Welcome to the December issue of The Grocery Trader. Pick two objects to represent 2012, and you’d probably say an Olympic torch and an umbrella. It was a seriously wet summer, especially the Diamond Jubilee weekend. But 2012 was also brilliant for sport, with the Olympics and Paralympics energising the nation and the economy.

READ THE LATEST ISSUE – December 2012

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December’s traditionally time to take stock and review business. To get into the mood we present our Review of The Year, looking back at the stories we’ll remember from 2012, and expert comments from Mintel, Manchester Business School, the IGD and more.

Before that, our front cover headline story is about Casio’s new VX-100 EPOS terminal, which operates on the well-known Android smart-phone platform. At its launch, trade experts hailed this as an industry first to revolutionise high street retailing, and transform the EPOS terminal into a versatile and sophisticated sales and business management tool. Since its launch the Casio VX-100 has been installed in a wide range of retailers, each using bespoke software designed for that sector, including food retailing, family bakeries, clothing and jewellery shops, all with impressive results.

In the year of the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics and Paralympics our Review of 2012 celebrates a golden year for the UK grocery industry, highlighting its outstanding ability to innovate and meet consumer needs.

Innovation is key to grocery success. Our Review leads with the story of EQ8, the natural energy drink. Light in caffeine, taurine-free, crammed with fruit juices and natural ingredients, EQ8’s category growth potential has been recognised by listings in Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

Innovation in the back of the store and supply chain is also critically important in grocery. The other story on our Review front page is about Translift Bendi’s Mini Bendi VNA pedestrian forklifts, which lifted the Innovation Award at Asda’s Store Proposition Awards.

On the grocery side food companies achieving excellence in 2012 include Grace Foods, who supported the UK’s first Caribbean Food Week and whose Nurishment is helping drive the functional drinks category, Kepak Convenience Foods, whose Rustlers and Zugo’s Deli Café brands are reinventing lunchtime, and Geeta’s Foods, whose new Spice Route range celebrates India’s vast culinary regions. Here’s an idea for Christmas dinner – how about turkey curry with cranberry sauce and poppadoms? We’d definitely eat it.

Merry Christmas to all of you, and see you next year.

Charles Smith, The Grocery Trader

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