Welcome to the July-August issue of Grocery Trader. It is encouraging to hear that UK grocery sales remain resilient as the lockdown eases. Total till grocery sales at UK supermarkets remain largely unchanged at -2.4% in the last four weeks ending 19th June, indicating that supermarkets continue to drive high sales volumes despite the UK lockdown easing, reveals new data released by NielsenIQ. This is a strong performance, as during the same period last year, NielsenIQ recorded the second highest four weekly growth of 2020 (+14.4%).
Interesting news as Morrisons has accepted a £6.3bn takeover offer by US investment firm Fortress Investment Group, the owner of Majestic Wine. Fortress’ investment approach is to acquire companies with strong management teams and empower them to deliver their long-term strategy. Fortress has experience investing in the retail and food space in the UK (including Majestic Wine) and a 19-year track record of successfully investing in the grocery industry and petrol forecourt stations in the US.
Well done to Lidl GB which has announced that, as part of wider commitments made by the Schwarz Group, it has set ambitious climate targets, and will become carbon neutral by 2022. The discounter aims to reduce CO2 emissions from its own operations (Scope 1 & 2), aligned to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. By 2030, Lidl internationally aims to reduce its operational emissions by 80% (compared to 2019) across all countries it operates in.
BAT UK has announced the integration of its UK e-cigarette product line, Vype into global brand, Vuse. The investment in Vuse is part of a global focus on ‘new categories’ and is part of BAT’s transformation journey to build A Better Tomorrow with a commitment to reducing the health impact of its global business. In a Supplier Spotlight interview, Khurram Durrani, Head of BAT UK Trade, discusses BAT’s long term commitment to reduced risk categories and the Vuse brand’s green credentials.
Ice cream is a growing category, with consumers broadening their repertoire into new formats like cookie dough bites, mochi and ice cream sandwiches. There is also a move towards ‘better for you’ products containing no artificial colours, flavours, palm oil or emulsifiers. Kat Jones, Marketing Manager, Ice Cream at General Mills, tells our Supplier Spotlight page what trends are driving the market and provides advice for retailers to maximise sales.
Enjoy reading the issue.