Conagra completes acquisition of Pinnacle Foods for $10.9bn

US-based packaged foods company Conagra Brands completed the acquisition of Pinnacle Foods for $10.9bn.

The deal was concluded after fulfilling terms and conditions, as well as obtaining approval from Pinnacle Foods’ shareholders.

Conagra Brands president and CEO Sean Connolly said: “Expanding Conagra Brands’ portfolio through the acquisition of Pinnacle Foods creates a tremendous opportunity to drive profitable growth and shareholder value by further leveraging our proven approach to innovation, brand-building, operational excellence and deep customer relationships.

Nestlé USA partners with three new start-up firms

Nestlé USA partnered with three start-ups as part of the Terra Food and Agriculture Accelerator programme, which was founded by RocketSpace and Rabobank.

The programme is designed to bring together innovators from large corporations and emerging companies.

The three companies Jackson’s Honest, Miyoko’s and Here have been focusing on creating plant-based nutrition, simple labels and fresh ingredients foods.

Nutrition company Glanbia to acquire SlimFast for $350m

Nutrition company Glanbia signed a deal to buy weight management drinks manufacturer SlimFast for $350m.

Glanbia has signed an agreement with KSF Holdings and HNS Intermediate, which collectively own SlimFast and other brands.

SlimFast offers weight management products, which are distributed to the food, drug, mass and club (FDMC) channel in the US and UK markets.

IFF completes Frutarom acquisition for $7.1bn

US-based International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) completed its acquisition of Israeli firm Frutarom in a $7.1bn deal.

The agreement secured final antitrust clearance last month, having been originally signed in May.

The acquisition will provide opportunities to expand into new and fast-growing categories such as savoury solutions, natural colours, natural food protection and healthy ingredients.

European Commission provides €172m to promote EU agri-food products

The European Commission agreed to provide €172.5m in funding to promote EU agri-food products in European and global markets.

Of the total funding, €97m has been set aside for simple promotion programmes submitted by one or more proposing organisations from the same Member State.

The remaining €75.5m will fund multi programmes, submitted by a minimum of two proposing organisations from at least two Member States or one or more European organisations.

Woolworths launches fund for Australian organic farmers

Woolworths Group launched an A$30m ($21.3m) Woolworths Organic Growth Fund to help Australian farmers meet the growing customer demand for organic fruit and vegetables.

The fund was established by the company in partnership with Australia’s customer-owned Heritage Bank.

Woolworths Supermarkets managing director Claire Peters said: “There’s no doubt more Australian customers are choosing to buy organic and are seeking fruit and vegetables that are the product of the best of what Australia’s natural farming resources have to offer.

Carrefour joins IBM Food Trust blockchain network

French multinational retailer Carrefour made efforts to boost traceability and efficiency of its operations through joining IBM’s blockchain-based Cloud network, IBM Food Trust.

With 12,000 stores in 22 countries, the retailer plans to use this food chain network to strengthen the trust that customers have in Carrefour-branded products. By 2022, Carrefour intends to expand the solution to all its brands worldwide.

Carrefour general secretary Laurent Vallée said: “Being a founding member of the IBM Food Trust platform is a great opportunity for Carrefour to accelerate and widen the integration of blockchain technology to our products in order to provide our clients with safe and undoubted traceability.

Arla Foods partners with farmers to avoid no-deal Brexit

Global dairy company Arla Foods joined forces with farmer organisations in the UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Republic of Ireland, France and Germany to urge the UK government and the European Union (EU) to take necessary action for preventing a no-deal Brexit.

Arla noted that it has been advocating against a hard Brexit by putting forward its solution, which promotes free trade and high animal and food safety standards.

Arla Europe executive vice-president Peter Giørtz-Carlsen said: “It is important that the future relationship between the UK and EU remains open and farmers on both sides of the channel have a level playing field.”

Hillhouse and VMG acquire baby food manufacturer Little Freddie

Hillhouse Capital and VMG Partners acquired European organic baby food manufacturer Little Freddie.

The move is part of the companies’ strategic partnership aimed at co-investing in innovative consumer brands and expanding their reach worldwide. Hillhouse and VMG have set aside nearly $100m for investing in high-potential brands in the sector.

Little Freddie was established in 2014 and offers various food products, including pouches, cereals and snacks for children.

Hershey completes acquisition of Pirate Brands for $420m

US-based food snacks manufacturer The Hershey Company purchased Pirate Brands from B&G Foods for $420m.

Hershey acquired various Pirate brands including Pirate’s Booty, Smart Puffs and Original Tings.

The Hershey Company chief growth officer Mary Beth West said: “We are thrilled to have the fast-growing Pirate’s Booty brand as part of the Hershey product portfolio.

“More and more consumers are seeking great-tasting snacks with clean labels and no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives, and Pirate’s Booty fits this need. We are looking forward to growing the full Pirate Brands portfolio in the years to come.”