FMI: Fresh Foods Agenda for 2021

Albertsons is piloting an automated, temperature-controlled pickup kiosk

US: The Giant Company offers virtual classes to fight ‘meal fatigue’
Nutritionists at The Giant Company, the Carlisle, Pennsylvania-based operator of 190 supermarkets, will be offering a series of free virtual cooking classes to help consumers combat “meal fatigue”, as the continuing coronavirus pandemic and cooking and eating at home challenge shoppers to come up with fresh ideas for dinner. The “Family Meals at 5” classes, which will be held each Tuesday at 5 p.m. from January 12 through February 23, give Giant shoppers a live opportunity to cook affordable, simple meals each week.

US: Trader Joe’s to open store in Harlem in NYC in 2023
Trader Joe’s plans to open its first store in Upper Manhattan, in the New York City neighborhood of Harlem. The Prusik Group, BRP Companies, L+M Development Partners and Taconic Partners said they’ve signed a lease with Trader Joe’s for a 28,000-square-foot store on the lower level of the upcoming Urban League Empowerment Center. 

US: FMI announces Fresh Foods Agenda for 2021
FMI-The Food Industry Association announced its fresh foods insights and programming agenda for 2021 to help its members navigate shifting consumer shopping behaviors and preferences. With more people eating at home than ever before, FMI will continue to chart the COVID-19 pandemic’s influence on American food habits and grocery operational trends that shape mealtime occasions.

US: Jewel-Osco tests self-serve grocery pickup kiosk
Expanding its click-and-collect options, Albertsons Cos. is piloting an automated, temperature-controlled pickup kiosk outside a Jewel-Osco supermarket in Chicago. Albertsons said that it’s the first U.S. grocer to test the contactless PickUp Kiosk, developed by Estonia-based Cleveron. The Jewel-Osco unit is now fulfilling orders, and Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons soon plans to install a second kiosk at a San Francisco Bay Area Safeway.

Too Good To Go raises $31mln to fight food waste
Too Good To Go, the startup that lets you buy food right before it goes to waste, is raising a $31.1mln round. blisce/ is leading the round and investing $15.4mln as part of the round. Existing investors and employees are also participating. While the company has been around for a while, this is the first time Too Good To Go is raising money from a VC firm. The startup has been operating across several European countries for a few years now. It runs a marketplace focused on food waste. On one side, restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries and other food businesses contribute surplus food items. On the other side, consumers can snatch food right before it becomes unsellable.

HelloFresh expands to Japan
Within 5 to 7 years, HelloFresh aims to grow from 3.6bln to 10bln euros in turnover. To achieve this, the German company is now preparing for further international expansion. The market leader in recipe-kit services is looking at the Asian market: a vacancy for managing director in Japan has appeared on the website. That's what Exciting Commerce has tipped off.

UK: Online grocery sales double in December leading to biggest Christmas on record for supermarkets, Nielsen data shows
The online share of grocery sales at UK supermarkets doubled to 12.5% in the last 4 weeks ending 26 December 2020. This is up from online’s 6.7% share of sales during the same time in 2019, in what was the biggest December on record, reveals new data released by Nielsen.

Portugal: Aldi opens first of 25 new stores in 2021
Aldi Portugal has opened the first of 25 new stores it plans to open in 2021, with the aim of surpassing 100 outlets in the country by the end of the year. The new opening, in the coastal town of Peniche, has retail area of 1,200 square metres, and takes Aldi's store count in Portugal to 84. Director for marketing and communication at Aldi Portugal, Ricardo Santos, told Dinheiro Vivo, that one of the company’s main goals is to triple its store count in the medium term, in order to reach areas of Portugal where it is not yet present, in addition to boosting its presence in cities where it already operates stores.

Vietnam’s retail sales see lowest growth in 9 years
Vietnam’s retail sales grew 2.6% last year, the lowest growth in 9 years, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO). The country’s retail revenue reached US$219.5bln last year, increasing 2.6% despite the impact of Covid-19. Although the figure illustrates the lowest increase in 9 years, given the pandemic situation, Vietnam still has one of the best performances in the region in the retail sector.

UK: B&M Q3 sales rise on discounts, narrows annual profit outlook range
B&M reported sales growth of 22.5% in the third quarter and narrowed the range for its annual profit outlook after the British discount retailer handed back 80mln pounds ($109mln) of property tax relief offered by the UK government. The company’s low prices and out-of-town stores have struck a chord with consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping the revenue grow. B&M now expects to report an annual adjusted core profit of between 540mln pounds and 570mln pounds.

UK: Shopper confidence remains stable despite increased restrictions
Shopper confidence remained stable in December, despite increased COVID-19 restrictions over the Christmas period and uncertainty over EU Exit, according to the latest IGD Shopper Confidence Index. While many shoppers did not have the festive period they had planned for, confidence appeared to be held up by Christmas food and grocery shopping and the rollout of the first virus vaccine. Despite sitting at a relatively low level of -6, December’s score remained unchanged from the previous month and is still at the highest level since February 2020.

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