Two of Royal Ahold's major investors are lobbying the company to sell its Giant Food portfolio and the rest of its U.S. business, including Tops markets and a commercial food service division. Ahold, meanwhile, is overhauling its Stop & Shop and Giant stores stateside and introduced a new Giant prototype.
General Mills-owned Progresso launched a line of low-sodium soups in four flavors, which the company claims has 50% less sodium than its original soups. Campbell also recently cut the salt content in its soups by using sea salt in manufacturing.
Royal Ahold has resuscitated its bottom line by cutting costs and reorganizing, but it still faces tough challenges from big-box discounters and upscale grocers, according to BusinessWeek. Ahold's Chief Executive Officer Anders Moberg said the company will aim for 5% sales growth and a 5% operating margin at Ahold's retail outlets in 2006.