The plant-based hype is in full swing in the US - Impossible Foods challenges rival Beyond Meat with its debut in Californian grocery stores. Germany's Rocket Internet has doubled down on profit, and Ikea is ambitious on renewables. Get inspired by Apple's overhauled 'cube' in the Big Apple and take a look inside the new Lidl city store. Enjoy the read!




Friday, 20 September 2019





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The plant-based hype is in full swing in the US - Impossible Foods challenges rival Beyond Meat with its debut in Californian grocery stores. Germany's Rocket Internet has doubled down on profit, and Ikea is ambitious on renewables. Get inspired by Apple's overhauled 'cube' in the Big Apple and take a look inside the new Lidl city store. Enjoy the read!




Europe


Takeover talks ▪ Debt-ridden retail group Casino is in negotiations to sell its French discount store chain Leader Price to German discount giant Aldi to the tune of EUR 400 million. Casino is targeting the sale of EUR 2 billion worth of assets to reduce its debt burden. With the deal, Aldi could close the gap to competitor Lidl.



Sneak peek ▪ Click here to have a look into Lidl's latest city store (captions in German) in Frankfurt. Spread over two floors, it combines parking and shopping in one building. Coffee machines and a pharmacy are located in the entrance as well as information about the discounter's sustainability goals.



Cashing in ▪ Rocket Internet boss Oliver Samwer told investors that the Berlin-based start-up, which listed in 2014, has no intention to go private. The company had a very good start to the year as it could double its profit to EUR 548 million in the first half, and sits on a cash pile of EUR 3 billion.



Sustainability target ▪ Ikea retailer Ingka Group will exceed its 2020 goal to produce as much renewable energy as it consumes. The company has spent EUR 2.5 billion over the past decade on wind farms, rooftop solar panels on its stores and warehouses as well as off-site solar parks.




Anuga Announcements


Food diversity topics ▪ Gluten-free has become an increasingly popular category, as well as vegan products with an average annual increase of 30% since 2014. But there is also a big demand for Halal-certified food and kosher products. All these categories are trending themes at this year's Anuga, starting on October 5.




US & Japan


Delivery experiments ▪ In collaboration with Wing Aviation, a unit of Alphabet, pharma chain Walgreens is set to take off with a drone pilot to test “store to door” in Virginia. Across the Pacific, supermarket chain Seiyu and Rakuten have comparable intentions by launching an autonomous delivery service with robots in Japan.



Vegan rivalry ▪ Impossible Foods will make its grocery debut in California today. Its plant-based burgers will be available at upmarket supermarket chain Gelson's, which operates 27 locations. The Silicon Valley-based company looks to catch up with competitor Beyond Meat which is already present supermarket aisles.



Weekend inspirations ▪ Apple's iconic New York flagship, known for its glass cube design, will reopen today. Click here to have a first glance at the bright glowing store. Meanwhile, grocer Stop & Shop has deployed a bread-making robot in one of its stores. Customers can buy a warm loaf baked virtually on the spot.




Asia & Australia


Protecting customer data ▪ Chinese tech giants Tencent and Alibaba are refusing to co-operate with Baihang, a government-backed credit scoring programme by withholding access to their customer databases. Baihang was founded in 2018 with the intention to collect information on residents without a credit history.



Fueling competition ▪ Australian supermarket major Coles has cut the price of over 300 products, mainly on private label items, which Coles plans to expand into gluten-free, low-fructose, and the rapidly emerging meat-free products. The move is regarded as a re-ignition of the price war with fierce rival Woolworths.