Food retail landscape is changing for good, says Britain's Ocado
British online grocer and technology group Ocado said the landscape for food retailing was changing for good as it reported a 69% jump in annual core earnings that were boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic generating huge demand for home delivery. The increase reflected revenue growth of 35% at Ocado Retail, a joint venture between Ocado and Marks & Spencer, which offset a negative contribution from Ocado’s overseas technology arm due to additional costs associated with faster growth and accounting rules. Ocado’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to 73.1mln pounds ($101mln) in the year to November 29 2020 from 43.3mln in 2018-19. Group revenue increased 32.7% to 2.33bln pounds, with Ocado Retail contributing 2.19bln pounds.
Sweden: ICA adopts new health strategy
Swedish retailer ICA has launched a new health strategy focusing on 3 core areas: mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing, and the safe use of antibiotics. Commenting on the initiative, Per Strömberg, ICA Gruppen chief executive, said the group has "a great responsibility, but also a great opportunity to contribute to positive development in society”, adding that that it can encourage customers to "make healthy choices." One area that ICA hopes to positively impact is increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables. Only 20% of consumers eat enough fruit and vegetables every day, studies have found, which are proven to reduce the risk of developing depression and mental illness, as well as providing important nutrients.
UK: Sainsbury's tops up Healthy Start vouchers to help feed over half a million families
As part of its ongoing commitment to support the communities it serves, Sainsbury’s has announced it will be expanding its food donation programme by topping up the Government’s Healthy Start vouchers by £2 in England - a move that could help more than half a million people have access to nutritious food. Launching on 15 February, customers who redeem the Government’s Healthy Start voucher when shopping in Sainsbury’s will automatically receive a coupon worth £2 to use towards fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables during their next shop.
SPAR Austria launches collaboration with Too Good To Go
SPAR has become the first major food retailer in Austria to launch a partnership with social impact company Too Good To Go. All SPAR Gourmet stores in Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland will now offer packages with food products nearing their sell-by date at a third of the original retail price. By ordering these packages via the Too Good To Go app, customers can take action against food waste, while benefitting from discounts.
UK: Aldi extends click-and-collect trial to Scotland
Aldi is launching click-and-collect services in Scotland for the first time after extending its trial to its Montrose store. Customers will be able to order from a full range of groceries online then collect them, in pre-booked one-hour collection slots from the Basin View store in Montrose. Customers can also choose to have their shopping loaded into their boot by an Aldi staff member, so they can collect their shopping without ever having to leave their car.
Online's share of Britain's grocery market hits record 16% - Nielsen
The online share of British grocery sales hit a record 16% in January, up from 8% in the same month last year, driven by increased demand during the country’s third COVID-19 lockdown, industry data showed. Market researcher Nielsen said British consumers spent 1.4bln pounds ($1.9bln) on groceries online in the 4 weeks to January 30 - a year-on-year growth of 121%. It said 1 in 3 of all British households shopped online, with 770mln pounds of the spend coming from new online shoppers.
Australia: Coles helps make "healthier living" easier and more affordable
Coles is launching a new program to help make “Healthier Living” easier and more affordable for Australians, kicking off with 28 days of health deals, double Flybuys points on all fresh fruit and vegetables and selected health-related products (Offer valid at Coles Supermarkets and Coles Online from 10/2/21 - 9/3/21), recipes approved by the Heart Foundation and fitness tips delivered by some of Australia’s best athletes including World and Olympic Champion Sally Pearson.
UK: Sainsbury’s to match Aldi on 100’s of prices, offering the quality you love, for less
Sainsbury’s has launched its boldest ever value campaign, matching discount supermarket Aldi on hundreds of the nation’s favourite foods and staple items. The commitment will offer customers Sainsbury’s quality they expect now price matched to Aldi, helping them save more on their grocery shopping. Customers will find around 250 quality products, all carefully price matched to the equivalent product at Aldi. The commitment covers Sainsbury’s and branded products, focussing on customer favourites such as meat, chicken, fresh fruit and vegetables and dairy.
US: United Supermarkets CEO to Retire
United Supermarkets LLC CEO Robert Taylor has revealed he will retire on March 1, and that Sidney Hopper, currently president of Lubbock, Texas-based United, will succeed him. Taylor will remain in an advisory role for the company as EVP - senior advisor.
US: GrubMarket raised $90mln in 2020 to accelerate nationwide expansion
GrubMarket announced it completed $90mln of financing in an oversubscribed Series D round in 2020, from funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, ACE & Company, Celtic House Venture Partners, Sixty Degree Capital, The Strand Partners, Reimagined Ventures, Trinity Capital Investment, Madison Bay Capital Partners, Marubeni Ventures, GGV and others.
US: DoorDash has bought Chowbotics, which builds robots that can chop you a fresh salad in under 60 seconds
DoorDash has bought Chowbotics, the developers of a robot that can make custom fresh salads in under a minute. DoorDash merchants will now be able to expand their menus and reach new markets without investing in new stores, the food-delivery app said in a statement, suggesting merchants could use the robots to fulfill orders delivered through DoorDash.
US: Instacart acquires over 250 patents from IBM
IBM and Instacart, the leading online grocery platform in North America, announced that Instacart has acquired over 250 patents from IBM. In addition, IBM and Instacart entered into a mutual patent cross license. The agreement allows Instacart to continue to strengthen its own patent portfolio, and the license gives Instacart freedom of action to use IBM patents in the future growth of its business. Financial terms were not disclosed.