News: US fresh and frozen fruits firm Dole Food is in discussions to sell its two units to Japan-based trading conglomerate Itochu. Dole is in 'advanced negotiations' with Itochu to sell its packaged food and Asian fresh businesses. To enhance shareholder value, Dole carried out a strategic review of its operations in May 2012. However, Dole said that no definitive agreements have been signed and that it was talking to several other parties over a potential sale of its assets.
BMI View: In the five years to 2016, we expect US per capita food consumption to rise by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.1%, well down on the growth registered between 2002 and 2007. A rise in the size of the population is expected to provide a boost to total food consumption, which is expected to rise by a local currency CAGR of 3.0%. However, the lacklustre growth in per capita spending reflects our overall view of a deflationary spending environment and the continued prevalence of price sensitivity.