China: Alibaba’s e-grocer Freshippo deepens ties with overseas food firms
Freshippo, the fresh produce retailer under Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, announced it is to set up eight procurement centers around the world to introduce more foreign groceries to the Chinese market. New Zealand’s kiwi fruit giant Zespri International, US strawberry retailer Driscoll's, Norwegian seafood firm Mowi, Canadian pork producer Canada Pork, Swiss supermarket chain Migros and Japan’s food processing conglomerate NH Foods, are just some of the 33 international retailers reported to have become suppliers of Freshippo since the start of the year.
Denmark: Rema 1000's acquisition of Aldi stores undergoes further investigation
Rema 1000's takeover of the majority of the Aldi chain in Denmark is to be investigated further by local competition authorities, according to media reports. News portal E24 reported that Denmark's Konkurrence- og Forbrugerstyrelsens (Competition and Consumer Authority) was moving its investigation of the merger from 'phase 1' to 'phase 2', a process that is likely to take an additional 90 days.
India: Siply-backed Ayekart Fintech picks up minority stake in Nature's Fresh Express
Integrated supply chain and finance platform Ayekart Fintech, which counts Caspian debt and Siply as among its investors, said it has picked up a minority stake in Nature's Fresh Express, a supplier of exotic fruits and vegetables. However, the company did not disclose the details of the financial transactions. The investment will help the company in strengthening its product portfolio as well as expanding its retail offerings while supporting the growth of Nature's Fresh Express, Ayekart said in a statement. The Mumbai-based company added that the investment will help it to tap into Nature's Fresh Express’ extensive network of farmers and other stakeholders in the country’s vegetable market. "With its expertise in producing and supplying exotic vegetables, Nature's Fresh Express has the potential to transform the vegetable market in India", said Debarshi Dutta, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Ayekart Fintech.
UK: Veg box firm Riverford to be 100% staff-owned as founder sells stake for £10mln
The organic vegetable box company Riverford is to become 100% owned by its staff after its founder, Guy Singh-Watson, agreed to sell his remaining 23% stake for almost £10mln.
Singapore: Grab reports first quarter 2023 results
Grab Holdings Limited announced unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2023. Q1 2023 revenue grew 130% year-over-year to $525mln. Q1 2023 loss for the period improved by 43% year-over-year to $250mln. Q1 2023 adjusted EBITDA improved by 77% year-over-year to $66mln, with deliveries segment adjusted EBITDA margins at an all time high.
UK: Asda consults on cutting pay for 7,000 workers
Supermarket chain Asda is considering whether to cut the pay of 7,000 staff in the south east of England to bring it in line with its other stores. Staff at 39 stores outside the M25 have been paid more for decades to offset a higher cost of living closer to London.
Ireland: ALDI to invest €7.2mln in 6 more energy efficient stores this year
ALDI Ireland will invest €7.2mln in upgrading 6 of its stores throughout the country in 2023. Alongside the recently opened renovated Athy store, Bandon, Ballinasloe, Mullingar, Sandyford, and Cashel will be part of the supermarket’s award-winning Project Fresh retrofitting programme, which overhauls a store’s infrastructure with energy-saving upgrades. This year, ALDI launched Project Fresh Enhanced, which will see for the first time exciting new units such as a fresh herb stand, a dedicated bread and cake fixture, and a Health and Beauty feature installed in the upcoming revamps.
China: Alibaba plans to list cloud division as quarterly revenue misses expectations
Alibaba revenue rose 2% year on year to hit 208.2bln Chinese yuan ($29.6bln) in the first quarterly earnings report issued since the company split into six units. This is the first full quarter in which company numbers reflect China’s reopening, after the country in December abruptly ended its strict Covid-19 restrictions. Alibaba also announced plans to spin off its cloud division as a separate, publicly traded company.
Canada: Walmart teams with SkipTheDishes to expand Walmart Now rapid delivery pilot
SkipTheDishes has launched a rapid delivery pilot with Walmart Canada within Vancouver and Edmonton. The pilot leverages “dark stores” (local Skip fulfillment centres) to offer customers more than 2,000 grocery and everyday essentials in 30 minutes or less. These dark stores are equipped to process several orders per minute during peak demand.
Uber debuts group ordering for grocery
At its May 17 GO-GET product showcase in New York, Uber unveiled several innovations for customers, among them group ordering for grocery on Uber Eats. This new service enables customers to invite others to add items, set deadlines for when to order and automatically divide the bill from eligible merchants. Users can also set recurring orders so that group members get regular reminders to add their essentials to the shopping list.
US: Nala Robotics introduces autonomous Bowl Bot and Sandwich Bot
Nala Robotics, an AI technology company revolutionizing the culinary industry, unveiled two fully autonomous, self-cleaning robots that can prepare an unlimited assortment of customized food bowls and sandwiches anytime, anywhere and without human intervention.
Brazil's Americanas to seek bidders for fruit and vegetable unit
Brazil retailer Americanas SA said it will next week start to seek potential bidders for the acquisition of its Hortifruti Natural da Terra (HNT) business unit. In a securities filing, Americanas said it has hired Citigroup Global Markets Brazil as the financial adviser for conducting the process to sell the unit, which markets fruits and vegetables.
US: Walmart confident after strong Q1 earnings
In terms of total revenue for the three-month period that ended April 30, Walmart originally thought it would bring in just under $149bln. The actual figure was just over $152bln vs. just over $141.5bln in 2022. Same-store sales were up 7.4% year-over-year at Walmart and 7% at Sam’s Club. Ecommerce sales were buff: up 27% vs. Q1 2022 for Walmart and 19% for Sam’s Club.
US: KeHE reimagines the in-store shopping experience with Smart Shelf Tags
KeHE, one of the largest distributors of natural and organic, specialty, and fresh products, has partnered with Cornerstone Consulting and its brand Cornerstone for Natural™ to enable a tech-forward experience for suppliers, retailers, and consumers with Smart Shelf Tags. Consumers want more information on the products and brands they use and consume daily, and Smart Shelf Tags offer instant digital content on in-store products via hyperdynamic QR codes.
Brazilian supermarkets plan 'national shopping app'
The Brazilian Association of Supermarkets (ABRAS) has announced plans to launch a nationwide shopping app in the second half of 2023. The association, which represents the country's major supermarket chains has already set up Supapp Marketplace Intermediações de Negócios, a new company that will mediate between supermarkets and consumers. The name of the app has not yet been defined, according to media outlet Folha de Sao Paulo.