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YallaMarket is helping businesses enter MENA

Waitrose: Earliest British asparagus season

Italy: Supercentro expands network with Feritrade deal
Italian regional food distribution company Gruppo Supercentro will expand its store network following the signing of an agreement with Salento-based Feritrade. Under the agreement, 27 stores will come under the Sisa banner by July, bringing the total number of stores directly-owned, administered and affiliated with Supercentro to 327.

This online grocery in Singapore delivers from farm to door in 36 hours!
OpenTaste is an online platform akin to a “global farmer’s market”, featuring products from over 200 producers around the world. As a customer, you get to enjoy wholesale rates on farm-fresh produce. While not everything on site is organic, OpenTaste also has one of the largest selections of reasonably priced organic fresh produce to choose from.

Mallorca supermarkets did not reduce prices despite cut in VAT
The Balearic government's consumer affairs directorate undertook a survey of food prices before and after the Spanish government introduced the cut in VAT (IVA) on fresh food and basic necessities. At one supermarket, which had been charging 2.99 euros for a three-kilo bag of potatoes, the price went up 41% to 4.22 euros.

Grocery delivery startup YallaMarket is helping businesses enter MENA
Dubai-based YallaMarket delivers groceries and ready-made food in 15 minutes. Its quick-commerce-as-a-service solution, YallaHub, helps ecommerce businesses to enter and scale across MENA.

Giant operator Dairy Farm to exit Malaysian grocery business after 24 years
Hong Kong’s Dairy Farm International Ltd (DFI), which operates a chain of hypermarkets and supermarkets under the Giant, Mercato and Giant Mini brands, is exiting its grocery business in Malaysia, which has become increasingly competitive over the past few years, industry sources said. DFI, which operates the retail chain under GCH Retail (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, is believed to have been sold for “at least a couple of billions [of] ringgit” to a group of Malaysians led by Datuk Andrew Lim Tatt Keong.

Belgium: Colruyt to sell its smart fridges to third parties
The technology behind Colruyt Group‘s autonomous shops is also becoming available to other retailers: the company is launching a new smart fridge, in co-creation with Dutch specialist Innovend.

Spain: Caprabo opened 18 supermarkets in 2022
Spanish retailer Caprabo has announced the continuation of its expansion plan, with the opening of 18 new supermarkets in 2022. This was the highest number of annual openings the retailer has unveiled in the past decade.

Ireland: Mulrines appoints top executive to lead new Sion Mills drinks project
Ballybofey-headquartered juice production company Mulrines has appointed a hugely experienced food industry executive to spearhead its growth plans, which includes opening a new £10mln production facility at the former Herdman's Mill in Sion Mills. Michael Lyttle joins the company as managing director, having spend the previous two years in a similar role at Hilton Foods Ireland.

Waitrose announces earliest British asparagus season
Waitrose has welcomed an extra early asparagus season which is due to arrive in shops from 21st February, nine weeks earlier than normal. Traditionally, the British asparagus season is from St George’s Day (23rd April), so Waitrose customers will be able to enjoy British Asparagus for even longer this year. Sam Witherington, Waitrose Vegetable Buyer comments: “We know how much our customers enjoy home-grown British asparagus which is why we’re delighted that this year’s crop will be available earlier than usual, making our 2023 season the earliest to date”.

Carrefour China ties up with state-owned funding amid closure speculation
Supermarket chain Carrefour China said it has reached cooperation with a state-owned facility in East China’s Anhui Province to help with its business upgrading. It comes amid online speculation that Carrefour China is facing bankruptcy and might withdraw from the Chinese market. Carrefour China has reached a strategic cooperation agreement with the Yingjiang district government of Anqing city, East China’s Anhui Province. The agreement involves equity investment in the supply chain and business operation, the company said in a statement sent to the Global Times.

US: Customers love grocery pickup
Consumers have a positive opinion of the grocery pickup services at supermarkets, according to the latest edition of the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s Retail and Consumer Shipping Study 2022-2023. For the first time, the ACSI measured customer satisfaction with grocery pickup in the supermarket sector, and found it was consumers’ highest-rated aspect of grocery shopping, winning a score of 86. Accuracy of orders for pickup and speed of service for pickup also scored high at 82.

US: Target bets on e-commerce by investing $100mln in hubs to speed up delivery
Target said it will spend $100mln to build a larger network of sortation centers that speed up and lower the cost of delivering online orders. The big box retailer is pressing ahead with its e-commerce strategy, even as it anticipates slower sales.

US: How two Italians created Avocaderia, one of New York’s hottest salad spots
Designed to take some of the kinetic energy out of New York City, fast-casual restaurant Avocaderia is a Mediterranean concept created by two Italians that is meant to help people slow down. The four-unit chain opened its flagship store in the NoMad neighborhood of New York City on January 17. That location joins its two Manhattan units - in Midtown East and Chelsea - and its original in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The team is setting its sights on two more locations this year, according to a release.

US: Misfits Market to close 3 fulfillment centers following Imperfect Foods acquisition
Online grocer Misfits Market will close three facilities and lay off 649 employees on April 8 as it shifts its distribution operations to smaller fulfillment centers, according to recent Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notices. The company sought to trim costs and streamline operations following its acquisition of fellow online grocer Imperfect Foods on October 31, spokesperson Ken Shuman said in a statement. The closures mark “a major step in our integration efforts”, he added. “Our consolidation strategy is built around a distributed network of smaller fulfillment centers to support our first-party delivery by Imperfect Foods’ own driver network, reducing the need for large centralized facilities”, Shuman said.

US: NGA offers comments on proposed WIC food package revisions
The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, has provided comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on its proposed rule on revisions to food packages in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

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