It's all about making a healthy start to the year. Croatian retail conglomerate Agrokor and Britains’ Asda are about to make significant changes to their operating models. Sainsbury's looks into the meat-free market and McDonald's experiments with fresh over frozen. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Thursday, 04 January 2018





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It's all about making a healthy start to the year. Croatian retail conglomerate Agrokor and Britains’ Asda are about to make significant changes to their operating models. Sainsbury's looks into the meat-free market and McDonald's experiments with fresh over frozen. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Europe


Leaving EMD ▪ After being a member for two years, Asda has quit European buying group EMD at the end of December. The British Walmart unit aims to build direct relationships with suppliers. Last year, the Swiss-based purchasing alliance has welcomed Australian powerhouse Woolworths as a new member.



Turnaround plans ▪ Croatian conglomerate Agrokor wants to create a holding company fully owned by its creditors. However, it will face a challenge in the form of rising market force Lidl. The German discounter also continues to grow in Italy, where it has opened its 600th supermarket.



Healthy options ▪ British grocer Tesco has announced its support for Public Health England’s Change4Life campaign to encourage healthier snacks. Rival Sainsbury’s is launching what it has called a ‘next-generation’ plant-based range in an attempt to tap into the growing meat-free market in the UK.




USA & Latin America


Mexican ventures ▪ The country's growing e-commerce sector attracts retail giants such as Amazon, Alibaba and Walmart, which are spending big. Walmart is not only investing in new online fulfilment centres but also in brick-and-mortar. Subsidiary Walmex revealed that it opened nearly 80 new Mexican stores in 2017 (paywall).



Staying in the spotlight ▪ Amazon is in talks to open up its voice assistant Alexa to sponsored product ads, with Procter & Gamble reportedly among the firms involved. The online giant is also rumoured to have set his eyes on acquiring discounter Target, however, not everybody thinks that this will happen.



Meat lovers ▪ The US Department of Agriculture predicts that Americans will consume a record amount of meat and poultry this year, continuing the upward trend beginning in 2014. This is good news for McDonald's, which is testing the use of fresh beef in a new burger, marking a shift away from frozen beef patties.




Asia


Sustainability matters ▪ The Japanese government is committed to promote energy efficiency and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in shopping centres and supermarkets, while retail giant Aeon has renovated 13 outlets across the country to try to cater to seniors as retailers evolve to fit the needs of Japan’s ageing consumer base.



Indian investment ▪ Amazon is reportedly in final stages of closing a deal with Mumbai-based insurance start-up Acko. The agreement will see the e-commerce giant co-create financial products with the Indian company and also act as its online distributor. Acko was in talks with Flipkart earlier, but the discussions fell through.




Keep an eye on


The battle continues ▪ The price war in the American grocery aisle is getting more intense, fuelled by German discounters Lidl and Aldi according to Bloomberg. And there is a bleak outlook for shopping centres - Following 2017's flood of retail bankruptcies, more than 12,000 US stores are expected to close this year.



In pole position ▪ The race is on to become the world’s first trillion-dollar company, with all eyes fixed on the usual tech giants. At the moment, Apple is leading the way, with a market valuation of US$ 869 billion. This can change as e-commerce activity in the US continues to increase, especially on public holidays.