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  • Sysco acquires UK-based frozen food distributor Kent Frozen Foods, which joins Sysco's group of UK businesses, including Brakes, Fresh Direct and M&J Seafood

  • French dairy firm Lactalis pledges to remove 12m boxes of powdered baby milk from supermarkets in 83 countries in response to an outbreak of salmonella

  • In Canada, the association that represents the country's brewers, Beer Canada, launches an effort to try and reverse an inflation-linked increase in beer duty

  • Beverage companies Pernod Ricard and Diageo announce plans to eliminate the use of plastic straws and stirrers

  • Tate & Lyle appoints Nick Hampton as its new chief executive officer, succeeding Javed Ahmed

  • 727 food and drink acquisitions in 2017 - see new blog by Zenith Chairman Richard Hall on www.bevblog.net

  • In Croatia, Atlantic Grupa becomes the official distributor of Mars products in the country, in a deal that is expected to generate over HRK100m (US$16.3m) in additional revenue

  • Swiss chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut aims to capitalise on strong growth within China’s chocolate market, as it celebrates ten years since opening its chocolate factory in the country

  • Mondelēz International-owned Cadbury unveils a £12m (US$16.5m) marketing campaign as it hopes to reconnect with its customers

  • Britvic launches a new sustainability programme called A Healthier Everyday, aimed at promoting healthier nutrition choices, supporting the well-being of employees and encouraging the responsible use of resources in manufacturing

  • In Japan, Coca-Cola releases its first ever peach-flavoured Coke, available in 500ml and 280ml bottles

  • Nestlé sells its chocolate bar brand Violet Crumble to Australian confectionery producer Robern Menz for an undisclosed fee

  • GEA completes the acquisition of Vipoll, a Slovenian manufacturer of filling technologies for soft drinks, beer and fresh milk products

  • In India, Danone closes its dairy unit to expand its nutrition portfolio, which accounts for more than 90% of its business in the country

  • Four of France’s largest supermarket chains admit to stocking infant formula products despite concerns they were contaminated with salmonella

  • 7-Eleven launches an own-brand line of organic, cold-pressed juices as it responds to consumer trends for healthier beverages

  • Italian chocolate maker Ferrero is reportedly close to buying Nestlé’s US confectionery unit, in a deal which is expected to reach US$2.8bn

  • Bermuda launches an eight-week public consultation on the proposed introduction of a wide-ranging tax on sugar, candies and beverages with added sugar

  • In the UK, Diageo offers convenience retailers the opportunity to grow their alcohol sales with an online solution through its new partnership with delivery app UberEats

  • Dean Foods announces that Jody Macedonio will be appointed as the company’s new chief financial officer, effective from 26 February.

  • The Coca-Cola Company unveils a brand rejuvenation for Diet Coke, featuring updated packaging and the introduction of four new flavours

  • Emmi’s Spanish subsidiary, Kaiku Corporación Alimentaria, plans to increase its stake in Tunisian dairy company Vitalait in two equal instalments

  • US food tech company FoodMaven closes an US$8.6m series A financing round as it aims to capture and reclaim revenues from lost food

  • Mondelēz International reveals that its Indian unit will be vital to building its global online sales by 2020

  • Manufacturing consultancy Newton releases a report which claims food manufacturers and retailers in the UK grocery industry waste £2.7bn (US$3.6bn) annually on product innovations that consumers do not want, or prove too expensive to produce

  • Healthy snack brand Graze launches 15 new products this week as it aims to capitalise on consumers’ New Year healthy eating programmes

  • In Chile, Coca-Cola Chile and brand bottlers in the country buy Comercializadora Novaverde for US$78.9m

  • In the UK, Burts Chips acquires popcorn manufacturer Savoury & Sweet in a bid to bolster its position in healthy snacking

  • Constellation Brands posts third-quarter profits of US$491.1m, a rise of 21% on the same period last year

  • In the UK, Coca-Cola is to shrink its 1.75-litre bottles and raise prices in response to the upcoming UK sugar tax

  • Swiss flavours company Givaudan appoints Louie D’Amico as new president of its Flavour Divison

  • 58 acquisitions in December - see new blog by Zenith Chairman Richard Hall on www.bevblog.net

