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Jiffy is releasing its own brand of fresh produce

Colruyt Group wants to add another 20 Bio-Planet stores

Italy: Esselunga posts 6.7% sales growth in first half
Italian supermarket chain Esselunga has reported €4.33bln in sales in the first half of its financial year, up 6.7% year-on-year. Growth was affected by COVID-19-related restrictions imposed on mobility between different municipalities, which also impacted its performance in the same period last year.

India's Grofers taking multiple steps towards building more inclusive, diverse organisation: CEO
Online grocery ordering platform Grofers said it is taking multiple steps towards building a more "inclusive and diverse" organisation, including offering an endowment of Rs 50,000 per child for new parents and up to 10 days of period leave in a year. In a blogpost, Grofers co-founder and CEO Albinder Dhindsa said the company is "ashamed to admit that only 16%" of its workforce is women.

Marks & Spencer sourcing Irish product after Brexit cuts
Marks and Spencer (M&S) is trying to source more product locally for its Irish stores after running into trouble with post-Brexit export controls on food. The retailer said it is “gradually increasing” the range of products it can supply to Irish stores as it sources more products locally and gets to grips with the “complex checks” brought about by the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Belgium: Bio-Planet wants 20 additional stores
Founded 20 years ago, Belgian organic supermarket chain Bio-Planet has already grown to 31 locations. Owner Colruyt Group wants to add another 20, and sees opportunities in Wallonia - and Luxembourg.

Czech shoppers prefer to buy local food in supermarkets, study finds
Most shoppers in the Czech Republic prefer to buy Czech food in supermarkets, a new survey by Nielsen Admosphere has revealed. The study also found that 97% of respondents visit supermarkets for food at least sometimes, while 64% shop in small and brick-and-mortar stores, 31% at farmers' markets, 26% at market stalls, 21% in specialised shops such as organic shops and 17% online.

Lithuania: Maxima Grupė sees revenue up 6.5% in first half
Maxima Grupė has reported year-on-year revenue growth of 6.5%, to €2.18bln, in the first half of its financial year ended 30 June 2021. The company’s consolidated like-for-like retail revenue increased by 2.3% (2.5% at constant exchange rates), despite COVID-19 related restrictions still impacting sales.

Morrisons rolling out UK-wide ban for its second-most-sold item
Morrisons has pledged to become the first supermarket to remove plastic bags from all of the bananas sold in its stores. Bananas are the 2nd most commonly bought product in Morrisons stores. New paper bands will start to replace the bags that currently package some bananas. This will mean that 45mln single-use plastic bags (180 tonnes of plastic) will be removed from Morrisons stores a year.

UK: Jiffy launches own-branded fresh produce in industry first
Jiffy, one of the UK’s leading ultra-rapid grocery delivery companies has announced it is releasing its own brand of fresh produce. The move, which is the first by any rapid-delivery grocer in the UK, comes at the same time as an expansion for the company which will see it open dark stores in Stratford and Islington. Jiffy’s new own-brand range includes everything from blackcurrants and bananas and strawberries.

UK: Former Sainsbury’s boss says Brexit will have a bigger impact than Covid on food and drink
Brexit will have a bigger impact on the food and drink industry than the Covid pandemic, the former boss of Sainsbury’s has warned. Speaking at the Convenience Conference in London, Justin King said that it was inevitable that prices would rise because of supply chain issues.

Carrefour Spain has halved its use of fruits and vegetables plastics packaging by 50%
Over the last 3 years, Carrefour has managed to halve the amount of plastic it uses with all its fruit and vegetables. Doing so has established it as a company that is leading the fight to phase out plastics in Spain. Other products are now being packed using other materials, such as cardboard, netting and biodegradable packaging. In fact, over the course of this period, the retailer has cut out more than 1000 tonnes of plastic.

Amazon faces Teamsters union drive at 9 Canadian sites
The Teamsters Union has launched campaigns to organize employees in at least 9 Canadian facilities of U.S. e-commerce company, according to Reuters interviews with union officials.

Canada: Longo’s launches new online e-commerce store
Longo’s and its e-commerce service, Grocery Gateway, are now one, online. In what Longo’s calls a “unification” of the 2 brands’ websites, has become the home for all Grocery Gateway products and services. The website has a new look and customers now have a single sign-in for all the retailer’s products and services including its rewards program, Thank You Rewards; recipes; Loft cooking classes; and placing orders for pickup or delivery.

US: GrubMarket acquires Farmigo to expand software offerings to American farms
GrubMarket announced it has completed the acquisition of Farmigo, a provider of community supported agriculture ("CSA") software to farms to manage their business online and reach more consumers. Using technology and a community-based business model, Farmigo connects local farms directly to consumers through food communities - such as workplaces, schools, apartment complexes and community centers. Once a food community is established, members can order their selection online from a variety of local farms and have it delivered weekly or bi-weekly to their food community site.

HelloFresh adding 1,000 tech jobs
Meal-kit service HelloFresh is adding 1,000 new technology roles across its offices in Canada, the U.S., Australia and Germany over the next 12 months. HelloFresh’s technology team is responsible for everything from the digital product to developing new recipes to powering supply chains, according to a press release.

US: Tops makes greater sustainability push
Tops Friendly Markets is becoming eco-friendlier. The retailer announced that it is expanding its sustainability efforts, improving energy efficiency and other responsible practices across the organization.

US: ShopHero expands its industry innovation leadership with release of ShopHero Retail Success Platform™
ShopHero, a market-leading grocery-focused technology company, announced the release of the company’s best-in-class Retail Success Platform. The ShopHero Retail Success Platform is an easy-to-use, turnkey solution that provides everything an independent local grocer needs to drive success with shoppers.

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