Zero VAT on meat and veg in Cyprus
The zero VAT rate on meat and vegetables, categorized under specific customs tariff codes, has come into effect in Cyprus. The eligible fresh or chilled vegetables include tomatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, leeks and similar vegetables, cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli, turnips, Brussels sprouts, and similar edible products, as well as lettuce and chicory, carrots, turnips, salad beetroot, salsify, rape, turnips and similar edible roots, cucumbers and gherkins, and leguminous vegetables, such as peas and beans. Other vegetables like asparagus, aubergines, celeriac, mushrooms, truffles, peppers, spinach, artichokes, pumpkins, gourds, courgettes, and various salads are also included.
Source: ekathimerini.com

Italy: Pam Panorama earmarks €100mln for expansion
Despite an expected slowdown in the economy and rising prices, Pam Panorama is planning to invest €100mln next year in expanding its business. The Italian supermarket chain has earmarked €60mln for a new logistics platform in Alessandria that will commence operations in the next 18 months.
Source: esmmagazine.com

France: Casino workers threaten to strike as group sells stores to free up cash
A consortium of labour unions on Friday said it would stage protests at Casino's headquarters next Tuesday and submitted a strike notice starting the same day to show their anger over the French retailer's deteriorating commercial situation.
Source: reuters.com

France: Auchan and Intermarché team up to acquire Casino
An unusual alliance in French retail: rivals Auchan and Intermarché are joining forces to jointly take over Casino's 52 remaining hypermarkets and 353 supermarkets. According to trade magazine LSA, they are offering more than a billion euros.
Source: retaildetail.eu

Australia: Greens to investigate supermarket' price gouging'
Australia's Greens party said it would lead a parliamentary inquiry into "price gouging" by major supermarkets as the country grapples with high costs of living. "The inquiry will scrutinize the impact of market concentration on food prices and the pattern of pricing strategies employed by the supermarket duopoly," Greens Senator Nick McKim said in a statement, referring to Australian grocers Woolworths and Coles.
Source: reuters.com

Lidl to surpass 700 stores in Spain next year
The German-owned retailer plans to open 30 new stores in Spain in 2024, taking its store count to more than 700. Its long-term goal is to reach 1,000 stores in Spain, according to corporate director Ferran Figueras.
Source: esmmagazine.com

UK: Sainsbury's cuts the ribbon on new Edinburgh store in Fairmilehead
Sainsbury's is passionate about providing 'Good food for all of us,' and the new store will feature a carefully curated range of tasty products, including fresh food, fruit and veg, food-to-go, cupboard staples, and freshly baked goods.
Source: about.sainsburys.co.uk

SPAR Hungary plants native fruit trees to reduce carbon footprint
Through the planting of 392 indigenous fruit trees, SPAR Hungary will offset the carbon footprint of its Budapest wine festival partner.
Source: spar-international.com

"Belgian consumer increasingly unlikely to make distinction between major supermarkets"
Increasing price competition is hurting the brand strength of Belgium's major supermarket chains. Only the two Dutch challengers, Albert Heijn and Jumbo, are able to buck the trend. In response to growing price awareness among consumers, Belgian supermarkets have significantly adjusted their marketing strategy, WPP claims in its Brand Study 2023.
Source: retaildetail.eu

Australia: Supermarkets at risk of falling off Santa's nice list
The NFF Horticulture Council has welcomed the release of the third and latest annual report from Chris Leptos AO, the Federal Government appointed Independent Reviewer under the Food and Grocery Code. Chair of the NFF Horticulture Council Jolyon Burnett said it was disappointing to see, more than any other product category, that supermarkets are dragging their feet when responding to price increase requests from fruit and vegetable suppliers.
Source: nff.org.au

UK: Gen Z make Brussels sprouts cool!
Once thought of as a sad, soggy side to a turkey main, Brussel sprouts are now officially back on trend as Gen Z has dubbed them cool. Despite being one the most controversial Christmas dinner sides for generations, British supermarket Waitrose have witnessed a whopping 150% boom in sales compared to this time last year.
Source: dailymail.co.uk

Carrefour Brasil shifts focus from hypermarkets
Carrefour Brasil is shifting its focus away from hypermarkets and towards cash-and-carry stores, shopping clubs, and neighborhood stores in the coming years. The Brazilian retailer, which is owned by Carrefour France, plans to invest between BRL2.3bln (€427mln) and BRL2.6bln (€483mln) in 2024 in growing the Carrefour Express, Atacadão, and Sam's Club brands as part of its expansion plans.
Source: esmmagazine.com

US: Keep getting better
US Department of Agriculture (USDA) awards Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH) grant for its Fresh Match initiative, bringing healthy fruits and vegetables to those in need living in New Jersey's food deserts.
Source: hackensackmeridianhealth.org

US: Sprouts Farmers Market expanding its Pennsylvania footprint
Fast-growing natural and organic retailer Sprouts Farmers Market is planning to open its third location in Pennsylvania. Sprouts is slated to open in a 21,320-square-foot space at the Crossroads retail center in the city of York in 2024, according to plans from property management company Pomegranate Real Estate.
Source: progressivegrocer.com

Ahold Delhaize USA bullish on potential of a self-distribution network
Ahold Delhaize USA is reaping the benefits of its near-complete transition to integrated self-distribution. Sanja Krajnovic, executive vice president of distribution and transportation for ADUSA Supply Chain, called the shift "tremendously beneficial" during a tour of the company's 1.2mln-square-foot automated distribution center in York, Pennsylvania.
Source: winsightgrocerybusiness.com

GPA concludes sale of stake in Cnova to Casino for €10mln
Brazilian food retailer GPA has concluded the sale of its 34% indirect stake in e-commerce company Cnova to its controlling shareholder Casino for €10mln.
Source: esmmagazine.com

US: Fareway finalizes plans for a new store in Eldora, Iowa
Fareway Stores, Inc. is planning a store relocation in Eldora, Iowa, the Midwest-based grocery retailer announced. The company said the new store will feature fresh, high-quality meat, which it touts as "second-to-none"; a full-service butcher counter; farm-fresh produce; low, competitive prices; and customer service that includes carryout to shoppers' cars.
Source: winsightgrocerybusiness.com