Political Furore

Another major international dairy deal just completed involved French privately owned dairy company Lactalis increasing its shareholding in Parmalat, the leading dairy group in Italy, to 29% following the Eur744 million acquisition of a 15.3% stake. Lactalis is now the largest shareholder in Parmalat. The move has met with strong opposition from the Italian Government, which regards Parmalat as a strategic national asset and does not want to see it fall under foreign control. This is similar to the political furore created in France over PepsiCo’s reported interest in acquiring Danone in 2005.

PepsiCo is a partner in one of the two other joint ventures established in the past week. The soft drinks and snacks group is extending its existing North American alliance with Strauss Group, Israel’s second-largest food and beverage company. The two companies will now produce and sell fresh dips and spreads in key markets outside of North America, building on the success of the Sabra brand.

 

Global stevia sales will reach 11,000 tonnes by 2014, equivalent to $825 million by value.

Sweet Deal

The fourth 50/50 joint venture deal is between Nordzucker, Europe´s second biggest sugar producer, and PureCircle of Malaysia, a global leader in the production of high purity stevia products. They have formed NP Sweet for the development and marketing of products that combine the natural benefits of both sugar and stevia to meet the fast growing demand for reduced calorie naturally sweet applications from food and beverage manufacturers across Northern and Eastern Europe.

The deal follows a similar alliance earlier this year between US-based Cargill and Silver Spoon, part of Associated British Foods, which formed an exclusive partnership for the UK distribution and marketing of the Truvia brand of tabletop sweeteners, made with rebiana that originates from the stevia leaf.

A new study by food and drink consultancy Zenith International estimates that worldwide sales of stevia reached 3,500 tonnes in 2010, a 27% increase on 2009, taking its overall market value to $285 million. With approval expected in Europe later in 2011, Zenith forecasts that the global stevia sales will reach 11,000 tonnes by 2014, equivalent to $825 million by value.

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