French officials relent on Red Bull
FRANCE: French consumers may soon be able to get their wings, after a ban on Red Bull was lifted. Concerns about the levels of caffeine and another ingredient, taurine, meant the energy drink was banned in France up until April this year. Since April a reformulated Red Bull without taurine has been available, using another ingredient, arginine, instead. But now the company has said it expected the original recipe to be on shelves by July after French health officials relented. "We don't have a precise date for the arrival of Red Bull with taurine on the French market," said a spokeswoman. "However, we know we will stop importing Red Bull with the arginine formula at the latest by mid-July."

Guylian heads into Korean hands
SEOUL: Lotte Confectionery, South Korea's biggest snack maker, has said it will acquire the Belgian chocolate maker Guylian for €105m (£83m), marking its debut in the European premium chocolate market. Lotte has signed a contract under which it will purchase a 100% stake in the company, which competes with Ferrero Rocher of Italy and Lindt of Switzerland. "With the acquisition of Guylian, Lotte is aiming to make a successful entry into the premium gift chocolate market," Lotte said. As part of its global expansion strategy, Lotte is also seeking to start a holding company in China and build a plant in Russia, and expects overseas businesses to eventually represent about a fifth of its annual sales.

Unilever sells Ivory Coast oil arm
ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST: Unilever is to sell its edible oil business in Ivory Coast together will its interests in local oil palm plantations Palmci and PHCI. At the same time it plans to acquire the soap business of Cosmivoire, an Ivorian producer with a market presence throughout Francophone West Africa. Cosmivoire is a subsidiary of SIFCA, an Ivorian agro-industry company. Unilever said the acquisition would strengthen its consumer business position both in Ivory Coast and the region. The deal, which was still subject to approval by the regional authorities, was expected to be completed by the end of the year. Unilever said. The deal is in line with its ongoing strategy of increasing its focus on core business areas.

Whole Foods woos budget-conscious
AUSTIN, TEXAS: Whole Foods Market is trying to lure in customers on a budget with tips on how to save money. The premium retailer, often referred to as Whole Paycheck in the States, is trying to appeal to shoppers conscious of rising food prices, with weekly store tours hosted by so-called 'value gurus' employed by the supermarket to point out special offers and seasonal goods, which are often cheaper than those out of season. "We want customers to know there are many ways to continue enjoying quality foods on a budget, even during times of worldwide food inflation," said Bruce Silverman, Whole Foods Market 'value guru' and global VP of private label.