food & drink

Cadbury India, part of the $35bn Mondelez International group, is setting up its biggest plant in the Asia Pacific region. And it has chosen the south eastern state of Andhra Pradesh for it. That’s a huge chunk of investment – especially since the plant appears to be real this time. Read more

What’s the world’s most popular tipple?

It’s likely you won’t even have heard of it, let alone tried it. The world’s biggest-selling brands of spirits come from emerging markets – but they face increasing international competition, according to new research. Read more

Multilatinas are on the march again.

This time, it’s Nutresa, the biggest publicly traded food company in one of the region’s newest darlings, Colombia, which is snagging the 120-year old Tresmontes Lucchetti group in Chile. Read more

The Kremlin’s campaign against alcohol abuse is taking its toll on Russia’s vodka industry.

As soaring taxes on liquor have put the country’s favourite tipple beyond the reach of ordinary people, sales of legally produced vodka have plunged this year – and the Russian drinks market is awash with moonshine. Read more

It’s quicker to list the countries where McDonald’s isn’t present than the ones where it is. The US fast food franchise now operates in 118 countries, and just announced Vietnam will be added to the list from next year.

Given the history between the two countries, it is understandable why it has taken a while to happen. But the history of McDonald’s shows how the US brand has forged into the most hostile of waters. Read more

There is plenty of room for skepticism about whether Beijing’s latest austerity drive will have any lasting impact on the per capita consumption of Lamborghinis by government officials. But in one area it clearly has had a marked effect: luxury dining. Government-funded consumption of meals that cost as much as the monthly income of a lower tier city have certainly fallen. And that seems to be one reason why some upmarket eateries are increasingly shifting their focus to the middle market. Read more

Try the yoghurt

The mere mention of frozen yogurt evokes images of weight-conscious US college students, unable to resist the temptation of a sweet, queuing up at frozen yogurt shops for the so-called healthy alternative. Read more

Though Egypt’s economy has been badly damaged by continuing post-revolution turmoil, the food sector has bucked the trend and an unlikely beneficiary has been a company that established its reputation supplying gourmet products to upmarket hotels and wealthy consumers.

Wadi Food, an agricultural business that has carved out a niche in gourmet olive products, has managed to thrive despite the loss of the important tourism market.

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By Libby Costin of Tetra Pak

The International Monetary Fund has projected that global growth will reach 3.25 per cent in 2013 and rise further, to 4 per cent, in 2014 – with developing countries being the main driver.

One sector where new opportunities are being created by developing markets is the dairy industry. According to the latest figures from Tetra Pak, the world’s largest liquid dairy processing and packaging company, demand for liquid dairy products in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Africa is projected to grow at an estimated annual compound growth rate of 3.5 per cent in 2012-15, compared to 2.4 per cent for the world as a whole. Within that total, among the fastest growth rates is expected in flavoured milk. Read more

For years, investors and analysts have asked what Wal-Mart de México y Centroamérica, Mexico’s largest retailer, was doing with a chain of budget restaurants. They have even suggested to top executives that they should sell it.

Well, it looks like their wishes may soon come true.

Walmex, as the affiliate of Wal-Mart is better known, on Friday said it was putting its Vips restaurant chain up for sale.

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Just as picanha, the juicy Brazilian cut of steak, whets the appetite of denizens of Latin America’s biggest country, so do mergers and acquisitions for the Batista brothers, Josely, Wesley and José Batista Junior, who control the world’s biggest “protein” company.

After all, you don’t grow from being a butcher shop in the back of nowhere – that is, Anápolis, Goiás state (Brazil’s equivalent of the US Midwest) – slaughtering a couple of head of cattle a day to the world’s biggest beef exporter by shying away from deals. Read more

The average American in the US pork belt knows one thing about pigs in China: they float.

So it’s hardly surprising that some US legislators have raised concerns about the food safety implications of the proposed takeover of the pork powerhouse Smithfield Foods, by a Chinese purveyor of pig meat.

The issue, of course, is not just the flotation properties of Chinese porkers, over 10,000 of which were found dead in the Shanghai water supply earlier this year. It’s the health worries that they bring to the surface. Read more

Nothing stimulates chatter about the rise of China like a big US-targeted M&A deal, and last week we had one of the biggest to date. The deal struck by the Chinese meat processor Shuanghui to buy US pork producer Smithfield Foods for just shy of $5bn will – if completed – be the biggest ever Chinese takeover of a US company. But what’s the overall picture when it comes to China-US M&A? Chart of the week takes a look. Read more

Commodity markets may have lost their lustre as many investors have gone elsewhere. But there’s often a chance of a profit for those who know where to look.

Pu’er, a strong, earthy tea produced in China’s Yunnan province has seen its price rise by as much as 80 per cent over the past six months – even as prices for other Chinese teas have remained stable. Pu’er traders have seen it before – in a speculative bubble that burst six years ago. This time the run-up in prices has been more modest – so far. Read more

The China Food and Drug Administration has promised to get tough on health foods before, with little result. This time, it seems, it is serious.

The recently-reformed CFDA has promised a five-month campaign from May to September to crack down on illegal activity in the health food industry, part of a broader drive by authorities to stamp out corruption and unethical business practices. Read more