  • Molson Coors acquires UK cider producer Aspall for an undisclosed amount

  • In the US, Constellation Brands invests in a minority stake in Kentucky-based spirits producer Copper & Kings American Brandy Co

  • In the UK, poultry processor Moy Park invest £20m in a hatchery in Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire

  • In Australia, the governing Liberal party rules out introducing a new tax on sugar, saying it 'does not believe increasing the family grocery bill at the supermarket is the answer to this challenge'

  • Danish ingredients firm Chr. Hansen appoints Mauricio Graber - currently President of the Flavours Division at Swiss flavours company Givaudan - as its next CEO, effective 1 June

  • French dairy firm Lactalis agrees to acquire US maker of Icelandic-style skyr yogurts Siggi’s for an undisclosed sum

  • Mars reveals its intention to expand its newly acquired Asian convenience food brand Tasty Bite to new markets in Europe, Asia and Australia-New Zealand

  • According to reports, Nestlé Waters is considering building a US$50m bottling facility in Centre County, Pennsylvania

  • In the US, Hydrive Energy Water adds kiwi-melon and grape fusion variants to its range of zero-calorie 'energy waters'

  • Research reveals that non-dairy milks are now worth more than US$2.1bn, representing growth of over 60% in the last five years

  • Cargill posts Q2 2017/18 net sales of US$29.2bn - up 8% - but blames the rising cost of cattle for a 6% dip in profits

  • In Finland, dairy company Valio announces it will pay a premium of €0.01 per litre of milk to farmers who commit to various animal welfare standards

  • Israeli meat start-up SuperMeat secures US$3m in seed funding as it aims to bring its lab-grown 'clean chicken' to market

  • In the US, PepsiCo launches Dorito Blaze – a spicy new flavour from the Frito-Lay brand that represents 'a bold step into the hot and spicy snack market'

  • Elopak appoints Thomas Körmendi as CEO and President, effective from 1 April

  • Dramatic dairy - see new blog by Zenith Chairman Richard Hall on www.bevblog.net

  • In Italy, Nestlé agrees a sale of its Buitoni pasta production plant in Moretta, Piedmont to Pastificio Rana

  • The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) raises concern over Refresco's acquisition of Cott Corporation's soft drinks manufacturing business

  • US-based meat producer John Soules Foods invests US$110m to acquire and upgrade a new factory in Valley, Alabama

  • In Indonesia, Arla Foods enters a new joint venture with food company PT Indofood CBP concerning the sales, distribution and production of dairy products

  • In the UK, Italian sauce brand Sacla launches a new free-from mayonnaise as it aims to appeal to more vegan consumers

  • Ingredients firm DSM expands its position in gut health with the acquisition of Danish probiotics manufacturer BioCare Copenhagen

  • Conagra Brands acquires US-based sandwich manufacturer Sandwich Bros. of Wisconsin for an undisclosed sum

  • In the US, potato processor Lamb Weston invests US$250m to expand its French fry processing facility in Hermiston, Oregon

  • In the UK, retailer The Cooperative is to invest over £160m in 100 new stores across the country, as well as 'major makeovers' for a further 150 of its outlets

  • In Germany, UK-based packaging company DS Smith opens a new PackRight collaboration centre in Hövelhof, North Rhine-Westphalia - the company's sixth in the Germany-Switzerland region

  • Two most important words of decade - see new blog by Zenith Chairman Richard Hall on www.bevblog.net

  • Finnish company Raisio sells its confectionery business, which includes the Poppets and Fox’s brands, to Valeo Foods Group for €100m

  • Gruppo Campari acquires cognac producer Bisquit Dubouché et Cie from South Africa-based Distell Group in a deal worth €52.5m

  • Canadian natural food producer GreenSpace Brands purchases US-based Galaxy Nutritional Foods for US$17.8m

  • Cargill unveils a new high oleic hybrid canola oil which it claims reduces saturated fat content by up to 35% compared with previous generations of canola oil

  • In the US, ice cream brand My/Mo Mochi announces the launch of its vegan cashew frozen dessert as it responds to consumer demand for plant-based foods

  • General Mills posts a net sales increase of 2.1% in its second-quarter results thanks to the strong performance of its cereal and snack brands

  • Fosun International agrees a US$844m deal with Asahi Group Holdings, Japan's largest brewer, to acquire a 17.99% stake in Tsingtao

