Tag Archives: retail

Attitudes to plastic affecting produce sales

According to a new survey of smaller retailers by card payment services company Payment Sense, sales of goods packaged in plastic, and fruit and vegetables in particular, have declined over the last six months.

The move comes as consumers have become increasingly concerned by the environmental effects of plastic waste around the world, which have been highlighted by the BBC’s Blue Planet and forthcoming Drowning in Plastic programmes.

More than half of the 291 retailers surveyed (54 per cent) in July 2018 said that they had seen a fall in sales, with fruit juice and bottled water sales also suffering. Almost half (49 per cent) of the retailers surveyed also said more customers had requested products without packaging over the last six months.

Guy Moreve, chief marketing officer at Payment Sense, said, “Our study shows how changing consumer behaviour is starting to have an impact on the UK’s small retailers… Movements like the UK Plastics Pact are really gaining traction, as businesses and industry work towards a more circular approach to protect the environment.”

Photo Caption: Small retailers say that consumers are shunning fruit and veg wrapped in plastic.

Photo Credit: pxhere

The post Attitudes to plastic affecting produce sales appeared first on Hort News on 26 September 2018.

Food-to-go outperforms groceries sector

According to the latest sales insights from IGD, the UK’s food-to-go sector is set to grow at twice the rate of overall grocery retail, increasing to £22.8 billion by 2023, up from £17.8 billion this year.

Gavin Rothwell, Head of Food-to-Go at IGD, says: “The food-to-go market remains a strong growth opportunity that continues to provide a great source of inspiration and innovation. We’re forecasting solid growth across each of the five segments, but this will become harder to come by for operators, retailers and suppliers amid an increasingly competitive landscape. But while growth will slow, we’re expecting it to remain strong as more consumers buy food-to-go more often and as more operators target different types of locations and missions.”

He added, “Across food-to-go, collaboration between partners with the same values and mutually beneficial propositions, have been in the ascendance. Crussh and Sainsbury’s, M&S and Wasabi are two high profile collaborations, but there are already many more underway and we expect significant development here. Larger retail stores undergoing remodelling in particular offer some great opportunities for collaborations between retailers and food-to-go partners.”

The sector’s ability to evolve with changing consumer demands in health and wellness and around sustainability is increasingly critical to its success he added: “The best food-to-go operators are highly attuned to the wider mindset of their shoppers. They have responded to shape their wider propositions accordingly. Increasingly this will become expected by food-to-go consumers, and those that don’t keep up will stand out.”

Photo Caption: By continuing to adapt, the food-to-go sector will continue to grow says IGD.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The post Food-to-go outperforms groceries sector appeared first on Hort News on 6 September 2018.

Waitrose unveils packaging made from tomatoes

Supermarket Waitrose is introducing punnets made from tomato vines for its range of Duchy Organic tomatoes.

The punnets are made from a mixture of dried tomato vines and recycled cardboard and are being rolled out nationally following a successful trial in 2017. The first product will be Waitrose Duchy cherry tomatoes on the vine in mid June, with the remaining four lines in the new brown packaging from the end of July.

According to Waitrose, the cutting-edge packaging is widely recyclable and replaces the original plastic punnets the tomatoes were in. As well as reducing plastic it also provides a use for the tomato vines which were previously treated as waste.

Nicola Waller, Head of Fresh Produce at Waitrose, commented, “We’re serious about looking for alternative packaging materials. This uses materials which would otherwise be wasted which can only be a good thing. ‘We will also ensure that all our own-label packaging is widely recyclable, reusable or home compostable by 2025 – and looking for alternative forms of packaging is part of this process.”

Waitrose recently introduced packaging for Red Lentil Pasta and Green Pea Pasta which is partly made from pulses.

Photo Credit: Waitrose

The post Waitrose unveils packaging made from tomatoes appeared first on Hort News on 7 June 2018.

GCA opens investigation into Co-op

Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) Christine Tacon has launched an investigation into Co-operative Group Limited, believing it may have broken the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (the Code).

After escalating her concerns with Co-operative Group Limited in line with her published collaborative approach to regulation, the GCA has decided that an investigation is necessary to fully understand the extent to which the Code may have been broken and the root causes of the issues as well as their impact on suppliers.

