February saw Wal-Mart signal an acceleration of the price war brewing in the US grocery sector, while discounters Aldi and Lidl continued to...
January brought further evidence of the seismic shifts taking place in the global retail sector. Established retailers have largely responde...
December saw some significant developments in the convenience channel in a number of markets, with Japan's Lawson Inc plotting a strategic alliance with Three F, Couche-Tard acquiring an Irish operator, its Canadian rival Sobeys launching a convenience concept and Morrisons returning to the sector in the UK. In other news, it emerged Kroger plans to trial a store format in the US while Lidl is continuing the march of the discounters across Europe. Here is just-food's round up of the big news stories from the world of grocery retail last month.
Discount retailers are a major force in grocery retailing in a number of European markets, forcing supermarkets to adapt and prompting suppliers to revise their strategies in a number of areas. However, in a guest column for just-food, José Carlos González-Hurtado, the former Carrefour chief commercial officer who is now president of international at IRI, outlines why there could be limits to the growth of the discounters.
A consistent challenge facing grocers is maintaining – or strengthening – margins in a frequently hostile retail environment. This must be achieved while also developing the customer proposition and investing in growth. Keeping a lid on costs is a must but that has to be balanced against issues like pressure to raise wages, as we have seen in the UK this month, and the need to keep consumer prices low.
The rapid development of online retailing has long been a key part of the strategic direction of global food retailers. While the channel represents a growth spot in what can – in many markets – seem a sector struggling for sales growth, there is as yet no clear formula for profitably exploiting it. However, as this month's Talking shop round-up illustrates, a number of grocers are further investing in the channel.
Irish private-label ready-meals maker Ballymaguire Foods has opened a new domestic plant it hopes will help expand its presence in the UK. The company says demand for ready meals continues to rise in Ireland and the UK and managing director Ed Spelman talks to Hannah Abdulla about the group's plans to tap into that growth.
UK cheese maker Cricketer Farm supplies the country's major retailers with low-fat cheese, a category growing amid the rising consumer interest in health. However, in the last 18 months, the business has added a new brand - Cheeky Cow - to its portfolio, with half the fat of mature cheddar. MD Greg Parsons talks to Dean Best about the brand's early performance, the competition and how there are plans for "evolution" in 2015.
Lidl has launched an own-label range of free-from and organic products in Italy comprising more than 60 products across frozen, fresh and dried products, wine and drinks.
Lidl, the Germany-based discount retailer, has plans to use only cage-free eggs in its private-label products by 2025.
German discounter Lidl has become the latest supermarket to say it will transition its egg supply to cage-free eggs.
Lidl said today (11 July) that it had become the first German supermarket to be awarded GM-free certification for its own brand milk on sale throughout the country.
Welsh bakery Winning Blend has said it is on course for a GBP2m (US$2.8m) boost in turnover by the year's end on the back of a government-backed expansion of its Llantrisant bakery.
Ahead of the climate talks in Paris, Unilever announced plans to be carbon positive from its operations by 2030. Elsewhere, there was more consolidation in the US food sector, with Pinnacle Foods moving for Boulder Brands. Tyson Foods, Post Holdings and Greencore all had annual results out in the week. Maple Leaf Foods outlined plans to "streamline" its business, which is set to lead to the loss of 400 staff. Here is the week in quotes.
Thai Union Group's UK unit John West and Princes, the UK food and drink group, have come under fire from Greenpeace over their tuna sourcing and sustainability pledges.
Lidl has confirmed plans to open an ice cream production plant in the German town of Übach-Palenberg.
Farmers in northern France are claiming victory over supermarket retailer Lidl in their stand over French origin meat and mik.
Brazil-based food giant Marfrig announced the surprise resignation of CEO Sergio Rial this week after just a year in the position. Another chief executive is to go at UK retailer Morrisons, with its board believing its best chance to return to growth is without Dalton Philips.
This week, Emmi flogged its Italian Trentilatte yoghurt business, while Kellogg sold the Loma Linda brand to Atlantic Natural Foods. Elsewhere, UK baker Finsbury Food Group moved to buy local peer Fletchers Group, while US private-equity firm BBX Capital made its second confectionery acquisition in a week. At the annual IGD Convention in London, UK retail veteran Andrew Higginson caused a stir by hitting out at the country's grocers.
Andrew Higginson, the deputy chairman of Morrisons and former Tesco finance director, has said branded suppliers and supermarkets must "reset" their relationship in a bid to revive a stagnant sector.
The growth of the discount and convenience channels in the UK has led to a "renaissance" for some of Premier Foods' smaller brands, Gavin Darby, the company's chief executive, said today (7 October).
Discount retailers' share of the UK grocery market will almost double by 2019, according to forecasts from industry analysts IGD.
Discount retailer Lidl is reportedly looking to expand into the US by 2018.
The Consumer Analyst Group of Europe conference dominated news this week with updates from Kraft Foods Group, Glanbia and Nestle. Elsewhere GM was back in the spotlight with the UK Prime Minister's scientific advisers arguing the technology is safe. Also this week the political tensions in Russia and Ukraine saw Metro Group delay an IPO of its Russian cash-and-carry unit and Lidl announced the departure of chairman Karl-Heinz Holland.
Lidl has reportedly appointed Sven Seidel, director of the development division of the Schwarz Group, as chairman to replace Karl-Heinz Holland.
Kerry Group CEO Stan McCarthy has indicated the Ireland-based food group believes increasing demand for snacking presents an opportunity to grow the company's consumer foods business.
Lidl has announced the resignation of chairman Karl-Heinz Holland citing "irreconcilable views".
Sainsbury's booked its first drop in like-for-like sales in nine years this morning (18 March), when the UK retailer revealed fourth-quarter comparable revenues fell 3.8%.
Discounters Aldi and Lidl are continuing their march in the Irish grocery sector, delivering double-digit growth in a declining market.
UK grocer Morrisons plans to increase its investment in pricing in order to "strengthen" its competitive proposition.
Dutch supermarket operator Ahold and Belgium-based retailer Delhaize Group announced today (24 June) that a long-awaited merger has been finalised in a move these two European retail giants hope will improve their competitiveness across the pond
The UK's Grocery Code Adjudicator insisted it is "making a difference" and improving the relationship between retailers and suppliers at its annual conference this week.
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