Welcome to the June Grocery Trader. Right now the Great British summer is a lot like the MPs’ expenses scandal – you can’t predict what’s going to emerge next but there’s no getting away from it! With the fiddling that’s been uncovered, by all accounts many current MPs and even the odd Cabinet minister wouldn’t last long in a grocery sales force before getting sacked, but that’s another story. In the real world, summer sales in many UK grocery categories are a direct reflection of what the weather’s doing on a given day or evening. So it’s heartening that while the present shower in Westminster are set to remain until next year, between now and September we can expect outdoor temperatures above 30°C, something we hardly saw at all in 2008. Shine on!
In this issue we have features on Breakfast News, Barbeque Time and Retail Solutions. Throughout the summer season the suppliers send us their stories about their latest launches and we publish them accordingly, so check out our latest article on the essentials for a great Barbie.
Whatever their financial circumstances, Brits still enjoy the first meal of the day. In our Breakfast feature, we look at products designed to help you profit from the morning eating opportunity.
Sadly there’s no Retail Solutions Show this year – it used to be part of the UK retail calendar – but there is our Retail Solutions feature in this issue. Scan our update on the latest devices, applications and IT solutions that are powering today’s grocery traders through the recession.
Last year’s Real Food Festival was a phenomenal success all round. As reported in these pages, this year’s event took place at Earl’s Court last month, with over 500 small producers hand-picked by the Real Food selection committee and subsidised to take part, coming together to showcase delicious food and drink produced ethically, fairly and sustainably in the UK and worldwide. Among them were the wonderfully named Stark Naked Foods and Gigi Specials, both profiled in this issue.
Stark Naked and Gigi Specials happily supply their products to supermarkets, something many specialist and fine food companies that exhibit at such shows used to be adamant about not doing. There’s been a quiet revolution in this area in recent years, with more and more of the specialist companies open to working with the multiples, for which Waitrose deserves much of the credit.
Have a good month.
Charles Smith, The Grocery Trader