Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Buffett deal for Heinz a wake-up call to food industry

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU
 
No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-23-13 01:24 AM
Original message
Buffett deal for Heinz a wake-up call to food industry
Buffett deal for Heinz a wake-up call to food industry
By Martinne Geller

BOCA RATON, Florida | Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:26pm EST

(Reuters) - The $23 billion buyout of H.J. Heinz (HNZ.N) by Warren Buffett and private equity put food executives on notice: start showing better results or risk being left behind.

The deal, and the ripples it creates in the sector, was the buzz of the consumer industry's annual get-together in Florida this week, sponsored by the Consumer Analyst Group of New York.

In private discussions overlooking a yacht-filled marina or in the hallway between the Nespresso table and the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, the consensus among executives, analysts and investors was clear: gear up for a new era of belt-tightening, if not more acquisitions and divestitures, in the sector.

"This is the first large deal in years by a financial buyer that calls out the lackluster fundamentals in the U.S. packaged food space," said Robert Dickerson, an analyst with boutique firm Consumer Edge Research.

Industry veterans are already beset by anemic sales growth and margin pressure, thanks to weak economies in Europe and the United States, changing consumer demographics, volatile commodity costs and competition from lower-cost rivals.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/23/us-usa-corpor...


Sounds as though a lot of good for consumers should come of this, right? Lower prices and better products = value= more sales=better results, right?

Then, why did my gut sink the second I read the first paragraph?

Because "Build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door" is so Victorian, not the way to go these days. Cutting production costs, selling crap, but increasing advertising is the way.

And $20 billion is very tempting. Tempting enough for a lot of food companies to show a lot of bare shoulder to folks like Buffett. And baring shoulder to investors leads to cries of "I must have you. Be mine!' And that leads to mergers and acquistions. And mergers and acquistions lead to breeding. Breeding onopolies, that is. And monopolies lead to high prices.

And if you think monopolies make your electric, gas and cable bills too high, wait till you see how your food bills go up.

"Maybe not today, not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life."

Refresh | +2 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-23-13 06:13 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm with you.
Nothing good will come of it. It won't cut the retail price but the quality will go down. We are in for a wake up call in regard to food.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-23-13 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. The mega companies have not only been buying up food, they've been buying up farm land all over the
world.

Death panels.

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-23-13 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. You nailed it.
These are the real death panels.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-13 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Yep. And wait until they cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Edited on Sun Feb-24-13 11:06 AM by No Elephants
I used to wonder why the 1% did not worry more about the environment. After all, they have kids and grandkids and great grandkids, too.

However, the more I learn the more I think that, in the words of Ebenezeer Scrooge, the game plan has all along also been to "decrease the surplus population." Not only will it save money, but it will be much better for the environment. Win win.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Oct 30th 2014, 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC