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World View: this week’s global food news

By Mike Stones , 02-Mar-2012

China’s booming food and drink sector, the prospects for frozen bakery in Eastern Europe and the vast potential of the US dairy products sector feature in this first global news roundup selected from FoodManufacture.co.uk’s sister online publications around the world.

Top food news stories from around the globe are supplied by FoodManufacture.co.uk's sister publications

Top food news stories from around the globe are supplied by FoodManufacture.co.uk's sister publications

Foreign firms planning to invest in China’s booming food and beverage sector must take into account her recent troubled food and drink history, according to new book The End of Cheap China , reported FoodNavigator-asia.com.

The book’s author Shaun Rein, founder of China Market Research (CMR), shares his insights into the workings of the complex and sensitive Chinese marketplace.

Rein highlighted the key actions foreign food and drink firms need to take in order to survive and thrive in the vast Chinese market.“The government is not one single entity, there are many voices and it is important to understand regional differences,” Rein said.

But the book has proved less than universally popular – at least with the Chinese authorities who have banned it. To read the full story click here .

Frozen bakery

Moving from China toEastern Europe, BakeryandSnacks.com reported that frozen bakery retail value in Eastern Europe is forecast to rise about 28% to €80.2M over the next four years, according to data from Euromonitor.

The firm’s country research manager Rusnė Naujokaitytė told BakeryAndSnacks.com:“Research suggests that it is worth investing in frozen bakery in Eastern Europe, but the companies should first of all analyse different factors. Countries' economic development is the most important factor for frozen bakery.”

She identified the best sales prospects as being in the larger developed countries, such asPolandandCroatia, where consumers were aware of frozen bakery and sales were already higher than neighbouring states.

“The most favourable markets to invest for frozen bakery products are:Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania, Poland and Czech Republic,” she said.

To read the full story, click here .

InGermany,the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has called for a reduction in the salt content in processed foods in order to reduce the risk of hypertension, reported FoodNavigator.com.

The recommendation follows a recent assessment which found that most of the German population consumes too much salt.

The BfR said in a statement that high salt consumption could drive up blood pressure and support the development of cardiovascular diseases.

“In many people, reducing salt intake can lower blood pressure,” said the agency. “However, what is important is not so much how often we use the salt shaker, but rather the consumption of bread, dairy products (eg cheese), meat products and sausages.”

To read the full report, click here .

Across the Atlantic, FoodNavigator-usa.com reported that theUSmarket for dairy“remains largely untapped”, according to PepsiCo. The food drinks giant is investing $206M into a new US facility to make yogurts and other dairy products as part of a joint venture with Müller.

The factory – in Batavia, New York – will become operational next year and create 186 jobs.

But products made at other Müller factories will reach US supermarket shelves this year, a spokeswoman told FoodNavigator-USA

“Yogurts will be introduced prior to the Batavia facility being operational. Exact timing is not being released for competitive reasons,”she said.

To read the full story, click here .

Global snacks

FoodNavigator-usa.com also reported PepsiCo's intention to consolidate its position at the top of the global snacks market by investing in the rapidly growing premium and value snack segments.

PepsiCo ceo John Compton told a conference in New York:“We will be addressing the two segments within salty snacks and macro snacks that gave us some concern and that is the premium segment and the value segment.”

To read this story, click here.

Finally, in Australia, after accusations of supplier bullying, supermarket giant Woolworths has launched a new hotline where clients can complaints, reported FoodNavigator-asia.com.

The externally hosted hotline, Speak Up, is meant for trade partners of any Woolies division to report complains after standard reporting procedures have failed.

Meanwhile, the Australian trade watchdog said that it would offer protection for reporting parties after reports that food and grocery suppliers may be too scared to report abuse of power tactics by supermarkets.

Rod Sims, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman, told The Australian that the regulator was unable to take action against big retailers because suppliers were too scared to give evidence.

To read more, click here .

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