Iceland wins EU trademark battle against UK-based supermarket chain
Iceland, the Nordic country and tourism hotspot, has been successful in winning back the right to use its own name. The European Union Intellectual Property Office has ruled that UK-based supermarket chain Iceland Food Ltd could not register a trademark for the sole use of the word "Iceland" within the European Union. In 2014 the supermarket group secured a trademark for the word "Iceland" throughout the EU and triggered a bitter five-year dispute with Reykjavik that has just been settled. The Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs and trade and tourism body Promote Iceland filed a declaration arguing the "country's businesses are unable to promote themselves across Europe in association with their place of origin - a place of which we are rightly proud and enjoys a very positive national branding". The Government also argued "Iceland is widely received as a geographical name and should have never been approved for trademark in the first place".
France: Groupe Casino offloads a further four stores
Groupe Casino has said that it has signed unilateral purchase agreements regarding the sale of a further four stores, as it continues its asset disposal. The stores, described by Casino as ‘structurally loss-making’, are being sold for a combined total of €24mln. They included two Géant hypermarkets at Carcassonne Cité and Château d'Olonne, which are being sold to a Leclerc member and a private investor, respectively. In addition, Casino is also offloading two Leader Price stores to discounter Lidl. ‘In 2018, these stores generated sales excluding VAT of €42mln and a loss in trading profit of €1.5mln’, Casino said in a statement.
Coop Switzerland acknowledged by WWF
Retailer and wholesaler Coop Switzerland has improved in almost all areas of the WWF's environmental rating, compared to the last time a rating was taken, in 2015. The WWF described the group's sustainability services as 'trend-setting' and 'visionary', and with this in mind, Coop is ambitious to continue with its commitment to people, animals and nature. "We are very proud that we have once again achieved a top spot in the WWF environmental rating and have also been able to improve on 2015", said Bruno Cabernard, head of dustainability at Coop.
IGD: Asian grocery to be worth US$4264bln by 2023
Asia will generate US$4264bln of grocery sales by 2023 - almost the same as Europe and North America combined - according to new market forecasts from IGD Asia, the food and consumer goods research organisation. Findings include: Asia, the largest regional grocery market in the world, is expected to grow by a CAGR of 6% between 2018 and 2023. The grocery market will be worth US$4264bln by 2023, up from $3126bln in 2018. Its share of global grocery spend will be 37% in 2023, adding around US$1139bln to the global grocery market to 2023. China, India and Indonesia will be the biggest contributors to the region’s top-line growth, accounting for 74% of new sales added by 2023
Holland: Jumbo revamps fruit and vegetables assortment
Dutch retailer Jumbo has announced that it has revamped its fruit and vegetables assortment to encourage customers to include more greens in their diet. In the coming weeks, the retailer will introduce more than 100 new products that will offer customers a wide range of healthy choices. Jumbo will expand its salad range to include Buddha bowls, snack salads, and toppings, so that customers can easily toss up a salad of their choice. It will also offer cooked vegetables, carrot noodles, pumpkin lasagna, and cauliflower rice. It plans to introduce cooking vegetables under the label 'Kies & Mix', which will allow customers to add several vegetables to their meals. Single packs of snack vegetables like bell pepper, celery, carrot, and cauliflower will also be available. The retailer will also launch a 'Fruit Snacking' shelf that will offer responsible alternatives to sweets. This will include vegan fruit gums, fruit strips, and fruit chips, that are made of dried fruit and do not contain any flavours, colours or added sugars. Jumbo has also directed efforts to make the packaging of the new range of products more sustainable. It has replaced the cardboard packaging around salad bowls with a printed closing foil. The move is expected to save around 175,000 kilograms of cardboard.
Russia: food retailer O'Key confirms talks with Sberbank
Russian mid-sized food retailer O’Key said that Russia’s largest lender Sberbank had expressed interest in its hypermarket business. State-controlled Sberbank is in talks to buy O’Key, six industry sources told Reuters. One of the sources said that O’Key’s discount chain Da! could be left out of the possible deal. O’Key’s board of directors “confirms that it is evaluating various directions for development and strategic options for the company’s hypermarket business, including an indication of interest in this business from Sberbank”, O’Key said in a statement.
Fastest-growing grocery product categories across seven European markets revealed: IRI
ESM: European Supermarket Magazine, in association with IRI - a leading provider of Big Data, predictive analytics, and forward-looking insights - has published its annual Europe’s Fastest-Growing Categories report, which highlights the product categories that have demonstrated the strongest year-on-year growth in seven European markets: France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK. In four of the markets included in the study, the Chilled & Fresh category has shown the strongest growth. In France, it rose by 2.1%; in Italy, it saw a 2.9% rise; in the Netherlands, it rose by 5.6%; and in Spain, the category rose by 6.3%. In Germany and the UK, the Drinks category saw the strongest growth, by 3.9% and 6.8%, respectively. Meanwhile, in Greece, the Pet category posted the strongest growth, of 10.3%.
US: Walmart will sell 98¢ reusable bags at checkout carousels to cut down on plastic
Walmart will begin selling reusable bags at checkout to reduce plastic waste. The company said the reusable bag initiative will start rolling out next month. Customers are increasingly demanding environmentally friendly products and packaging. Placing the bags at checkout will "increase customer convenience", the company said in a press release. The reusable bags are made out of recycled plastic and will be available for purchase at 98 cents.
Ahold Delhaize USA named as Winsight's 2019 Grocery Business of the Year
Ahold Delhaize USA has been chosen as Winsight's 2019 Grocery Business of the Year, which is featured in the leading trade media brand's April cover story. As the brand's most significant honor bestowed annually to one select grocery industry leader, WGB's Grocery Business of the Year profile story explores how the former international rivals charted a new trajectory following a rare merger that's hitting all its goals and has positioned its six U.S. brands to each wield the power of a $44bln company locally. The profile story further details how Ahold Delhaize USA has made good on its post-merger promise of "Leading Together" to accelerate growth and position its U.S. brands - including Stop & Shop, Giant/Martin's, Giant Food, Hannaford, Food Lion and Peapod - to focus on local markets and gain sales and share through a deft combination of service, technology and e-commerce advances.
US: National Supermarket Association offers 2 new energy programs
The National Supermarket Association (NSA) has partnered with RK Energy Group on two new energy programs: Free Electricity Rate Analysis and Free Energy Survey. The two programs are designed to lower the electricity bills at participating grocery stores and supermarkets in the Northeast. Allentown, Pennsylvania-based RK Energy will donate a portion of the proceeds from these two programs to the NSA to go toward the many charitable initiatives that the NSA supports.
US: Walmart bolsters digital media capabilities with Polymorph acquisition
Walmart Media Group has acquired Polymorph Labs, a Silicon Valley-based advertising startup. Walmart Media Group is the retailer’s advertising business, developed to build targeted, closed-loop advertising solutions in-store and online. With almost 160m visitors to its stores and websites every week, Walmart Media Group enables brands to operate at scale and measure the impact of their ads across the shopping journey. The acquisition of Polymorph is expected to make it easier for brands to advertise with Walmart, while also making the ads more relevant. Walmart Media Group will optimise Polymorph’s technology, complementing its existing omni-channel ad targeting and measurement solutions. Advertisers will be able to select audience segments based on shopping behaviour, automate ad delivery and measure whether their ads influenced a sale. Future innovations are expected to include real-time auctions across multiple ad-pricing models, including cost per click, cost per impression and cost per conversion. Polymorph’s technology team will join Walmart Media Group in its California and Bangalore offices.