Morrisons is cutting the price of a further 490 products

El Corte Inglés has introduced a new supermarket concept

Portugal's Sonae profit buoyed by one-off gains despite retail margin squeeze
Sonae, owner of Portugal's largest food retailer, reported a 21% jump in fourth-quarter net profit as one-off capital gains more than offset the impact of high inflation and energy costs on its supermarkets business. The conglomerate made net profit of 132mln euros ($140mln) in the three months to December 31 after booking 142mln euros in one-off capital gains, mainly from asset sales.

Spain: El Corte Inglés trials new supermarket concept
Spanish retailer El Corte Inglés has renovated its Preciados shopping centre in Madrid and has introduced a new supermarket concept featuring an open restaurant. It offers more than 120 different items, focusing on seasonal products, with stews, vegetables, seasonal vegetables, rice, Asian food, creams and homemade desserts standing out, reported Europa Press.

UK: Morrisons locks or lowers prices on more than 1,000 products
Morrisons is cutting the price of a further 490 products and extending a commitment to its customers that it will have more than 1,000 prices locked low for at least eight weeks. The price cuts are on a wide range of everyday products including dairy items, fresh meat and fish, fruit and vegetables and freezer fillers as well as baby essentials and pet food.

“UAE’s first alt meat facility” begins operations, products to launch at major supermarkets
Food manufacturing group IFFCO has begun operations at its new production plant, which is said to be the UAE’s first alt meat facility. Based at Dubai Industrial City, the facility will produce a range of meat alternatives under the brand name THRYVE. These will include options tailored to regional tastes - such as koftas, shawarmas, and shish tawooks - along with more Western-style offerings like burgers and nuggets.

UK: Aldi raises pay as supermarkets battle for staff
Aldi has given its store employees the third pay rise in 12 months, joining other companies who have boosted wages because of a labour shortage. The supermarket group will lift starting pay to £11.40 an hour nationally and to £12.85 in Greater London.

UK: Dole Sunshine launches ambient fruit pots range with plant-based ‘cream’
Packaged fruit specialist the Dole Sunshine Company has launched a new Fruit & Cream dessert range. Made using plant-based cream, the new product comes in two flavours: Apple & Cinnamon and Peach & Vanilla.

UK's John Lewis eyes end of 100% staff ownership - The Sunday Times
British retailer John Lewis, which has been 100% owned by its staff, is considering diluting its partnership structure, The Sunday Times reported. The report said that the company would consider selling only a minority stake and its priority would be to maintain majority employee ownership.

Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim cuts 105 jobs as new CEO makes mark
Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) has cut 105 jobs out of its total staff of 46,000, the Middle Eastern shopping mall developer and operator told Reuters, as its new CEO seeks to boost returns.

Russia: Retailer X5's profit dented by expansion of discount chain
Food retailer X5 said declining profit in the fourth quarter was partly owing to aggressive expansion of its network of discount stores as Russian consumers feel the pinch. Fourth-quarter profit dropped 73.8% year on year to 2.08bln roubles ($27.2mln) but full-year profit was up 5.7% at 42.19bln roubles.

US: KeHE Distributors announces an exclusive partnership with Rodale Institute
KeHE Distributors®, a leader in natural & organic, specialty, and fresh product distribution across the U.S., announced it has signed an exclusive partnership with Rodale Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding the regenerative organic agriculture movement through rigorous research, farmer training, and education.

Canada: Spud announces fresh take on company brand
Spud (or “The Company”) is thrilled to announce the launch of its refreshed company brand. While the brand might look different, Spud is still committed to providing families with healthy, locally sourced groceries that are sustainably delivered. Additionally, Spud continues to work towards eradicating food waste and leaving a positive impact on the planet.

Canadian plant-based food producer No Meat Factory to launch operations in Stanwood, WA
The Department of Commerce announced that No Meat Factory (NMF), a Canadian manufacturer of plant-based meat alternative products, will open a new production facility in Stanwood, Washington. The new plant will reopen a facility closed by Twin City Foods in 2017. The new facility will allow NMF to meet growing demand for its line of plant-based meat alternative products. After investing up to $20mln in renovations and improvements, the Stanwood facility will produce a full line of convenience products, including veggie burgers and nuggets, a veggie-based ground beef substitute, seafood alternatives and extruded products, such as sausages and wieners.

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