Welcome to the August Grocery Trader. With the London Olympics upon us, here’s to this being a month to remember for the best possible reasons, especially increased consumer sales. Not just a ‘Moment to Shine,’ as the Torch relay slogan has it – how about keeping the momentum going to Christmas?!

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Talking of staying charged, in this issue we have an exclusive interview with Mark Wiltshire, General Manager for UK and Ireland at Uniross, the leading name in rechargeable batteries and chargers. We preview the London Speciality & Fine Food Fair, returning to London Olympia from 2nd – 4th September. And in our quarterly Back of Store feature we look at the latest news and case studies about warehouse and logistics products and services for the grocery supply chain.

Rechargeable batteries and chargers are the best-known part of Uniross’s portable power product range. Over the years it has earned a worldwide reputation for flexibility and being the easiest battery manufacturer to deal with, but hasn’t rested on its laurels. Last year Uniross extended its offering to include non-rechargeable batteries for household and professional use. It followed this up by rebranding and launching a new range of rechargeable batteries and chargers for consumer appliances.

Food has never been more fashionable, with Blur’s Alex James striving to be as famous for making cheese as (he was) playing bass. Since Blur were in the charts, speciality food has grown in popularity as consumers become ever more passionate about hunting down ‘real’ products. The London Speciality & Fine Food Fair is key to what some are calling a gourmet renaissance, giving buyers from supermarkets, Co-ops and C-store chains the chance to join the rush to find the next big thing in artisan food and drink. This year’s show is the biggest ever, bringing over 600 names in speciality food and drink under one roof, making it the place to source products on a scale impossible anywhere else in the UK.

What will the Olympics do for the UK economy? The experts at Visa Europe have predicted that the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will deliver an £804m consumer spending injection this summer and an economic legacy worth £5.33bn by 2015. Let’s hope they’re right! In the seven weeks after the Games open Visa forecast international visitors will spend £749m, 18% more than the same period with no Games. They say domestic consumers will also increase spending by £54m during this time.

Warming the heart of hard pressed PM David Cameron, Visa predict the knock-on effect of this increased spending will translate into widespread economic impacts and a £1.21bn increase in output over the seven week period. So, raise a glass to the Olympics!

Charles Smith, The Grocery Trader

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