Amazon is expanding its logistics network to include over 300 sea routes across Europe
Amazon reported: "Taking advantage of Europe's geographical peculiarities, we continue to grow our sea transportation network and are currently operating more than 300 sea routes across Europe".
Source: aboutamazon.co.uk

South Korea: Lotte Shopping breaks ground on Ocado-powered robotic warehouse
Lotte broke ground on a robotic warehouse for online groceries in the southern port city of Busan. The facility utilizes technology from British retailer Ocado. The automated logistics center, slated to commence operations in late 2025, aims to deliver fresh produce to around 2.3mln households in Busan and South Gyeongsang, with plans to expand to five additional regions across the country.
Source: koreajoongangdaily.joins.com

Spain: Consum appoints Antonio Rodríguez Lázaro as general manager
Spanish cooperative retailer Consum has appointed Antonio Rodríguez Lázaro as its new general manager, effective February 1, 2024. In his new role, Rodríguez Lázaro succeeds Juan Luis Durich Esteras, who has decided to retire after 30 years in the position.
Source: esmmagazine.com

Swiss inflation unexpectedly slows, backing case for SNB pause
Swiss inflation unexpectedly slowed to a two-year low, adding to the case for Swiss National Bank officials to keep borrowing costs steady when they meet next week. Consumer prices rose 1.4% in November from a year earlier, the weakest since October 2021. That was lower than predicted by any economist in a Bloomberg survey, which foresaw no change from 1.7%. The drop was driven by lower costs for hotels, package holidays, fuel, and fruit and vegetables.
Source: bnnbloomberg.ca

Aldi set to open 300th store in Poland
Aldi opens its 300th outlet in Poland this week, with the unveiling of a new store at Krapkowicka Street in Opole on December 6, according to media reports.
Source: esmmagazine.com

UK: Peas Please Progress Report 2023
The Food Foundation reported: "Our latest Peas Please Progress Report reveals the amount of vegetables bought by households in the UK has fallen to its lowest level in 50 years. This highlights the impact the cost of living crisis is having on low-income families who are struggling to afford healthier options. Yet despite this, our pledgers have now sold 1.1 billion additional portions of veg since 2017."
Source: foodfoundation.org.uk

Holland: Food waste in supermarkets down by 17.4% compared to 2018
In 2022, supermarkets sold an average of 98.62% of the total amount of food that they offered. This means that 1.38% of their food did not reach consumers. These are the findings from research that was carried out by Wageningen University & Research (WUR) on the basis of self-reporting by supermarkets. The proportion of unsold products in relation to purchase volumes per product category was as follows: Potatoes, vegetables, and fruit: 2.1% (compared to 2.4% in 2020 and 2.7% in 2018).
Source: wur.nl

Sainsbury's sees biggest jump in market share in a decade: Kantar
Sainsbury's has reported its biggest market share jump in a decade, Kantar has said, with the British retailer seeing a 0.4 percentage point gain to 15.6% in the 12 weeks to November 26.
Source: esmmagazine.com

Sharp debate continues on VAT rate on produce: Latvian Television's De Facto
One of the most controversial issues in next year's state budget discussions is the issue of value-added tax (VAT) on vegetables, fruits, and berries grown in Latvia, which at the end of November resulted in an industry request for Finance Minister Arvils Aseradens to resign, Latvian Television's De Facto reported.
Source: eng.lsm.lv

UK: How price of vegetables for festive family meals cost up to 60% more than last year - with 1kg bag potatoes rising from £1.85 to £2.95, carrots up from 25p to 35p, and sprouts increasing by 12.5%
The cost of vegetables for Christmas dinner has soared by up to 60% in one year, with carrots, potatoes, parsnips, and Brussels sprouts all hit by soaring inflation. Prices have risen by an average of 7% over the past year across 208 lines of parsnips, carrots, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts at Aldi, Lidl, Co-op, and Waitrose. Data from retail research firm Assosia revealed annual price rises of at least 10% on more than a third of products, while 24 increased by more than 20%.
Source: dailymail.co.uk

SPAR Group's sale of Polish business 'takes a weight off': Analyst
SPAR Group's decision to sell its Polish business "will be a weight off the minds of head office," a retail analyst has said, enabling the South Africa-based retailer to focus on its operations in other markets. Joe Dawson, retail analyst at GlobalData, was commenting following the announcement of SPAR Group's full-year results.
Source: esmmagazine.com

British Airways outlines plans for festive celebrations
British Airways has launched what it is calling its British Original Christmas for 2023. The carrier says it expects to serve more than 380,000 Christmas dinners, including more than 600,000 Brussels sprouts and 8,000 yule logs.
Source: businesstraveller.com

Ireland: Applegreen and M&S Food to expand partnership
Applegreen, one of Ireland's leading roadside retailers, and M&S Food are to significantly expand their partnership following a successful first year of operations. The M&S Food at Applegreen stores features the best of M&S Food, including fresh fruit, salads, etc.
Source: retailnews.ie

US: Kroger tells FTC that requirements for merger have been met
Kroger has told the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) it has met all the antitrust law requirements for its $24.6bln merger with Albertsons, and the agency is now next to act, reports the Cincinnati Business Courier.
Source: supermarketnews.com

US: Mother nature is having big impact on produce sales
"I can honestly say that the market has been challenging with weather conditions and shipping; prices have been higher than normal as selections and quality have been mediocre," said Chris Mentzer, director of operations for Rastelli Market Fresh, which has two New Jersey-based locations in Marlton and Deptford. "Organics have slowed due to their increased cost; families are stretching their shopping dollar, which seems to impact the organic produce sales this year." One thing he's noticed is a large increase in local produce, with sales up 15% over last year.
Source: supermarketnews.com

US: Idalou Dollar General Market to offer fresh groceries, hiring opportunities
On Monday, December 4, the Dollar General Market opened its doors at 103 E. 1st St. in Idalou. This new format plans to offer "fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables, as well as the same categories, brands, and products customers trust Dollar General to carry," according to a news release.
Source: eu.lubbockonline.com

US: Cardenas Markets opens new store in Las Vegas
Heritage Grocers Group has opened a new Cardenas Markets store in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Ontario, Canada-based company, parent of Cardenas, said the 40,000-square-foot store at 4015 S. Buffalo Drive marks the Latino grocery chain's 58th location, bringing Heritage's total store count to 115. The new Cardenas supermarket includes an affordable produce department with Latin American varieties.
Source: winsightgrocerybusiness.com