chazWelcome to the November Grocery Trader. Here we go again – with the latest Government cuts just announced, once more it’s going to be down to the supermarkets and major retailers to keep the UK smiling through the gloom.

One major effect of the Coalition’s Comprehensive Spending Review is to hand over to the private sector the baton of generating fresh wealth and creating new jobs to help make up for the 750,000 public sector jobs likely to go. Thankfully retailing remains one of Britain’s largest industry sectors, turning in a consistently strong performance despite the tough economic climate. So it’s likely many of the new jobs over the next four years will be in retailing and distribution.

Meanwhile it’s business as usual in the multiple retailers and their DCs as Christmas draws near. In this issue we’ve got features on Healthy Living; Table Talk, looking at Sauces and Condiments; and our quarterly Warehousing & Logistics feature.

The Comprehensive Spending Review is likely to affect every consumer market to a varying degree. As our Table Talk feature says, Table sauces and condiments are staple products used daily in every household, pitched at affordable prices so they’re sure to continue selling even in the austere conditions ahead of us.

Healthy Living by contrast involves much more discretionary purchasing. The cholesterol-lowering products, health giving drinks and so forth that characterize this market sell at premium prices: when money’s tight many consumers will look elsewhere for nutritional goodness, getting back to basics with more fruit and veg. It will be interesting to see how the market looks four years hence.

In our Warehousing & Logistics feature we look at the latest products and services essential for the grocery supply chain. This month also sees the International Materials Handling Exhibition 2010, at the Birmingham NEC from the 16th to 19th. If you’re planning a visit, we have an IMHX preview piece to give you a taste.

In this issue we also highlight CPL Distribution, Britain’s leading supplier of solid fuel products for home use, to supermarkets and other multiple retailers. As the days get colder and the nights draw in, CPL Distribution comes into its own as the supplier of the market-leading Homefire range of ready-packaged fuels for home fires. With the Renewable Heating Incentive potentially coming into force in April, CPL’s Smokeless and other solid fuels look set to grow still further. But before that, CPL is offering a number of new solid fuel products and ancillary items for Winter 2010/11, including LoCo2al, a direct alternative to house coal, which puts the emphasis on reducing the CO2 emitted when it burns.

Have a good month.

Charles Smith, The Grocery Trader

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