COVID-19 latest news from around the world

20 April 2021
Having delivered a strong first quarter, with net revenues up 5%, The Coca-Cola Company’s chairman and CEO, James Quincey, highlighted the continued uncertainty in the trading environment, driven by the different phases of the pandemic across different markets. Asynchronous recovery When the pandemic struck just over a year ago, most markets went into lockdown simultaneously. While the impa...
19 April 2021
This weekend news broke that UK-based natural fast food operator Leon has been bought by EG Group in a deal worth between £80m and £100m.   As well as being hugely important for the companies involved, it also marks a step-change in the UK food-to-go market.   So let’s take a look at deal in more detail and examine why it is so significant for the market in general. A quick guide to Leon ...
19 April 2021
We have recently published a new report looking at the growth prospects for major grocery markets across Asia over the next two years. We highlight some of the key findings and why Asia remains a major growth opportunity for FMCG businesses, particularly in the short term. 1. Asian markets are expected to recovery rapidly post-pandemic Most Asian grocery markets experienced accelerated grow...
12 April 2021
We assess four ways in which Coles has stepped up its investment in offering its shoppers enhanced value in recent weeks, why this activity will continue and what we can expect from Woolworths and other retailers in the coming months. 1. Bringing back 'Down Down' The retailers Down Down everyday low prices campiagn was a key part of the retailer's recovery under Ian McLeod's leadership and ...
09 April 2021
Conagra Brands delivered a strong third quarter performance with net sales up 8.5% to $2.8bn and net income up 37.8% to $281.4m. Although the outlook for COVID-19 is improving in many regions, including enhanced mobility, the company expects demand for food-at-home to remain elevated, underpinning future growth. Four years’ worth of incremental new buyers Given the unprecedented trialling o...
31 March 2021
Following a strong first quarter, with sales up 22% and operating income up 35% year-on-year, McCormick has increased its sales outlook to expected growth of 8-10%. The strong performance reflects its efforts to capitalise on four accelerating consumer trends which the company expects to persist beyond the pandemic. 1. A continued sustained consumer preference for cooking more at home, includi...
29 March 2021
With at-home demand remaining elevated and most retailers picking online orders from stores, the centre store is under pressure for the first time in many years. We look at how retailers are responding to this and what the longer term implications could be. Retailers and suppliers are generating positive returns as they implement omnichannel-focused initiatives. In our latest report for Retail...
25 March 2021
As General Mills reports a strong third quarter, with net sales up 8% to $4.5bn and operating profit up 27% to $827m, we look at how it plans to introduce a two-year growth metric to benchmark its performance as it annualises pandemic-driven growth. Better visibility into the underlying momentum of the business Looking ahead to Q4, General Mills will be competing against pandemic-driven gro...
16 March 2021
We look at how US food and drugstore retailers are playing a pivotal role in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the country as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program (FRPP). Vaccine distribution exceeds over 71m people With over 71m people having received at least one vaccine dose, representing over 20% of the population, the US has made significant progress with its distribu...
16 March 2021
This week leading UK food-to-go specialist Greggs released its annual results for 2020. Despite reporting its first loss in 36 years the tone is optimistic.  So how can Greggs' pandemic experience and plans for the future help predict what will happen to the food-to-go market in the months and years ahead? Some will exit the pandemic financially fitter than others Greggs has weathered the...
12 March 2021
With Q2 delivering a 5% increase in organic net sales and market share gains, we look at how the Campbell Soup Company (Campbells) plans to sustain its performance as the COVID-19 pandemic eases. 1. Building on earlier momentum in its snacks business Like many large CPGs, Campbells had a turnaround plan in progress ahead of the pandemic. This had helped to fuel growth within it snacks busin...
10 March 2021
As most markets in Europe and the Americas continue to operate in a pandemic environment, characterised by lockdowns and travel restrictions, we look at how five of the initial strategies adopted by suppliers have evolved over the last 12 months. 1. From retaining new households to building deeper connections The pandemic created a product trial event unlike any other. Many major suppliers ...
10 March 2021
Monthly data updates from 7-Eleven, Lawson and Ministop, focusing on sales, customer footfall and average customer spend in Japan.    Japan’s convenience channel shrinking For the fiscal year ending February 2021, all stores sales fell -2.8% at 7-Eleven, -8% at Lawson and -7.4% year-on-year (YoY) at Ministop. Driving differentiation and defining the role of the convenience store hav...
26 February 2021
Walmart has expanded its shoppable interactive video hub, Walmart Cookshop, adding twenty-two new episodes, including celebrity collaborations. Builds on existing strategic partnership Walmart and eko initially formed a strategic partnership in 2018, to develop original, interactive content to help the retailer develop more frequent and deeper engagement with its customers. The technology e...
21 February 2021
From our global view of grocery retail we can clearly see the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the development of food-to-go in small stores. Once a hero category, reduced mobility and stay at home guidance have had a dramatic impact on category sales. In the UK we estimate this loss to be worth c£0.8bn in 2020 vs 2019 (–29%) . However, after an uncertain few months in Q2 2020 w...
15 February 2021
We look at the plans that PepsiCo has put in place this year to build on the pandemic-driven growth of 2020 through its ‘Faster, Stronger, Better framework. Faster: strengthening its focus on winning in the market and improving market share PepsiCo will prioritise the growth opportunities in its top 20 snack markets and selected beverage markets. Building on the almost doubling of ecommerce...
12 February 2021
We look at how the Kellogg Company plans to take the momentum of 2020 into 2021, building on the lessons learnt, and changes made, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic 1. Increased consumer communication The pandemic provided the company with a “sampling event like none other,” gaining millions of new households. Last year it shifted much of its advertising and promotions budget into the se...
05 February 2021
American football’s Super Bowl is one of the largest sporting events globally. With almost 200m viewers, the game is major event in both the sporting and social calendars of Americans. While one of the largest advertising opportunities for major brands, including theatrical in-store execution displays, this year retailers and suppliers are adjusting their approaches, reflecting key pandemic theme...
05 February 2021
Every year we track and log thousands on innovations that relate to the food and grocery industry, and at the end of each quarter I do a round-up of the best technology innovations that we have spotted.  In my quarter four round-up of 2020, I picked 25 technology-based case studies from around the world that caught my eye. In this article I focus on five of the 25 case studies that were of par...
04 February 2021
In closing a strong year with organic sales growth of 6.3% in 2020, Hershey outlined how it’s planning to deliver net sales growth of 2-4% in 2021, especially given the tough comparables it will face in the first half. 1. Go big to win the seasons From Easter onwards, Hershey optimised its capabilities, particularly in supply chain and retail execution to make strong share gains with season...