  • In the US, frozen food delivery service Daily Harvest secures US$43m in a series B funding round as it aims to accelerate product development

  • Arla Foods and German dairy company DMK sign a manufacturing agreement which will see DMK produce 35,000 tonnes of mozzarella a year for Arla Foods

  • In the US, artisan tea company Tea Forté launches a range of traditional chai teas as part of its Chakra Collection, available in five flavours

  • Themes for 2018: obesity - see new blog by Zenith Chairman Richard Hall on www.bevblog.net

  • In Vietnam, ThaiBev buys a majority stake in Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp (SABECO), Vietnam's largest brewer, for US$4.8bn

  • Nestlé sells its Sweet Leaf Tea and Tradewinds brands to private equity firm Fireman Capital Partners and Dunn’s River Brands

  • Seafood producer Cooke completes a US$500m takeover of protein product manufacturer Omega Protein

  • Cargill partners with Ecolab and Techstars to establish a new accelerator programme to support innovation in the food industry

  • In the US, Kellogg expands its Special K range with the launch of Special K Nourish berries and peaches with probiotics

  • Teleporting drinks - see new blog by Zenith Chairman Richard Hall on www.bevblog.net

  • Campbell Soup Company agrees a US$4.87bn deal to purchase US-based snack maker Snyder’s-Lance, the company’s largest deal to date

  • Hershey acquires Tyrrells and Skinny Pop owner Amplify Snack Brands in a deal worth around US$1.6bn

  • Unilever sells its spreads business, which includes brands such as Flora, Stork and Blue Band, to US private equity firm KKR for €6.83bn

  • In the US, Radeberger Gruppe introduces Schöfferhofer Pomegranate, which it claims it is the world’s first pomegranate-flavoured hefeweizen beer

  • In the US, meat alternative brand Beyond Meat releases a new range of fully plant-based, vegan-friendly sausages called Beyond Sausage

  • Jose Cuervo owner Becle buys Canadian spirits brand Pendleton Whisky for US$205m

  • In Iran, Unilever plans to set up a joint venture with local food group Golestan Co. to make and market food in the country

  • Swiss flavours company Givaudan announces the official opening of its new delivery center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  • Campari Canada invests CAD 5m (US$3.9m) in its Ontario distillery, which produces Forty Creek Canadian whiskey

  • Israeli startup Solo Gelato partners with chocolate-producer Barry Callebaut to create a Nespresso-style ice cream capsule system, which is able to make fresh ice cream instantly

  • In the US, discount retailer Target purchases online same-day delivery platform Shipt for US$550m, as it steps up its challenge to rivals Walmart and Amazon

  • In South Africa, Pioneer Foods buys UK Granola brand Lizi's for an undisclosed sum

  • In the UK, William Jackson Food Group invests £40m in a new bakery in Hull to support growing demand

  • In the UK, wine producer Chapel Down completes a £18.5m fundraising round as it hopes to boost production in response to rising demand

  • Australian dairy producer The A2 Milk Company announces that Jayne Hrdlicka will take over the role of chief executive officer and managing director from Geoffrey Babidge, who will retire in 2018

  • World top 10 beverage brands - see new blog by Zenith Chairman Richard Hall on www.bevblog.net

  • Campbell Soup Company acquires natural produce business Pacific Foods for US$700m

  • In Denmark, GEA and Danish ingredients firm Chr. Hansen enters into a collaboration with the inauguration of the world’s largest fermentation plant in Copenhagen

  • In Bolivia, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) announces an agreement to sell its oilseeds operations in Santa Cruz de la Sierra to Inversiones Piuranas for an undisclosed sum

  • Norwegian dairy TINE invests €77m in a plant in Ireland for the production of its Jarlsberg cheese

  • The Portuguese wine industry will invest €13m to promote the country’s wine abroad next year, with 24% to be focused on the US, a new study reveals

  • German privately held business group JAB Holdings buys Malaysian halal coffee chain OldTown Berhad in an offer that values the company at US$361m

  • The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has approved the merger between Cargill’s fresh chicken business and meat producer Faccenda Foods, which was initially announced in September

  • In China, Anheuser-Busch InBev opens a new brewery in Fujian province, which is capable of brewing 1.5 million tonnes of beer a year

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