UK Food Producers - our bread and butter ?

Saturday, Sep 26 2009 by

Whether you breakfast on toast and marmalade, cereal or bacon and eggs it is long odds on that you are sampling some of the products on offer from one of the companies highlighted below. It has always been the case that the majority of food that we eat in the UK is home grown and produced, although the figure has fallen in recent years it is still just over 60%. [1]

With the political risks abounding in the world and the effects of climate change security of the nation’s food supplies is of course of crucial importance. A subject outside the scope of  this article but suffice to add that with the government committed to increasing home produced food to 70% of consumption. Given the above target, there is a huge task ahead not only for government to create the right conditions for this to happen and to see it through, but certainly on the nations' farmers, growers and food processors.  Four of the probable beneficiaries of the market opportunities are analysed below.

Premier Foods Plc (PFD)

This group started life in 1999 as the private equity acquisition vehicle to take over the food brands  Smedleys and Hartleys from Hillsdown Holdings. The build up picked up with the acquisition in 2002 of Nestles ambient food businesses; Crosse & Blackwell, Sarsons, Branston and Sun Pat. [2]

The company floated on the London Stock Exchange in July 2004. The growth to its present market capitalisation of £1bn was rounded out by buying Campbells (incl. Oxo, Batchelors, Homepride and Fray Bentos) in 2006 and then in March 2007 the chunky Rank Hovis McDougall which added Hovis, Sharwoods and Mr Kipling brands. 

In the major markets Premier Foods Plc is in direct competition to dominate with Associated British Foods (see below)  but there is certainly room for both. An instance of the edge involved is £PFD’s proud boast that they make 2m loaves of bread per day and these are bought by 78% of British households. However £PFD’s management had to make this work having recently spent £30m on the Hovis brand relaunch.

Although larger than anything else this brand development expenditure is fairly typical of the management strategy at Premier Foods Plc,  investing for the longer term, with the consequent effect on current profits. Operating losses were reported for…

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Dairy Crest Group Limited, formerly Dairy Crest Group plc, is a United Kingdom-based dairy company. The Company processes and markets branded dairy products. The Company's segments include Cheese & Functional Ingredients and Butters, Spreads & Oils. It produces and markets Cathedral City, a cheese brand, and the Davidstow cheddar brand. The Company manufactures butters, spreads & oils under the Clover, Country Life, Utterly Butterly, Vitalite and Willow brands. It also produces Frylight, a one-calorie cooking spray, at its facility in Erith, Kent. Under butters, spreads & oils, the Company offers packet butter and spreadable, and dairy spreads. Its functional ingredients business supplies demineralized whey and Galacto-oligosaccharide (GOS) to the infant formula market. The Company's subsidiaries include Dairy Crest UK Limited, Dairy Crest France Holdings 1 Limited, Dairy Crest (Jersey) Limited, Magnuss & Usher Limited and Dairy Crest (Services) Limited. more »

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Unilever PLC is a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company. The Company's segments include Personal Care, which primarily includes sales of skin care and hair care products, deodorants and oral care products; Foods, which primarily includes sales of soups, bouillons, sauces, snacks, mayonnaise, salad dressings and margarines; Home Care, which primarily includes sales of home care products, such as powders, liquids and capsules, soap bars and a range of cleaning products, and Refreshment, which primarily includes sales of ice cream and tea-based beverages. The Company's geographical segments include Asia/AMET/RUB, The Americas and Europe. Its brands include Axe, Dirt is Good (Omo), Dove, Hellmann's, Knorr, Lipton, Lux, Magnum, Rexona, Sunsilk and Surf. The Company operates in more than 100 countries, selling its products in more than 190 countries. The Company operates approximately 310 factories in over 70 countries. more »

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Tate & Lyle PLC is a provider of ingredients and solutions to the food, beverage and other industries. The Company's segments include Speciality Food Ingredients and Bulk Ingredients. The Speciality Food Ingredients segment's product categories include dairy, beverage, bakery and convenience. The Bulk Ingredients segment's product lines include bulk sweeteners for food and beverage customers, and industrial starches for paper and construction industries. The Company's portfolio of products includes DOLCIA PRIMA Allulose, PUREFRUIT Monk Fruit Extract, TASTEVA Stevia Sweetener, CLARIA Functional Clean-Label Starches, PROMITOR Soluble Fibre, PromOat Beta Glucan and SODA-LO Salt Microspheres. The Company operates primarily in two industries: corn wet milling and sweeteners. The Company operates a network of corn elevator facilities across the United States Midwest. more »

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1 Comment on this Article show/hide all

Fangorn 5th Oct '10 1 of 1

Northern Foods to restructure as sales rise

NFDS saw sales growth accelerate in its second-quarter and said it was changing the structure of its business to save money as it braces for a possible double-dip recession.

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About cuckfield1704


Active investor and has day to day involvement in several projects incl. charities and assiting a business consultancy. In addition to working experience in engineering, defence and food manufacturing sectors I live in Glasgow so particular interest and knowledge of Scottish plc's. more »

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