Alima aims to build out Latin America’s perishable foods supply chain
Alima, a Mexico-based supply chain startup, raised $1.5mln in new funding to continue developing data-driven tools for businesses to source the produce they need and have it delivered directly to them. The market for fresh produce in Mexico is expected to grow by $4bln over the next four years, so co-founder and CEO Jorge Vizcayno and co-founder Blanca Espinosa started Alima in June 2021 to help solve these problems in anticipation of that growth.
US: Unreal Deli brings the service deli counter into the modern age with the introduction of hand-sliced plant-based meats
Unreal Deli, the world's first and leading provider of premium plant-based deli meat, announces the launch of its fully sliceable bulk meats into 125 Hannaford Supermarket locations at the store's service deli counters.
US Foods announces completion of expanded Louisiana distribution center
US Foods Holding Corp. announced that the company has completed the expansion of its distribution center in Marrero, Louisiana. The facility has nearly tripled in size and houses a full assortment of broadline items. It also includes a full-service demonstration kitchen and training center to support culinary innovation, as well as an interactive technology center where US Foods customers can learn about the company’s industry-leading, web-based business solutions.
New FMI survey finds U.S. food industry is investing heavily in customer experience amid economic volatility
Despite a challenging year marked by a persisting pandemic, historic inflation, supply chain bottlenecks, and labor shortages, the food industry is making significant investments to meet shoppers’ evolving tastes, according to FMI-The Food Industry Association’s annual comprehensive research report, The Food Retailing Industry Speaks 2022. The departments expected to grow include locally sourced (72%) and organic produce (62%), plant-based foods and animal protein alternatives (64%), allergen-free (38%) and gluten-free (35%) SKUs.
China: JD Super announces its new strategy
JD.com’s omni-channel supermarket, JD Super, announced its business strategy titled “BOOST” during a press conference. The plan is intended to help JD Super navigate its business development. “BOOST” is an acronym. “B” as in “broaden” reflects JD Super’s commitment to broadening its user growth. “O” for “omni” is about developing its intra-city retail business with the omni-channel approach. The second “O” stands for “Opening”, suggesting JD Super is set to provide an open ecosystem for its partners and consumers. “S” for “supply chain” as JD Super is mapping out a supply chain-based system. “T” for “tier 3-6” indicates that JD Super will expand its business in rural areas.
New Zealand: Grocery costs for supermarkets increased 8.7% in August
Grocery costs for supermarkets are accelerating, which is flowing through to higher prices for consumers, according to the latest monthly gauge. The Grocery Supplier Cost Index, which measures the cost of more than 60,000 grocery products supplied to the Foodstuffs co-operative, including New World and Pak ’n Save supermarkets, showed the cost of groceries from suppliers rose at an annual pace of 8.7% in August. “Cost increases from suppliers remain broad-based across product categories”, said Brad Olsen, principal economist at independent consultancy Infometrics, which was commissioned by Foodstuffs to produce the index. All departments recorded annual increases in costs compared with August last year, with fresh produce recording the biggest gain of 17%.
UK: Ocado warns of sales fall as shoppers cut back in living costs crisis
Ocado has warned that annual sales will drop because customers are trading down to value products and buying less overall amid a worsening cost-of-living crisis. The online grocer, which is owned partly by Marks & Spencer, said sales rose 2.7% from a year ago in the 13 weeks to 28 August, an improvement from the drop in the previous quarter. However, faced with soaring energy bills and higher food prices, shoppers are putting less in their baskets and looking for cheaper products. The value of the average basket fell 6%, from £123 to £116.
Austria: SPAR minimises food waste through digitalisation
SPAR Austria is continuing to pioneer innovative ways to reduce food waste. Although only 1% of the food offered instore goes unsold, the retailer is looking to bring this down further by using data and AI for goods ordering and supply chain management. In cooperation with SPAR ICS - the company’s IT unit - Microsoft, and other partners, SPAR Austria has developed a solution that enables more targeted order suggestions and demand forecasts for all SPAR, EUROSPAR, and INTERSPAR stores. An automatic ordering system that has been in place at SPAR Austria for decades formed the basis of the new system, which has now been trialled in the fruit and vegetables area.
Amazon acquires mechatronics specialist Cloostermans
Ecommerce giant Amazon has acquired Belgian mechatronics specialist Cloostermans. It is unclear what amount was involved in the deal. Amazon will scale up its robotics operations with Cloostermans’ technology.
From free crumpets to store discounts, UK grocers lure workers
With job vacancies in Britain close to a record high, retailers including Tesco Plc have begun offering better perks to workers, enticing them with free food and essentials during a cost-of-living crisis. Workers are given free fruit; hot and cold drinks; breakfast items such as cereal, crumpets and spreads; bread, pasta and noodle snacks; and toiletries including deodorant and sanitary products, a Tesco spokesperson said.
UK: Asda rations budget Just Essentials range as demand surges
Asda has rationed its hugely popular Just Essentials value range, limiting customers to a maximum of three of any of the low-cost lines. Just Essentials is made up of more than 300 low-cost lines, with products ranging from tinned essentials and joints of beef to fresh fruit and vegetables, making it the largest value range in the UK grocery market.
Africans stage Paris Uber Eats protest
Around 500 Uber Eats delivery riders from Africa, many without French working papers, demonstrated in Paris after the company kicked 2,500 accounts off its restaurant delivery platform that allegedly used fake identities.
China: JD initiates first Shopping Festival for Agricultural Specialties
JD’s first Shopping Festival of Agricultural Specialties kicked off, during which JD.com pledges to commit resources to promote 300,000 kinds of agricultural specialties from more than 2000 agricultural industrial belts. The shopping festival, which will run until the 25th of September, will provide consumers with billions yuan RMB worth of consumption vouchers for agricultural specialties, while 120,000 kinds of verified high-quality agricultural specialties by geographical indication will be put on shelf, including Korla Fragrant Pears from Xinjiang. With the help of JD.com, Xiuwen Kiwi from Guizhou, and many other agricultural specialties have achieved scale and quality development in sales.
Longest European Food Delivery by bike finishes at the Just Eat Takeaway.com HQ in Amsterdam
Two Dutch pro cyclists, Eva and Mari, have travelled over 3,000 km across European mainland to complete the Longest European Food Delivery by bike. Their tour kicked off in Copenhagen on the 6th of July and finished in Amsterdam at the Just Eat Takeaway.com (JET) HQ at the 8th of September.