Welcome back - we hope you've had a relaxed Easter holiday. The latest developments in our industry see Chinese Starbucks competitor Luckin aiming to go public in the US and Alibaba promoting a Kiwi flagship store. Thai agricultural leader CPF acquires in Canada and an Indonesian start-up eyes expansion in South East Asia. Read on and feel free to share.




Tuesday, 23 April 2019





Hello ,

Welcome back - we hope you've had a relaxed Easter holiday. The latest developments in our industry see Chinese Starbucks competitor Luckin aiming to go public in the US and Alibaba promoting a Kiwi flagship store. Thai agricultural leader CPF acquires in Canada and an Indonesian start-up eyes expansion in South East Asia. Read on and feel free to share.




US & Canada


Top changes ▪ Kraft Heinz has hired Miguel Patricio, an Anheuser-Busch InBev veteran, as its new CEO. He replaces Bernardo Hees as the consumer food giant struggles to keep up with changing consumer tastes and competition. Home furnishing retailer Bed Bath & Beyond is shaking up its board and has appointed five new members



Meat deal ▪ Charoen Pokphand Foods, Thailand's largest agriculture conglomerate, is set to acquire Canadian pork producer HyLife Investments for USD 372.7 million. The investment will give the Thai company the opportunity to expand in North America and markets such as Japan.



Payment decision ▪ Department store retailer J.C. Penny has removed Apple Pay from their stores and will suspend contactless payment options until a later date. Customers still have the ability to complete their transactions with their credit cards. Rivals like Kohl's and Target still accept Apple Pay.



Vegan venture ▪ Mondelēz has taken a minority stake in Hu, a New York-based food company that manufactures paleo-inspired products. The investment was made through the snacking giant’s SnackFutures business venture hub. Hu is famous for its award-winning vegan chocolate range.




Europe


Selling assets ▪ French retailer Casino is continuing to cut debts and has sold a portfolio of 32 stores to private equity group Apollo Global Management for EUR 470 million. Last month, German discounter Lidl has acquired 33 outlets from the embattled group.



Ambitious goal ▪ LaDoiPasi, a Romanian franchise network developed by Germany's Metro Cash & Carry, wants to run 1,100 stores in the country by the end of this year. Currently, the retailer is operating 820 outlets under the banner. The target for 2020: 2,000 units.




Asia & Australasia


Focus Down Under ▪ Chinese powerhouse Alibaba is talking to the New Zealand Government about setting up a regional logistics hub in the country. Meanwhile, 18 Kiwi food and beverage companies, including Babich Wines, Zealong Tea and Vogel's, have joined forces to launch a flagship store on Alibaba's Tmall Fresh.



Delivery plans ▪ HappyFresh, an online grocery start-up headquartered in Jakarta, has closed US$ 20 million round of funding. The fresh investment will be used for both city and country expansion in South East Asia, as well as to invest in technology.



Going public ▪ Starbuck's Chinese rival Luckin Coffee has filed for an initial public offering in the US. The Beijing-headquartered chain, founded in 2017, operates some 2,370 stores in 28 cities in China and plans to open 2,500 new stores this year.




Sustainability matters


Environmentally friendly initiatives ▪ Supermarket chains in the US, among them discounter Aldi and grocery major Albertsons, are unveiling their sustainability efforts to celebrate Earth Day 2019. Aldi, for instance, is committed to reducing its refrigerant emissions, while the latter is focused on recyclable packaging.



Clean brand ▪ Target will introduce Everspring, an environmentally aware new range of more than 70 household essentials items. With the launch, the US retailer hopes to attract shoppers looking for natural products as 70% of shoppers consider the environmental impact of the things they’re buying.