First it was the egg, now it’s the chicken. A supplier for some of Europe’s biggest grocers is fending off a major food safety scandal. Meanwhile, Tesco is hoping for a symbolic return to its former glory as it restores a dividend and Walmart is eyeing the millennial market with its latest play. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Monday, 02 October 2017





Hello ,

First it was the egg, now it’s the chicken. A supplier for some of Europe’s biggest grocers is fending off a major food safety scandal. Meanwhile, Tesco is hoping for a symbolic return to its former glory as it restores a dividend and Walmart is eyeing the millennial market with its latest play. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.

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Europe


Chicken nightmare ▪ The UK’s top supplier of chicken is under fire for its food safety practices. There are concerns that consumers have bought meat past its use-by date. The investigation of 2 Sisters also found Tesco repackaged meat returned by Lidl as “reared exclusively” for the chain. A number of major supermarkets have stopped buying from the supplier and the company has suspended operations.



Comeback king ▪ British grocer Tesco is hoping to shake off the ‘colossal fraud’ that blasted its finances open in 2014 by restoring its dividend. This will be confirmed at the company’s half-year results, due mid-week. The ongoing trial of its three former executives continues to make headlines – the latest being that employees were bullied into misleading the market.



Cough up ▪ Pressure continues to mount on mostly US tech giants to pay their fair share of taxes in the EU with leaders across the continent upping the ante. Not all are singing from the same songbook though, with a number of smaller members nervous about how it will impact their competitiveness.



Fruitful partnerships ▪ Supermarket chain Albert Heijn is betting on bicycles to speed up its delivery service, teaming up with start-up company Superbuddy. Finnish retailer K Group is partnering with Chinese retail behemoth Alibaba, as it looks to push more Finnish food brands into the growing Asian market.




USA & Canada


Food fight ▪ Walmart is going after millennials, launching a higher-end grocery line on its Jet.com site. The big-box retailer is hoping its new private brand will help it compete with arch rival Amazon and the upmarket arsenal it has in Whole Foods Market.



Blame game ▪ Drugstore chain Rite Aid blames drama surrounding its failed bid to be bought whole by Walgreens Boots Alliance for disappointing quarterly results. The company reported declining sales in both its pharmacy business and general merchandise, with its stocks taking a beating.



Canadian deals ▪ Supermarket chain Loblaw is toying with the idea of home delivery, talking to a number of e-commerce leaders including Instacart. Sears Canada has asked for an extension of its creditor protection so it can finish negotiating a deal which could see it stay operating in the country.




Asia


European ambitions ▪ E-commerce heavyweight Alibaba is reportedly dropping about US$ 20 million into database company MariaDB, its first major investment in the Western start-up space. The online retail giant is also looking to expand its reach in Europe, scouting for locations for its second data centre there.



Backing entertainment ▪ Japanese retailer Aeon has opened a mega entertainment mall in Indonesia, as it looks to leave the traditional shopping model behind. More than half the space is dedicated to food and drink alone.




Food for thought


Millennials rejoice ▪ The rise of ready-to-eat fruit is the trend to watch according to one commentator, with the growth of pre-ripened fruit triggering a burst in demand for exotics like avocado. He believes the chronically short of supply of the in-demand fruit will stabilise in coming years.



Popcorn explodes ▪ Move over crisps – an iconic American snack is now Britain’s fastest-growing grocery item. Thanks to gourmet flavours like goat’s cheese and gin and tonic, sales in popcorn have surged – doubling in value since 2013.