Danone sales rise in Q3 as company makes progress towards profitable growth

FRANCE – French multinational food company Danone has reported a 3.8% rise in third quarter sales mainly driven by organic contribution of hyperinflation in various geographies where it operates.   Danone further noted that its third-quarter sales amounting to  €6.158bn ($7.18bn) were also partly boosted by the combined effects of the integration of Harmless Harvest and Follow Your Heart and the disposal of Vega.   Growth was robust across all regions with Europe and North America posting a 3.9% growth on a like-for-like basis, driven by the sustained momentum in the Essential Dairy and Plant-Based division…

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France accelerates transition to circular economy with new ban on plastic packaging for fruit and vegetables

FRANCE – The ministry of environment in France has announced a ban on plastic packaging for an extensive list of fruits and vegetables from January 2022 in a bid to cut packaging consumption, particularly the use of single-use plastic.  The ban will affect around 30 fruits and vegetables which include courgettes, aubergines and cucumbers, as well as apples, oranges and pears.   The French ministry of environment estimates that 37% of fruits and vegetables are sold in packaging, mostly single-use plastics which end up in landfills.  With the new ban, the ministry expects to…

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Roquette opens new R&D center to accelerate development of new plant-based proteins

FRANCE – French-based food ingredients manufacturer Roquette has opened an R&D accelerator for plant proteins in Vic-sur-Aisne, France to “bring plant-based innovation up to a new level.”   Roquette is said to have invested about US$13 million in building the 21,000-square-foot facility which will mainly focus on developing new pea and wheat proteins.   The French leader in plant-based protein ingredients also intends to add “several new sources of protein” to its portfolio every five years based on work done at the R&D center.   The new facility opens as Roquette readies what it described…

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Post-Brexit border bottlenecks force British retailer Marks & Spencer to close 11 franchise stores in France

FRANCE – British multinational retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) will be closing its 11 franchise stores with partner SFH in France over the coming months due to cross-border bottlenecks affecting the supply of fresh and chilled products from the UK into Europe.  An M&S spokesperson revealed to journalists that the lengthy and complex export processes now in place following the UK’s exit from the EU have been significantly constraining the supply of fresh and chilled product from the UK into Europe.  This, according to the spokesperson, has had an impact product…

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Lactalis outpaces Nestlé as world’s largest dairy company

GLOBAL – French multinational dairy products corporation Lactalis has outpaced long-time industry giant Nestlé as the world’s biggest dairy player, according to new Rabobank analysis.   Lactalis’ growth has been attributed to the company’s recent attention to organic growth, as well as its dedicated global M&A strategy.  These two factors propelled the French dairy company from ninth place in 2000 to a dominating lead position in 2021.  Lactalis owns such brands as Président, Galbani, Parmalat, Karoun, Rondele, Black Diamond, Stonyfield Organic and Siggi’s.   Organic and Siggi’s were American yogurt companies acquired late 2017 and early 2018, respectively. …

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French retailer Carrefour to sell Taiwanese business valued at US$1.19B

CHINA – French retailer Carrefour is planning to launch a sale of its Taiwan business, which is valued at around 1.6 billion euros (US$1.9 billion) in the coming weeks, according to a Reuters report.  Sources privy to the matter told Reuters that the supermarket chain operator has hired Morgan Stanley to run the sale, which is expected to kick off after the summer.  Carrefour, which has so far not released an official statement on the matter is further said to have approached a number of potential buyers, including private equity firms, to gauge their interest.  The retailer which…

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Danone completes sales of Vega brand, to launch new milk alternative platform this year

FRANCE — French multinational dairy company Danone SA has completed the sale of North American plant-based foods brand Vega to WM Partners, an Aventura, Fla.-based private equity investment fund focused on the health and wellness industry.  Vega offers a range of health and wellness powders made with such ingredients as sprouted whole grain brown rice and pea protein, chia and hemp seeds, organic peanut butter, and such vegetables as spinach, broccoli, and kale.    Danone had acquired the Vega brand in 2017 through its US$12.5 billion purchase of WhiteWave Foods but was forced to sell it as…

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Danone bounces back to profitable growth in H1, announces board revamp, share buyback program

FRANCE – French multinational dairy company Danone has bounced back to growth in the first half of 2021, reporting a 1.6% rise in consolidated sales on a like-for-like basis.  Danone’s consolidated sales for the first half of the year amounted to €11.84 billion (US$14.07 billion), while operating income fell 4.2% LFL to €1.55 billion (US$1.84 billion).  In a statement, the company attributed this to a return to growth across all categories in the second quarter with net sales for the quarter increasing 6.6% on a like-for-like (LFL) basis.  The owner of…

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Ebro Foods to offload French dry pasta business in US$648m deal with CVC Capital Partners

FRANCE – Spanish pasta maker Ebro Foods is selling its Panzani dry pasta, couscous, sauces, and semolina business in France to CVC Capital Partners VIII as part of efforts to refocus its resources and energies to its fresh pasta and convenience businesses.   Ebro Foods has been offloading businesses not aligned with its focus on premium fresh pasta offerings with divestitures in Canada and the United States being some of the latest by the company.  In December 2020, Ebro’s Riviana Foods subsidiary sold its US branded pasta portfolio including San Giorgio and Creamette to TreeHouse Foods; while the company recently finalised its divestment of the Ronzoni…

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Royal Unibrew expands into energy drinks category with acquisition of French brand Crazy Tiger

FRANCE – Royal Unibrew, a Denmark-based beverage company, has expanded into the energy drinks category with the acquisition of MC Energy, the owner of the Crazy Tiger brand for approximately €82 million (US$97.13 million).  Crazy Tiger holds around 10% volume share in the fast-growing energy drinks market, is projected to continue growing at a double-digit growth rate in the coming years.  The acquisition announcement comes less than a week after the Danish beverage company had announced that it had entered exclusive negotiations to acquire MC Energy.   According to Royal Unibrew, the acquisition will see…

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