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Sainsbury’s offers free herbs and spices to increase diversity in diets

UK: Sainsbury's offers free herbs and spices to increase diversity in diets
Sainsbury's is offering free herbs and spices to food clubs in Manchester to help increase diversity in diets and ensure that communities have access to good food. In collaboration with mobile food distribution charity The Bread and Butter Thing, the grocer will provide 1,600 food club members in Manchester and the Greater Manchester area with a range of ingredients. The 'Seasonings Shuttle' service will provide dried herbs such as oregano, parsley and basil, fresh herbs including chillies, ginger and garlic.

Source: Grocery Gazette

Germany: New Aldi store proposal described as 'ugly', approval postponed
A decision on approving a new Aldi supermarket has been postponed after one councillor described the design as "ugly". The German chain wants to demolish a former car showroom in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, and build a two-storey shop. Buckinghamshire Council's planning committee voted to defer the application after a discussion that lasted nearly two hours. Elements of the plans which may now be revised include site deliveries, the external appearance of the building, and a right-hand turning lane into the site.

Source: BBC

France: Atrato Capital CIO discusses strategic French market expansion with Carrefour acquisition
Atrato Capital chief investment officer Steven Noble joins Proactive's Stephen Gunnion with news that Supermarket Income REIT PLC has acquired a portfolio of 17 omnichannel supermarkets in France from Carrefour through a sale and leaseback transaction valued at €75 million. The deal ensures a leaseback to Carrefour for 12 years, yielding an initial return of 6.3% with the advantage of annual uncapped inflation-linked rent reviews. Noble emphasized that this move aligns with Atrato Capital's ongoing strategy to focus on omnichannel stores, crucial for both online and in-store grocery sales. The acquisition not only fits its existing investment strategy but also expands its addressable market to the French grocery sector, valued at €284 billion. France was specifically chosen due to its significant online growth potential and Carrefour's strong market position and omnichannel capabilities.

Source: Investor Observer

Hungary: SPAR Hungary sees turnover up 15.8% in FY 2023
SPAR Hungary has reported a turnover of HUF 1 trillion (€2.6 billion) in its full financial year 2023, registering an increase of 15.79% compared to the previous year. SPAR Hungary's store network comprised 641 outlets under the SPAR brand as of the end of 2023, the company noted. The company invested HUF 10 billion (€26 million) in opening five new stores during the year and renovating another four shops. It invested HUF 3 billion (€7.8 million) in its second INTERSPAR hypermarket in Debrecen, and HUF 2.4 billion (€6.24 million) in two stores in Sárospatak and Békéscsaba and two in Budapest. The renovation project involved SPAR supermarket in Körmend and four stores in Budapest and the retailer spent HUF 4.5 billion in total.

Source: Inside Retail

UK: 7-Eleven is planning a return to the UK
7-Eleven is reportedly planning to re-enter the UK market as part of its European expansion strategy during the coming years. UK sources report that 7-Eleven's head of international Chris Tanco hinted at the return during the ACS Summit in Birmingham, saying the Japanese-headquartered company was researching opening new stores in the UK. Furthermore, a presentation at Seven & I Holdings' investor relations day revealed that the Japanese parent company planned to enter 10 new countries by 2030, including the UK. Trade publication Better Retailing said 7-Eleven would use two models to enter a new market: The first is a master franchise agreement, while the second is a joint venture or purchase. 7-Eleven is already present in 19 countries with 85,000 stores and aims to reach 100,000 locations by 2030.

Source: Inside Retail

Australia: Deflation hits the shelves at Woolworths
Australian supermarket chain Woolworths said shelf prices had fallen in the March quarter as it competed for customers facing persistently high living costs, offsetting a consumer backlash but frustrating investors who sent shares lower. The quarterly update on Thursday shows the narrow path for Woolworths and No.2 rival Coles, which dominate Australian grocery sales. They face immense political pressure to play a part in the fight against rising food insecurity without sacrificing already-skinny profit margins.

For Woolworths, which gets nearly 40 cents of every dollar spent by Australians in a supermarket, that meant cutting prices of fruit, vegetables and meat, which dragged down average prices by 0.2% in the 13 weeks to end-March, from a 5.8% increase in the same period a year earlier. Food sales rose just 1.5% to A$12.58 billion ($8.21 billion), slower than the country's population grew, analysts noted.

Source: Reuters

US: Aldi class action claims retailer falsely advertises snack cup peaches
Plaintiff Nancy Bono filed a class action lawsuit against Aldi Inc. The lawsuit alleges Aldi misrepresents its snack cup peaches product as containing 100% fruit juice when it actually contains additives and a substantial amount of water. The Aldi peaches class action lawsuit was filed in New York federal court. Aldi Inc. misrepresents its snack cup peaches as containing 100% fruit juice when the product actually includes additives and a significant amount of water, a new class action lawsuit claims.

Source: Top Class Actions

US: Report: Kroger and Disney exploring streaming service offering
Kroger and Walt Disney Co. are reportedly exploring a partnership that would offer the Disney+ streaming service to subscribers of Kroger's grocery delivery program. If a deal is struck, Kroger Boost subscribers would get access to Disney+ at no additional cost, Bloomberg reported Wednesday (May 1), citing unnamed sources. Retailers have been adding paid subscriptions to generate additional revenue and greater customer loyalty, according to the report.

They have also added perks like gas savings, travel rewards and streaming service access to make those membership programs more competitive, the report said. For example, Walmart added Paramount Global's Paramount+ to its Walmart+ program in 2022, and Instacart added Comcast's Peacock for its paid subscribers in 2023, per the report.

Source: Pymnts

US: Save Mart expands with Instacart
Instacart and The Save Mart Companies announced their expanded omnichannel partnership featuring several Instacart in-store solutions such as Caper Carts, Instacart's AI-powered smart carts, and FoodStorm, an order management system that powers food service and catering experiences purpose-built for grocery. The Save Mart Companies will also upgrade to Instacart's Storefront Pro, bringing e-commerce capabilities with advanced advertising options to its business. This expanded partnership will improve the shopping experience for customers at nearly all 200 Save Mart, FoodMaxx, and Lucky locations.

Source: Supermarketnews

Canada: Tool to help shoppers find alternative grocery stores during Loblaw boycott created
With the Loblaw boycott underway, one Canadian has created a tool to help shoppers find alternative grocery stores to major chains. In April, Reddit user Responsible_Space629 revealed a new site they created called Alt Grocery in the Loblaws Is Out of Control subreddit. "Are you tired of the high prices and limited options at the big chain grocery stores? I've created a tool that might just be the solution you've been looking for," reads their post. "The website is dedicated to helping you find alternative grocery stores, pharmacies, and farmers' markets across Canada, away from the 'big 5' grocers."

Meanwhile Loblaw Companies topped expectations for first-quarter revenue and profit, aided by sustained consumer demand well as easing prices of grocery items. The company has seen gains from steady sales of essential items such as groceries and medicines, as well as higher demand for its private labels as consumers trade down from well-known brands that are typically more expensive.

Source: DailyHive and European SuperMarket Magazine

US: Kroger to spend $84M upgrading, expanding Greater Cincinnati, Dayton stores
Kroger announced Wednesday it plans to invest $84 million this year into stores in Greater Cincinnati and Dayton, with projects including a new Marketplace store in Hamilton Township and remodeling of 15 other stores in the region. The cash infusion is almost three times the typical $30 million in capital projects Kroger spends each year in for region. The Kroger Marketplace in Warren County alone represents a $39 million investment in southwest Ohio. The supermarket giant controls about half the region's grocery sales.