The investigation will consider the extent, scale and impact of practices which may have resulted in suppliers being de-listed with no, or short, fixed notice periods unilaterally imposed by Co-operative Group Limited without due consideration of published GCA de-listing guidance, particularly in relation to a project called ‘Right Range; Right Store’. It will also consider the extent, scale and impact of practices which may have resulted in the introduction of charges without reasonable notice to suppliers, such as depot quality control and benchmarking charges.

Christine Tacon said, “It is now important that suppliers provide me with information to help my investigation. I am looking forward to hearing what they have to say about whether they have experienced any of the issues now being investigated and if so, the impact on them of the Co-op’s conduct. All information I receive will be treated with complete confidentiality.”

Jo Whitfield, CEO of Co-op Food, added: “We care deeply about our relationships with our suppliers and we are very sorry that in these two areas we have failed to live up to our usual high standards. We are already addressing the issues with the GCA and our suppliers and we hope the investigation will help bring to light any additional cases so that we can put these right as quickly as possible.”

Photo Credit: Co-op – Picture by Jon Super

The post GCA opens investigation into Co-op appeared first on Hort News on 14 March 2018.

Grocery market ‘buoyant’

The latest information release by Kantar Worldpanel, for the 12 weeks to 25 February 2018 shows that grocery sales in the UK have increased in value by 3.2 per cent compared to the same time last year. This is the 12th consecutive period that total market sales growth has exceeded 3 per cent, and that each of the big four retailers has seen positive growth.

Tesco and Morrisons both recorded sales growth of 2.7 per cent – the fastest rate amongst the big four. Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said, “Tesco continues to perform well – more positive news following approval of its Booker acquisition last week. Despite a slight fall in market share of 0.1 percentage points, Tesco experienced particularly strong growth from its Extra superstores. The varied selection of groceries on offer at these larger stores has encouraged customers to return to fuller trolley shops, with average baskets worth £31.09 – currently, the highest value in the bricks and mortar market.

“Holding market share steady year on year at 10.6%, Morrisons has continued its run of form, entering its 16th consecutive period of growth. Its premium own-label line The Best proved particularly successful, with sales rising by 20% year on year as cooked meats, vegetables and cakes and pastries tickled shoppers’ fancy.”

Aldi and Lidl once again battled to be crowned the UK’s fastest-growing supermarket.  Aldi pipped Lidl to the post this month as sales grew by 13.9% and 13.3% respectively.  With both discounters working hard to expand their store portfolio, Aldi and Lidl also benefited from increased shopper numbers as well as growth in basket size.

Photo Credit: Flickr

The post Grocery market ‘buoyant’ appeared first on Hort News on 8 March 2018.

Sainsbury’s wants new product ideas from produce suppliers

Sainsbury’s has asked its suppliers to bring forward ideas for new products and innovations as it tries to differentiate itself in the marketplace.

Speaking at the retailer’s annual Farming Conference, Produce technologist Lily Peck said her remit is to “look for something different.”

She added, “Any great ideas you have, talk to your technical manager about it and help us differentiate our range.” She cited the launch of bunched radishes (supplied by G’s grower Scott Watson) and sweet-stemmed cauliflower as particular successes.

However, the retailer also confirmed that a major overhaul of suppliers is continuing as the company aims to have ‘fewer and longer-term relationships,’ shifting towards direct grower sourcing.

Sainsbury’s director of brand Judith Batchelar said, “While our competitors will have been buying their own packaging facilities and performing that part in the value chain themselves, the way we’ve looked at it is much more direct relationships with growers.”

Product Manager Sarah Blandford described a three-year project with potato supplier Greenvale to improve production efficiencies: “We had four times as many potato growers as we needed for our 52-week supply requirements. We had some fantastic growers and we had some good growers.” She added that Sainsbury’s looks for suppliers who are proactively monitoring things like yield potential.

Photo Caption: Sainsbury’s Product Manager Sarah Blandford

Photo Credit: Richard Crowhurst

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Supermarket apps are new retail battleground

Mobile data platform Ogury has announced a new study which uses data analysis from mobile phones to show the increasing importance of mobile apps for UK supermarkets.

