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Nisa has launched a range of new deals on fresh and healthier food

Ocado has agreed to buy robotics start-up Myrmex

India: Amazon Fresh is now in Visakhapatnam
Customers in Visakhapatnam city will now enjoy grocery selection of over 4,000 products across fruits, vegetables and daily grocery needs with a promise to deliver within three hours. The service is being brought to the people by Amazon India, which announced the expansion of Amazon Fresh initiative to this city.

Britain's Ocado to buy robotics start-up Myrmex for $10.2mln
British online supermarket and technology group Ocado has agreed to buy materials handling robotics start-up Myrmex Inc for $10.2mln, it said. Ocado acquired a minority stake in Athens-based Myrmex in 2020 and tasked it with developing a system that automates the loading of containers with customer orders onto frames ready for dispatch from Ocado's warehouses. The "Automated Frameload" solution it developed is set to go live in Ocado's warehouses later this year.

UK: Nisa promoting healthier options
Nisa has launched a range of new deals on fresh and healthier food to cater for those looking for lighter options. Deals include Co-op Chicken Thigh Fillets 520g at £3.60, Co-op Baby Leaf Salad 115g at £1.29, Co-op Vine Ripened Tomatoes 400g at £1.29, and Co-op Sweet Peppers 3pk at £1.79. And Nisa’s latest Fresh 3 deal offers additional savings on Co-op fruit and vegetable lines with Mangos at £1.15, Green Beans 200g at £1, and Salad Tomatoes 6pk at just 79p.

China: omnichannel agricultural products wholesale trading platform sees transaction boom amid COVID-19
China’s first omni-channel agricultural products wholesale trading platform “Yinongpi (亿农批)”, jointly created by and Dili Group, one of China’s leading operators of agricultural produce wholesale markets, has grossed nearly RMB200mln yuan of transaction volume in the past nine months since launching in September 2021, according to “As a result of the epidemic, we have fewer offline clients this year, but through Yinongpi, many clients reached us online”, said Jinyu Li, from the Jinyuxiangyun vegetable wholesales company, which was an early user of Yinongpi. “Under the help of the platform, our sales for produce in the first quarter achieved 30% year-on-year growth, including beans, cabbages, potatoes, onions and other vegetables”.

India: Lulu Group to invest Rs2,000crore in malls, hypermarkets in Karnataka
UAE-headquartered Lulu Group signed an MoU with the State Government proposing to invest about Rs2000crore in setting up four shopping malls and hypermarkets and food processing units for agri exports. The investment will commence from this financial year itself, according to the MoU signed by Additional Chief Secretary (Industries) EV Ramana Reddy and Lulu director AV Ananth Ram in the presence of chief minister Basavaraj Bommai and Lulu Group chairman MA Yusuff Ali at Davos.

UK's Kingfisher boosted by 'grow your own' plant sales
British home improvement retailer Kingfisher (which owns B&Q and Screwfix in Britain and Castorama and Brico Depot in France and other markets) reported first quarter sales significantly ahead of its pre-pandemic performance, helped by strong "grow your own" plant sales and other garden products. Kingfisher said B&Q sold 730,000 units of vegetable plants, such as carrots and peas, 170,000 units of tomato plants, 160,000 units of strawberry plants and 370,000 units of herb plants.

UK shoppers feeling more uncomfortable as inflation rises, Kantar data shows
Just one third of UK households now consider themselves to be in a 'comfortable' financial situation, with 43% describing their situation as 'managing' and 22% 'struggling', new data from Kantar has found. In the 12 weeks to 15 May, supermarket sales in the UK fell by 4.4%, Kantar data showed, although in the most recent month, sales were down by just 1.7%.

Prices of some grocery items rose more than 20% before inflation caused by war
An investigation by consumer watchdog Which? has found that hundreds of everyday grocery items increased in price by more than a fifth in the two years prior to the surge in food inflation caused by the war in Ukraine. This included among others Asda’s own-label Closed Cup Mushrooms 250g up 21.4%. Groceries with the lowest inflation included chocolate (1.4%), fresh fruit (1.6%), biscuits (1.8%), and vegetables (1.9%).

US: FreshDirect celebrates 20 years at the forefront of grocery innovation
FreshDirect, the online grocery shopping pioneer and one of the leading grocery delivery services in the U.S., is celebrating 20 years of innovation, excellence, and convenience. Since its founding in 2002, the Bronx-based online grocer has remained a signature household staple for two decades and has established true connections with its loyal customers.

US: Lidl plans third Washington, D.C., store
Hard discount grocer Lidl has unveiled plans for a third Washington, D.C., store as it readies the opening of its 34th Virginia location next week. The Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) said that Lidl US plans to build a nearly 29,000-square-foot in Upton Place, a new mixed-use development at 4000 Wisconsin Ave. NW in the District of Columbia by Donohoe Cos. and partner Apartment Investment and Management Company (AIMCO). No expected opening date was disclosed.

US: Wegmans sets opening date for 1st D.C. store
Wegmans Food Markets is officially entering the nation’s capital on July 13. The grocer’s first Washington, D.C., location is at City Ridge on Wisconsin Ave. in the northwest corner of the city and construction is moving along at a fast clip. With recruitment at that store beginning to wrap up, the company is turning its attention to a location in Reston, Virginia, that is slated to open in early 2023.

US: Trader Joe’s workers push to unionize amid wave of organizing efforts
Organizers have begun a unionization campaign at the upscale supermarket chain Trader Joe’s after workers at a branch in Hadley, Massachusetts, announced they were forming a union and intend to file a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to hold an election. It would be the first unionized Trader Joe’s store out of more than 530 locations in the US.

US: Walmart to automate all regional distribution centers
Walmart aims to automate all its regional distribution centers under an expanded partnership with artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics specialist Symbotic. Plans call for Walmart to deploy Symbotic’s robotics and software automation platform at all 42 of its regional DCs, the companies said.

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