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Talking shop July 2015 – online dictates retailers' strategy

30 Jul 2015

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.

Talking shop June 2015 – Disruptive discounters dominate retail news

30 Jun 2015

The disruptive impact of the discount retailers has dominated global retail headlines during June, as our take of this month's key developments among grocery retailers shows.

Focus: Will synergies lift Ahold Delhaize in US?

26 Jun 2015

The merger between European retailers Ahold and Delhaize is significant because it will allow the group's to scale up in the key US market, where the majority of revenue is generated. Announcing the deal, the companies said EUR500m (US$560m) in annual synergies are on the table. But these, as and of themselves, will do little to raise the combined group's lacklustre US growth trajectory. Katy Askew looks at the impact the merger will have in the US – and whether Ahold Delhaize will deliver on their promise to drive consumer-led innovation.

Editor's viewpoint: Waitrose's personalised promos will stir industry

17 Jun 2015

UK grocer Waitrose has got industry watchers talking this afternoon (17 June) with the launch of a promotional programme that lets consumers choose which products they want to buy on offer. Rivals and suppliers will be watching very closely.

On the money: Premier CEO expects to benefit from rebound at UK supermarkets

23 Jan 2015

Premier Foods CEO Gavin Darby has predicted the UK food group's brands will be the co-beneficiaries of a rebound at the country's largest supermarkets.

Food industry news of the week: Marfrig, Morrisons, Cadbury

16 Jan 2015

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.

Briefing: 2015 preview: Shopper trends - Finding a path to growth in 2015

2 Jan 2015

In such a price-focused environment, manufacturers will need to find innovative ways to grow in 2015. Data, IRI's Anne Lefranc argues, will be central to these strategies.

The bitesize interview: Cricketer Farm MD Greg Parsons

28 Nov 2014

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.

Digesting digital: Suppliers, retailers must collaborate online to deliver value

21 Nov 2014

Price is becoming an ever more significant issue in the UK grocery sector. Squeezed consumers and pressured retailers are increasingly focused on a product's RRP. But there are still ways that manufacturers and supermarkets can add value. A central theme of the IGD online conference this week was the need for manufacturers and retailers to collaborate online if they are to avoid a race to the bottom. Katy Askew reports.

Comment: Price is the word in UK grocery

12 Nov 2014

It hardly even seems to count as news: the German discounters continue to make strides in the UK. The trend has been in evidence for years now, as a tight focus on price and improved ranging enable Aldi and Lidl to continue to win shoppers in their droves. This week's announcement that Aldi plans to invest heavily in the market should be viewed as a signal of intent. The Germans are coming - and their advance is likely to put even more pressure on pricing for food makers. Katy Askew reports.

Comment: Growth question hangs over refocused Premier

23 Oct 2014

Premier Foods plc, the UK food group, appears to have a solid strategy in place - but whether it can succeed in eking out top-line growth in a tough trading environment is, at present, less than certain.

Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

13 Oct 2014

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.

UK suppliers, retailers must "reset" relationship - Higginson

7 Oct 2014

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.

Premier Foods' smaller brands helped by discount, c-store growth

7 Oct 2014

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).

UK: Discounters' share to almost double by 2019 - IGD

1 Jul 2014

Discount retailers' share of the UK grocery market will almost double by 2019, according to forecasts from industry analysts IGD.

Talking shop: Sainsbury's tries to shore up flank with Netto JV

24 Jun 2014

In a surprise move, Sainsbury's has reacted to the continued growth of discount retailers in the UK with a venture to bring the Netto banner back to the country. Sainsbury's and Netto owner Dansk Supermarked will launch a clutch of stores on a trial basis but Netto, which struggled on its previous visit to the UK, faces even stronger competitors now. Dean Best reports.

Talking shop: Sainsbury's stresses value as UK price war intensifies

7 May 2014

UK retailer Sainsbury's has downplayed concerns over increased competition around price in the UK grocery sector. The supermarket group has insisted that a combination of its own label offering and "tough" supplier negotiations mean that it remains price competitive, while a broader definition of "value" enables it to extend its points of difference. Katy Askew reports.

GERMANY: Lidl "eyeing US entry by 2018"

23 Apr 2014

Discount retailer Lidl is reportedly looking to expand into the US by 2018.

Comment: Aldi ad spat shows discounters under rivals' scrutiny

26 Mar 2014

The UK ad watchdog's order for Aldi to pull a TV advert demonstrates how the discounter will need to be precise in its competitive claims - and how the German giant is being more closely monitored than ever before by the country's rattled major grocers.

Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

24 Mar 2014

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.

GERMANY: Lidl "names Seidel to succeed Holland as chairman"

21 Mar 2014

Lidl has reportedly appointed Sven Seidel, director of the development division of the Schwarz Group, as chairman to replace Karl-Heinz Holland.

CAGE 2014: Kerry eyes consumer foods growth through snacking

20 Mar 2014

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.

GERMANY: Lidl boss quits, group cites "irreconcilable" views

20 Mar 2014

Lidl has announced the resignation of chairman Karl-Heinz Holland citing "irreconcilable views".

UK: Sainsbury's posts Q4 LFL sales drop

18 Mar 2014

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%.

What the analysts say: Does Sainsbury's LFL sales drop hint at future woe?

18 Mar 2014

UK grocer Sainsbury's broke its nine-year streak of like-for-like sales growth this morning (18 March), when the firm acknowledged that market conditions and tough comparables hit revenue expansion in its fourth quarter. In contrast to the other multiples, Sainsbury's does not appear to be loosing share in the UK to discounters Aldi and Lidl. But, as price competition in the market intensifies, could Sainsbury's proposition too come under increasing pressure? Here is the City's verdict.

IRELAND: Aldi, Lidl "forge ahead" - Kantar

18 Mar 2014

Discounters Aldi and Lidl are continuing their march in the Irish grocery sector, delivering double-digit growth in a declining market.

UK: Morrisons ups price investment to fight discounters

13 Mar 2014

UK grocer Morrisons plans to increase its investment in pricing in order to "strengthen" its competitive proposition.

What the analysts say: The verdict on Morrisons' strategic overhaul

13 Mar 2014

Morrisons reported a full-year loss of GBP176m (US$293.6m) and further deterioration of like-for-like sales today (13 March). Management this morning set out a new strategic course for the group, which includes a GBP1bn price investment over the next three years. While next year's profits are expected to drop, the company believes the investment can be funded through a cost-saving drive in the medium-term. However, with concern over margins and competitive pressures, opinion remains divided over the prospects for the beleaguered grocer.

UK: Morrisons books GBP176m annual loss

13 Mar 2014

Morrisons this morning (13 March) reported an annual loss of GBP176m (US$293.6m), rounding off a challenging year for the UK's fourth-largest grocer.

Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

10 Mar 2014

This week Unilever was gain rumoured to be looking to sell a food brand - this time Ragu pasta sauces. UK group Premier Foods announced a new refinancing package, while in the US, a mega-merger in the retail sector is on the cards, after Albertsons owner and private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management struck a deal to buy Safeway.

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