Welcome to The Grocery Trader’s December issue, and a Merry Christmas to all our readers! We’ve come through another eventful year for the multiple grocery industry, and here we are in the final month, with our last roundup of news stories and our special feature on Retail Packaging.



FrontAnd don’t miss our Review of The Year 2014, which takes a look back at some of the stories that were big this year, together with expert comment and predictions from the likes of the British Soft Drinks Association, the Shop Display Equipment Association, the ethnic food and drink experts Hot Marketing and many more. It’s a veritable pre-Christmas feast!

When it launched just before last Christmas, as we reported on last December’s front page, we couldn’t have predicted the impact Estercook Roast-In-The-Bag packaging would have. Since then, the growth of this packaging format has transformed the category.

Going back to the original brief, FFP worked closely with leading UK food company Faccenda Foods, who were challenged by Asda to come up with a truly innovative packed product, Asda’s Butcher’s Selection Roast in the Bag Chicken and worked closely with FFP together with machinery manufacturers and ingredient suppliers to create the category-defining result.

The Simply Roast in the Bag pack has now received a number of prestigious national and international awards, including Gold in The Grocer’s Own Label Food and Drink Awards, Highly Commended in The Marketing Society Awards, and one of the very few DuPont Packaging Awards presented in the USA. To cap an amazing year, in November, Asda’s Butcher’s Selection Roast in the Bag Chicken was voted Plastic Flexible Packaging Pack of the Year in the UK Packaging Awards.

Also on our front page Vanish, the leading brand in stain removal, is continuing its investment in innovation to meet shopper needs and grow the category. Following the successful launch of Vanish Gold in December 2013, Vanish is about to start a ‘white’ revolution and grow the stain removal category even further with the introduction of new Vanish Gold for Whites, backed by a £10M marketing campaign from brand owner RB in 2015.

So what will next year look like in the multiple grocery sector ? Two things are for sure – the big four retailers will continue to have their ankles snapped at by the rest of the field. And customer fidelity to single supermarkets will fade. The weekly shop of old will give way to “segmented” shopping in different places based on price or convenience. A recent BBC online story reported supermarket customers shopping very differently to a year ago. According to IGD they visit an average four different supermarkets a month, nearly half taking in two stores per trip. Whatever happened to customer loyalty?!

Have a great Christmas, and see you in January.

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