Amazon’s formidable position has been further bolstered following an increase in American grocery sales, coupled with forecasts of positive growth in the Indian market. Alibaba has advanced in the race for custom chip development and has made a big purchase. In Australia, Aldi increases its appeal to wealthier customers and forces competitors Woolworths and Coles’ to drop their prices.




Monday, 23 April 2018





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Amazon’s formidable position has been further bolstered following an increase in American grocery sales, coupled with forecasts of positive growth in the Indian market. Alibaba has advanced in the race for custom chip development and has made a big purchase. In Australia, Aldi increases its appeal to wealthier customers and forces competitors Woolworths and Coles’ to drop their prices.




US & Canada


Compelling swings ▪ Amazon’s dominance has been further solidified with US grocery sales up more than US$ 200 million in the first quarter. The online giant is also expecting to strengthen its hold on the Indian market, with predictions that sales of groceries will significantly increase when AmazonFresh is launched. “Alexa Blueprints” has been unlocked, which allows users to make helpful and amusing customized voice commands through the virtual assistant.



Good buy ▪ General Mills stock could rise significantly more than predicted, as its purchase of Blue Buffalo Pet Products starts to flourish. The company’s shares have fallen 27% this year, with some analysts claiming they are now a ‘bargain’ given the potential for growth from their recent acquisition.



Waste not, want not ▪ Walmart Canada has revealed a commitment to achieving zero food waste by 2025. The retail heavyweight is donating US $15 million towards food wastage reduction research and will also improve its operational efficiencies in order to fulfil their mission.




Europe


Sticky situation ▪ In a decade-long legal battle over copyright between Nestlé and its US rival Mondelez, the Swiss food giant has been dealt a blow. The European Court of Justice has been instructed to reject the company’s appeal to maintain EU trademark status of its four finger KitKat bar.



Poultry predicament ▪ Sainsbury’s has come under fire after it was alleged they failed to follow through on promises to improve welfare conditions for its own-brand chickens. The UK retailer has handed back a good practice award it received in 2010 from an animal rights group.



Innovative moves ▪ Supervalu is leading the way in Ireland as the first retailer to offer fully compostable and biodegradable produce bags for consumers. Meanwhile in Scotland, Lidl has partnered with six artisan gin producers for their new in-store Scottish Gin Festival.




Asia & Australasia


Chips are up ▪ Alibaba has further strengthened its grasp on the artificial intelligence market with its acquisition of Chinese chip designer C-SKY. The e-commerce giant has also partnered with Xi’an International Medical Investment to offer internet-powered medical services.



Supermarket scuffle ▪ Woolworths faces pressure over its gaming machine sector, with a superannuation fund worth AUS$ 9 billion considering withdrawing its deposits on ethical grounds. Meanwhile, competition is set to heat up among supermarket retailers in Australia, following reports by global rating agency Moody’s that Aldi is set for particularly strong growth Down Under.




Food, glorious food


Change on the menu ▪ America’s fastest growing restaurants are not who you might expect, as customers appear to value ‘meal experience’ over haste and homogeny. Meanwhile, three Hong Kong restaurants have taken the plunge and are the first diners outside of America to partner with Impossible Foods to include plant-based meats on its menu.



Scarce sustenance ▪ Reports of food shortages in recent years have many consumers worried about the possible ‘extinction’ of their favourite edibles. Bloomberg has compiled a Panic Meter, rating foods on their likelihood of elimination from our shops and diets.