As expected, Ogury point out that there is a significant difference between the most engaging apps and websites. It says that M&S has the most engaging app, actively engaging with 56 per cent of its users. Aldi comes a close second with 55 per cent of user engagement. Asda comes third with 45 per cent of grocery shoppers with the app engaging with it actively; however the average session duration is higher than the top two products with an average time of 6.5 minutes per visit.

On the other hand, Tesco has the most engaging website. It engages 71% of UK online grocery shoppers – significantly higher than any of the other top UK supermarket websites. However, the Tesco app only engages 36% of its app owners, much less than the most popular supermarket apps.

“It’s clear that both low and high priced sellers are getting good traction online – on apps and on websites,” says Ogury. “M&S comes second after Tesco for website shopping, with 26% of online shoppers visiting M&S’s website for groceries, whilst M&S and Aldi – the two most used shopping apps – clearly represent the two ends of the spectrum (low and high priced goods).”

Photo Caption: Aldi has the second most popular supermarket app.

Photo Credit: Aldi

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Waitrose expands recipe box trial

Following a successful trial, Waitrose is extending the roll-out of its Cook Well from Waitrose recipe box scheme.

The retailer says that its chefs and nutritionists have worked together to develop easy to prepare meals that are nutritionally balanced, with no red traffic lights for saturated fat, sugar and salt. Each meal also provides at least one of the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

The service has been created in conjunction with tech consultancy ThoughtWorks and has both one-off and weekly subscription customers. Boxes contain pre-portioned, bagged ingredients for easy storage and minimal waste and step-by-step recipe cards, and are delivered to customers’ homes free of charge.

Archie Mason, Head of Business Development at the John Lewis Partnership commented, “Waitrose was the first supermarket to develop a recipe box scheme which went live in March this year to selected customers. We have been greatly encouraged by the initial response with customers. We have taken their feedback on board, adding more delicious healthy recipes this month along with an additional delivery day and from October, the option to order a box for a family of four.

Photo Credit: Waitrose

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Tesco expands prepared produce with new lines

Supermarket Tesco has launched several new lines in its range of prepared fresh produce, which the retailer says takes its offer of fresh, healthy ready meals, snacks and side dishes to more than 400.

The latest new lines include the UK’s first ever mushroom burgers as well as beetroot burgers; potato wedges with katsu dip and crunchy quinoa; and fajita mix with peppers and onions. The retailer says such products also help to reduce food waste by utilise fresh produce which is out of specification, for example undersize cauliflowers.

Tesco prepared produce buyer Elizabeth Hall said, “These tempting new fresh fruit and veg foods are not only offering shoppers a far wider choice in healthy, nutritious meals but are also helping tackle food waste through greater crop utilisation. For growing numbers of shoppers the fruit and veg aisle is now the first destination they will head to, to find innovative and delicious new meals if they are pressed for time and looking for fresh food they can cook quickly. These have been so popular that we began to expand the range in order to further help customers who are short on time but still want to experience the joy of cooking fresh food.”

However, according to The Grocer, the retailer has also delisted some of its prepared vegetable lines, including a beetroot & fine bean medley and tandoori vegetable bake.

Photo Credit: Tesco

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Apples top the fresh produce charts

Trade magazine Fresh Produce Journal has announced that dessert apples have once again topped its annual survey of the most important fresh produce lines in the UK in terms of sales value.

According to the FPJ apple sales grew 5.6 per cent in terms of value last year despite a drop in volume of 2.2 per cent. The magazine says that further growth is expected in the category.

The survey, which is carried out in conjunction with Kantar Worldpanel put grapes in second place, followed by tomatoes, bananas and strawberries. While soft fruit and salad vegetables performed well in general, the value of cherries and parsnips both fell over the last 12 months.

“The past year has been a turbulent one for the fresh produce trade, with Brexit raising major question marks and concerns about the future of the industry,” said FPJ Big 50 Products editor, Fred Searle. “For the time being, the sector is in healthy shape. While the supermarket price war continues to affect certain products, such as parsnips and carrots, in other categories growers have breathed a sigh of relief as some price inflation returns. This is a welcome development given the slower volume growth seen this time around.”

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

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