Chinese vice minister of commerce Jiang Zengwei met with a senior delegation from Spar International in Austria this week. Zengwei took four days out of his European tour to visit Spar International to gain a better understanding of the European grocery market, visiting Spar supermarkets and Interspar hypermarkets, as well as its largest distribution centre in Vienna. The visit followed the opening of the world's largest Spar store in China in April this year. Gordon Campbell, managing director of Spar International, said: "Spar has laid a solid foundation in China during the last year and, with partners in three provinces, we can anticipate a rapid expansion during the next 12 months."
Anheuser-Busch has strengthened its relationship with broadcaster NBC by securing an agreement to become the exclusive alcohol advertiser for the 2009 and 2012 Super Bowls. As part of the agreement, the brewer will also be the exclusive alcohol advertiser in broadcasts of the Ryder Cup and the President's Cup for 2007-2011, and will have a significant presence in all NFL broadcasts through to 2012.
Chinese food wholesaler Wing Yip has expanded into mainland Europe by supplying its cooking sauces range to Belgium. The Grocer Big 30 wholesaler has secured a listing for eight of its sauces in 128 Delhaize Group stores in the retailer's Foods of the World aisle.
Sara Lee Corporation will sell its Netherlands-based European meats business to Smithfield Foods for $614m (£337m). Sara Lee said that the deal was expected to be completed by September this year and would be subject to European regulatory approval. Brenda Barnes, chairman and chief executive of Sara Lee Corporation, said: "The sale of the European meats business supports our more focused model, emphasising large, branded positions that provide a platform for strategic growth."
Arla Foods has acquired Danish dairy company Tholstrup Cheese, producer of cream and mould cheese. Its products are primarily sold in Germany, the Nordic countries and North America, with 82% of its products exported. Peder Tuborgh, CEO of Arla, said: "Tholstrup is a perfect match for our international strategy for speciality cheese. We've been lacking a broad, international range and Tholstrup has strong brands as well as high quality."
International spirits group Castle Brands' full-year gross profit to 31 March rose 94% to $7.5m (£4.13m) on net sales up 68% at $21.1m (£11.61m). The group said that nine-litre case sales had increased 57% to 267,052 during the period. Mark Andrews, chairman and CEO of Castle Brands, said: "We are very proud of what we are able to achieve in the 2006 fiscal year. Under tough market conditions we met all our annual objectives, growing our brands and supporting them with outstanding sales personnel and an increased marketing effort."