Brits are creating the highest demand for fruit and vegetables this century
Tesco reported: "Healthy-minded Brits are creating the biggest demand for fruit and vegetables this century, latest sales data can reveal. Since the first lockdown started last year, stay-at-home Brits with more time on their hands have been able to spend more time at home cooking. The trend has been noticed at Tesco stores across the UK, many of which are seeing record-breaking weekly demand for healthy vegetables, fruit and salad. Among the most popular being bought are: Maris Piper potatoes - up by 60% on a year ago. Limes - also up by 60%. Aubergines - up 50%. Butternut squash - up 50%. Leeks - up 40%. Red onions - up 30%. Apples - up by 10%".
Online grocery sales hit record high in Ireland: Kantar
Online sales now account for 5.2% of the Irish grocery market, close to double that of a year ago (2.7%), according to the latest market share data from Kantar. According to the data for the 12 weeks to 24 January, some 12% of Irish shoppers purchased groceries online in the first four weeks of 2021, surpassing previous records. In terms of the performance of Ireland's biggest grocers, Lidl was the stand-out, seeing value sales up 25.6% year-on-year, with the discounter now holding 11.9% market share. SuperValu (22.1% market share) saw sales up 18.5%, while Tesco (21.9% market share) saw sales rise 16.5%, with both retailers bolstered by their online presence. According to Kantar, Tesco saw the biggest increase in trip size among all the grocers this period, with shoppers adding on average 3.5 more items to their trolleys. Market leader Dunnes Stores (22.6%) saw the lowest growth of all the major grocers, with sales up 11.3%, however shoppers to its stores spent more than at any other retailer.
Sweden: ICA sees sales up 5.4% in January
Swedish retailer ICA has posted a 5.4% increase in sales in January, compared to the same month the previous year. Sales totalled SEK10.3bln for the month (€1.02bln). ICA said that like-for-like sales were also up 5.4% for the month. In terms of the performance of the group's various banners, ICA said that its large-scale Maxi ICA Stormarknad arm saw a 9.2% increase in sales (+8.2% like-for-like). Its ICA Kvantum business was up 4.2% (+4.7% like-for-like), ICA Supermarket saw a 2.1% increase (+2.2% like-for-like), and its ICA Nära convenience arm was up 5.8% (+7.4% like-for-like).
Holland: Albert Heijn criticised for adding to ‘jungle’ of food labels
The largest Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn has launched its own environmentally-friendly logo for fruit and vegetables, complementing its quality labels for pork and dairy products. The move has been criticised by competitors and food standards experts as making the crowded field of environmental certification even more congested. ‘The more different labels there are, the more consumers will be put off’, Joyce van de Bos of EKO told the FD.
Italy: Amazon Fresh launches in Milan
Amazon's Italian arm has rolled out the Amazon Fresh service in Milan, offering a same-day grocery delivery option. The service will initially be available to Amazon Prime customers in Milan and surrounding municipalities (including Cologno Monzese, Rho and Opera). It will be expanded to Rome and other Italian cities by the end of the year.
Portugal: Continente purchases 14.5mln tonnes of oranges from Algarve region
Portuguese retailer Continente has agreed to purchase a total of 14.5mln tonnes of oranges produced in the Algarve region, as it seeks to expand its support for local producers. This represents a rise of 5% on last year's numbers, the retailer said.
Australia: Woolies plans giant fresh food warehouse as online demand soars
Woolworths has unveiled plans to invest more than $110mln in a massive fresh food distribution warehouse in Sydney’s west as it looks to cater for surging demand across its supermarket network and from its booming online grocery business. Preliminary plans lodged with the NSW government are for a multi-storey 60,000 square metre fresh food distribution centre to be built on an 8.6 hectare site it owns at 250 Victoria Street in Wetherill Park, west of Parramatta.
India's Future Group shares soar after court lifts hold on Reliance deal
Shares in Future Group companies jumped nearly 10%, a day after an Indian court overturned an order that had stalled Future Group’s $3.4bln deal to sell its retail assets to conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. The court’s decision is the latest twist in the Future Group saga, coming after a New Delhi court last week sided with Future’s partner Amazon.com Inc’s challenge and put Future’s asset sale to Reliance Industries on hold, which led to an appeal from the Indian retail group.
Aldi launches first click-and-collect service for Irish customers
Aldi has launched its first click-and-collect service for customers in Ireland. The retailer confirmed the big news and said the service will be offered until at least early March. Initially, it will be available at 15 stores across the country, before being extended to more in the "near future".
Amazon to buy half of the energy produced by huge offshore wind farm in the Netherlands
Amazon plans to buy half of the energy produced by a huge new wind farm in the Netherlands. Shell and Eneco secured the right to build the 759 megawatt wind farm in the North Sea last July. Amazon intends to purchase more than 380 MW of its output to power its operations in Europe.
US: First deliveries made into Kroger’s Ocado CFC
The first cases have been delivered into the first CFC that is due to open as part of the strategic partnership between Kroger and Ocado. The delivery of the first cases marks an important milestone in the Kroger Ocado partnership. The delivery, into the Customer Fulfillment Centre (CFC) in Monroe, Ohio, comes almost 3 years since the companies announced their strategic partnership. The CFC, which is just under 40KM from Kroger’s HQ in Cincinnati, will be the first of 10 announced locations to open. The companies plan to develop up to 20 sites over time, with the scale of the partnership ensuring exclusivity for America’s second larger retailer.
US: Price Chopper/Market 32 and Tops Markets to merge, nearly doubling their footprint in the Northeast
Price Chopper/Market 32 and Tops Markets announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement that creates a powerful alliance between the two storied independent grocery chains, as it nearly doubles their collective footprint in the Northeast.
US: Imperfect Foods Series D commitment increased to $110mln
Imperfect Foods, the leader in the sustainable online grocery space, announced its Series D commitment will total $110mln, a $15mln increase from the previously-announced January commitment. The Series D round now includes 2 new investors, private markets investment management firm Hamilton Lane and Blisce, both with a track record of investing in sustainability leaders and a strong commitment to building long-term value for mission-driven companies.