JUL / AUG DIGITAL EDITION – Stay calm about Brexit

Grocery people are stressing about short-term problems as Brexit approaches. But speaking on the BBC recently Tesco CEO Dave Lewis radiated calm, saying yes, planning for October 31st is more difficult than for 29 March because the supply network is full for Christmas, but if ‘no deal’ means no tariff, we could be absolutely fine.

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In logistics terms, the UK food and drink industry are well placed now and for the future because they invest in their supply chains. The IMHX 2019 Exhibition, at the NEC from 24-27 September is the UK’s largest logistics event. Our Back of Store feature looks at the specialist suppliers at the show, plus recent stories from suppliers of equipment, services and solutions helping keep the supply chains strong.

After last year’s incredible launch, Grocery Aid’s Barcode Festival returned in July to Hawker House London. Mandi Leonard, GroceryAid’s Welfare Director and Steve Barnes, GroceryAid’s Chief Executive spoke to Glen Izzard at the Festival about what this event means to the charity and their plans for 2020.

The soft drinks world is changing, with demand growing for mid, low and no-sugar alternatives. Barr Soft Drinks, marketers of IRN-BRU, Rubicon and Rockstar, have introduced mid-sugar regular products as well as low and zero sugar options. 99% of their portfolio is sugar levy free, says Nick Bentley, Barr Soft Drinks’ Head of Customer Marketing in our Supplier Spotlight.

We’re blessed with a huge range of bakery products in stores – and we’re doing more part baking and scratch baking. At £3bn, Bread and Bakery is one of the largest categories and bread is Britain’s most consumed food item, bought by 96% of households. In our Hot Beverages feature retail coffee trends are led by consumers wanting to enjoy the coffee shop experience in a convenient format, but at over 63% ‘Instant’ still dominates. Tea remains our favourite cuppa overall.

Despite prohibitive regulations tobacco and smokers’ accessories continue to show strong sales and remain a traffic builder. In our feature UK tobacco sales totalled £14.6 Billion in the last year, with cigarettes taking £11.2 Billion. Roll-your-own cigarettes and tobacco accessories are seeing a new lease of life, says Gavin Anderson, General Sales Manager at Republic Technologies in our Supplier Spotlight.

In our Back to School feature the new school year signals the return of parents stocking up for their children’s lunchboxes. Healthy eating trends are having a direct effect. Finally, when the Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 20th, Brits across the land will be pulling on their rugby shirts to support their team and cheering them on with a drink or several. And it’s not just the blokes – these days Rugby appeals to everyone, adding up to a hefty sales opportunity.