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Waysia raises nearly 10mln euros to deliver Asian grocery in Europe

Central Group said it planned to expand its footprint in Europe

Australia: Harris Farm Markets promises ‘value with values’
As the sky-high prices for vegetables in Australia tumble by 60, 70% or even up to 90% as the effects of the floods subsides, Harris Farm Markets Co-CEO Tristan Harris predicts further savings over Spring due to the company’s commitment to ‘Best in Region by Best in Season’. “This is where seizing what’s in season, and local, shows up in real savings at the cash register”, he says. “Lettuce for example, has gone from $10 to $3, representing a 70% decease; silverbeet has gone from $8 to $3 meaning it is over 60% lower; beans from $40 to $3, over 90% lower; corn has dropped from $4 to $1.50, a saving of over 60% and broccoli has gone from $12 to $3, representing a 75% saving. This is all a result of Harris Farm championing what’s in season, and it’s the best way to do business”, he says. Mr Harris says there is also value in mushrooms, herbs, strawberries and sweet delight tomatoes, with flood impacted areas such as the Sydney basin now flush with great quality crops.

Austria: Billa launches new plant-based store concept
Supermarket chain Billa has launched a new store concept that focuses only on plant-based products, boasting over 2,500 SKUs. A recent survey commissioned by Billa, which is a subsidiary of the REWE Group, unveiled that 46% of Austrians have consciously reduced their consumption of animal products, including meat, in recent years. In addition, 28% of 18- to 29-year-olds no longer eat meat. With this knowledge, Billa decided to develop a new concept store, leading to the creation of Billa Pflanzilla. Offering a purely plant-based assortment, it claims to be the first of its kind in Austria. The assortment includes purely plant-based meat, sausage, and dairy products, frozen goods, snacks, baked goods, and confectionery as well as basic products for plant-based dishes such as legumes, grains, seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

Waysia raises €10mln to deliver Asian grocery in Europe
Previously known as Alorsfaim, Waysia started out in Paris four years ago as a platform delivering from Asian restaurants and supermarkets to customers. When the pandemic hit, its users began to panic buy and quickly emptied retailer supplies. The mismatch between demand and supply inspired Waysia to open its own warehouse and start procuring directly from suppliers, like farms specializing in Asian produce in the Netherlands, France, and Spain. The grocery pivot gave Waysia’s revenues a boost and recently helped it land a series Pre-A round of nearly 10mln euros. The round was led by Banyan Pacific Capital, with, Cathay Innovation, and Goodwater Capital participating.

Germany: Netto Marken-Discount launches own-brand fruit and vegetable range
German retailer Netto Marken-Discount has launched a new private-label range, Heimat, for fruit and vegetables with short transport distances, sourced directly from producers in the region. According to the retailer, Heimat is the continuation of its regional product range strategy and further strengthens its cooperation with local farmers. The new Heimat private-label range is available nationwide in the fruit and vegetable assortment as part of Netto's regionality campaign from September to October.

UK Retail Sales Monitor: Sales slow as people see clouds on the horizon
Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, BRC: "Retail sales growth slowed in August compared to the previous month as consumers reined in spending amidst the spiralling cost-of-living. While inflation in retail prices is lower than general inflation at over 10%, this still represents a significant drop in sales volumes."

Thai Central Group plans $1.3bln push in Europe after Selfridges
Thailand’s biggest retailer Central Group said it planned to expand its footprint in Europe further with investments worth nearly 1.3bln euros ($1.29bln) over five years in new stores, upgrades and e-commerce. Central has budgeted 900mln euros to invest in three projects in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, a company spokesperson said, with an additional 375mln euros allocated over the next five years to upgrade existing stores. Other plans also include expanding its e-commerce sales in Europe from the current level of 17% of total sales, or 1bln euros, the company said.

Ninjacart, India’s leading agritech startup, sets up an Advisory Board
Ninjacart, India’s leading agri-startup that leverages technology and data to organize the Indian agriculture ecosystem, forms an Advisory Board, comprised of Industry veterans and experts, to strengthen its ambition of revolutionizing the agriculture ecosystem in India. The company is committed to solving and improving the lives of millions of participants in the agri value chain including farmers, resellers, retailers, aggregators, and supply chain players, and the advisory board will help enable these endeavors to succeed.

Germany: Edeka invests €100mln in new fresh produce facility in Hirschaid
Edeka has commenced the construction of a new logistics facility for fresh produce in Hirschaid. The company is investing approximately €100mln in the facility, which will feature state-of-the-art, climate-neutral technology. The project is part of the €600mln infrastructure package from Edeka Nordbayern-Sachsen-Thüringen.

China's express delivery sector picks up, shows market potential
Thanks to the constant efforts made by express delivery service companies to optimize their services, fresh fruits that were once sold only in brick-and-mortar shops, such as cherries, figs and green horn long sweet melons, can be sent to consumers' doorsteps today with just clicks on their mobile phones. In particular, express delivery services have largely facilitated the trade of agricultural products this July when huge numbers of fruits and vegetables were hitting the market.

Kroger named SN's 2022 Retailer of the Year
For its vision and embrace of innovation in executing its “Leading with Fresh and Accelerating with Digital” strategy, The Kroger Co. has been named as the 2022 Retailer of the Year by Supermarket News. “In every decision we make, we do what we think is right for customers and right for our associates as we look 10 years into the future,” Kroger Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen told SN in an interview.

US: Norwalk gives green light for Wegmans
Norwalk’s Planning and Zoning Commission has approved the application to open Connecticut’s first Wegmans supermarket. The planned 91,000-square-foot store at 47 Richards Ave. was initially announced in March. The store will feature a two-story parking garage, is planned for the current 100,000-square-foot site of MBI’s Norwalk offices, which will relocate to the Merritt 7 complex in Norwalk.

US: New Frisco H-E-B opens this month
Grocery chain H-E-B is set to officially open its Frisco location on Wednesday, September 21, the company announced. The announcement comes over a year after plans were announced for the construction of two North Texas locations in Plano and Frisco. An additional store in McKinney and in Mansfield has also been announced.

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