Welcome to the March-April issue of Grocery Trader. Potentially game changing news as Amazon has opened its doors to Amazon Fresh, the first convenience grocery store to offer Just Walk Out Shopping in the UK. Amazon Fresh is Amazon’s first physical shop and first grocery store outside of the US. The first location is in Ealing, London. We await to see if this is just a blip or the first of many Amazon stores.

READ THE MAR / APR ISSUE

Meanwhile, grocery sales keep rising. The latest figures from Kantar show take-home grocery sales rose by 12.5% during the 12 weeks to 21 February 2021. Sales were even stronger over the past month, increasing by 15.1%, the fastest rate of growth since June 2020 as the latest national restrictions curtailed spending in cafés, restaurants and pubs.

Part of this grocery boom is accounted for by online shopping. British shoppers spent £1.5bn on online groceries in the last four weeks ending 27th February 2021, with the online share of grocery sales now reaching 17%. This is the highest ever share for online grocery sales in the UK and a 1% increase in share in just a month, reveals new data released by NielsenIQ.

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail societies in the UK, with over 1.5 million members. On our Industry Profile page, Debbie Robinson, chief executive of Central England Co-operative, explains how Central England Co-op got involved in helping communities during Covid-19 and what the Society is doing to protect colleagues from violence.

Burton’s is supporting its flagship Maryland Cookies brand with a new ‘Keep it Kookie’ campaign. The new brand positioning is centred around Maryland being ‘unashamedly different’. Simon Browne, Managing Director Burtons Biscuits, tells our Supplier Spotlight page about the new campaign and shares his advice for supermarkets on merchandising biscuits.

The UK tobacco market is worth (after tax) £2.5bn, Imperial Tobacco estimates. Factory Made Cigarettes (FMC) still equate for the majority of tobacco sales with a 53.5% share of the market and are experiencing volume growth of 2.5% YOY. The tobacco market remains heavily price driven and this has led to an uplift in consumers switching to Roll Your Own (RYO), as well as value FMC, according to our Tobacco & Smokers’ Accessories feature.

In the wake of Covid-19, enjoying and making an occasion of watching the Euros 2021 will certainly be different this year. With many consumers still reluctant or unable to head out to pubs and bars, sports fans will be keen to stock up on their favourite snacks to mark the occasion and celebrate at home. This presents a huge opportunity to grow sales of snacks and drinks, says our Euros feature.

Enjoy reading the issue.

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