Food Business News - April 19, 2016 - (Page 10)

Unilever sees good traction for 'authentic, fresh' products Continued from Page 1 packs," Andrew Stephen, head of investor relations at Unilever, said during an April 14 conference call with analysts. "We're also seeing good traction across the foods portfolio for products that meet the growing demand for authentic, fresh, natural and sustainably-sourced products. Knorr Mealmakers, with 100% natural ingredients, are growing well in Germany. And Hellmann's is gaining share with the new 'Real' campaign and launches in the U.S. of an organic range and a new vegan alternative under the banner of Carefully Crafted. "In the U.K. we're repositioning Flora spreads as Powered by Plants, emphasizing that they are made from natural plant oils and not from animal-sourced fats. We've also introduced a dairyfree variant for vegan and lactose-intolerant consumers. However, the spreads market continued to decline in both Europe and North America, dragging on the overall foods performance." Revenues in the first quarter of fiscal 2016 for Unilever's foods business totaled €3.1 billion ($3.5 billion). Turning to the company's refreshment business, revenues in the quarter totaled €2.2 billion ($2.5 billion). Unilever said underlying sales grew 3.8% during the quarter, split between volume and price. The company's strategy has been to improve margins and cash flows in ice cream and to grow faster in tea by repositioning the business to on-trend segments. "In ice cream, Ben & Jerry's shows the power of combining a purpose-led brand with innovations, like the recent launches of 'Wich sandwiches for snacking and a non-dairy ice cream made from almond milk," Mr. Stephen said. "Magnum's new 'Release the Beast' campaign is giving strong support to the Magnum Double range. And Breyers Gelato and Carte D'Or premium desserts are benefiting from new recipes like tarte au citron meringue and Rainforest Alliance vanilla. "In tea, growth is driven by specialty teas, like T2, and by green teas, which have helped to restore our overall leadership position in India. The traditional black tea market remains highly competitive, with deep promotional discounting, particularly in the U.K. "On the other hand, we're seeing double-digit growth in ready-to-drink tea, both with Lipton and the Pure Leaf brand. Pure Leaf is another good example of a brand appealing to the trend for naturalness and is up by more than 30%." Overall, total revenues at Unilever in the first quarter of 2016 totaled €12.5 billion, with underlying sales growth of 4.7%. "The first quarter demonstrates a strong volume-driven performance, following on from a good delivery in 2015," said Paul Polman, chief executive officer. "We are maintaining momentum despite a tougher external environment, with all four categories gaining market share. This broad-based growth, including over 8% in emerging markets, shows the validity of our strategy, portfolio management and a step-up in innovation." FBN Monogram Foods acquires appetizer company MEMPHIS, TENN. - Monogram Foods Solutions, L.L.C., a manufacturer of valueadded meats, snacks and appetizers, has acquired Wilmington, Mass.-based Progressive Gourmet, a producer of specialty small bites, baked foods, hors d'oeuvres and entrees. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. "We will merge our Progressive Gourmet purchase with Monogram's other frozen appetizer businesses based in Plover, Wis., creating a comprehensively staffed division 10 FOODBUSINESS NEWS ® of 800 talented team members," said Karl Schledwitz, chairman and chief executive officer of Monogram. "With our strong and talented management support team, we will continue to optimize our customer-centric business with food processing best practices while implementing advanced capabilities to lead in the delivery of delicious products." Progressive Gourmet operates a 63,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Wilmington. The company produces appetizers under the Goodwives, Original Rangoon Co. and The Caterer's Choice brands. "We are already under way expanding the U.S.D.A., F.D.A. and B.R.C. certified facilities in Wilmington, Mass., and we are immediately looking to add 100 to 150 team members," said Wes Jackson, president of Monogram. "Additional facility expansions are planned throughout the rest of 2016 in order to meet the demand of a robust list of customers such as US Foods, Marriott, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Wegman's, Hannaford and Kroger for our Monogram Gourmet Foods division." The acquisition raises Monogram Foods' processing capacity to eight manufacturing plants in seven states. Monogram ranked No. 66 in Meat+Poultry's Top 100 ranking of meat and poultry processors, reporting annual sales of $400 million and employing 2,500. The acquisition reportedly will increase Monogram's revenues to more than $600 million in 2016. FBN April 19, 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Business News - April 19, 2016

Food Business News - April 19, 2016
Fresh, authentic a focus for Unilever
Clash over child nutrition programs may lie ahead
Dairy Business News - Dairy flavors grow ever more creative
Table of Contents
Web Contents
Editorial - Growth of organic category suggests still greater attention ahead
Monogram Foods acquires appetizer company
‘Premiumization’ opportunities abound
Preferred Popcorn picks up organic popcorn maker
Wal-Mart to transition to cage-free eggs by 2025
AdvancePierre Foods files for i.p.o.
Dr Pepper Snapple increases sports nutrition stake
Hormel Foods launches clean label effort
Identifying the X-factor in food startups
Food service operators betting big on buns
ConAgra Foods earnings reflect focus on execution
Mondelez to partner with e-commerce firm Alibaba
Modern Table planting the seeds of a trend
Market Insight - Dairy still under pressure
Company Profile - Flowers focused on improved margins
Flavor Trends - The next level for dressings, sauces and marinades
Ingredient Innovations - Fiber's global reach
Ingredient suppliers emphasize specialized fibers
Algae venture to invest in or buy food companies
New Food Products
Ingredient Market Trends - Large supplies will weigh on grain and oilseeds prices into next year
Ingredient Markets
Supplier Innovations and News
Ad Index
Food Business in the News

Food Business News - April 19, 2016