13 December 2003

The Grocer

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  • ‘A just reward’

    13 Dec 2003

    Londis chairman and retailer Peter Williams “When Graham White joined the company as chief executive 15 years ago it was weeks from going out of business. He saved the company and recruited a whole new management team who have turned...

  • A better future – and a bonanza

    13 Dec 2003

    There are grumbles at the millions going to directors but retailers see the benefits says The Grocer news teamMost Londis retailers contacted by The Grocer this week welcomed the bid by Musgrave to buy their group, but they were...

  • A longer season

    13 Dec 2003

    The Puerto Rican mango season has got off to an early start, importers report. The first fruit is expected to arrive in Europe next week on December 17 compared to a January arrival last year. Grower Martex Farms said it has managed to...

  • Abdul’s symbol of not giving in

    13 Dec 2003

    An independent retailer who was attacked with an axe and left for dead last year has fought his way back to health and transformed his business with assistance from symbol group Costcutter. Abdul Hamid was assaulted on June 2 in Slough at one of...

  • ABF buys G Costa

    17 Dec 2003

    Associated British Foods, with brands Ryvita, Twinings and Ovaltine has bought speciality food company G Costa for an undisclosed sum.Blue Dragon brand owner G Costa, which reported annual sales in 2002 of £51.8 m, said the company would be...

  • Ahold deal for Disco falters

    18 Dec 2003

    Dutch retailer Ahold said a deal to sell its controlling stake in the Argentine supermarket chain Disco to Chilean retailer Cencosud had failed.Ahold said: “Discussions on the sale of Disco are continuing with interested parties but cannot...

  • Alldays transfer

    19 Dec 2003

    The Co-operative Group has completed the transfer of 30 Alldays stores to Oxford, Swindon & Gloucester Co-op. So far, seven stores have been refurbished to OS&G’s Swift Shop format and two to its Village Store format, with all 30 due to be...

  • Alldays transfer

    19 Dec 2003

    The Co-operative Group has completed the transfer of 30 Alldays stores to Oxford, Swindon & Gloucester Co-op. So far, seven stores have been refurbished to OS&G’s Swift Shop format and two to its Village Store format, with all 30 due to be...

  • ARLA in union deal

    13 Dec 2003

    Dairy firm Arla UK has negotiated an agreement with the unions who had balloted for strike action. Sales director Simon Stevens said: “Following the success of this week’s meeting, it is very much business as usual in the run up to Christmas....

  • Asda lever ‘won’t hit’ Morrisons

    13 Dec 2003

    A proposal by Asda to buy 70 Safeway stores will not deter Morrisons from making a bid for the beleaguered supermarket group within days, according to industry sources. Asda refused to confirm or deny the latest development, but sources close to...

  • Back cleaning up

    13 Dec 2003

    The fortunes of top housewares supplier Addis have improved after its problems in the summer. Earlier this year, Addis asked staff to take a 5% pay cut as margins were eroded by price slashing at the multiples and raw material price hikes (The...

  • Below-cost ban to stay

    13 Dec 2003

    The Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern has indicated to parliament in Dublin that he intends to retain the controversial Groceries Order that bans below-cost selling. He also hinted that the cap on the size of retail developments, which is...

  • Exports set to rise £1bn

    13 Dec 2003

    The UK had the strongest growth in food and drink exports in the first six months of 2003 since the mid-1990s. The £477m rise in sales is greater than the £380m increase for the whole of 2002, according to Food from Britain. Product areas...

  • Co-op Group puts service first

    13 Dec 2003

    The Co-operative Group is about to embark on a massive investment programme intended to introduce a step change in customer service across its estate of 1,800 stores. Keith Brydon, general manager retail programme management, would not give a...

  • Barry’s Tea buys beans

    13 Dec 2003

    Barry’s Tea, the privately owned Cork-based company, is set to buy Irish tinned food business Batchelors from its troubled UK parent Northern Foods. A due diligence check of the Batchelors operation is under way with a €60m deal expected to be...

  • EDLP preferred

    13 Dec 2003

    Every Day Low Pricing strategies are more popular with shoppers than ones based on promotions, according to research by IGD. The latest IGD Shopper Insight report found 60% of shoppers preferred consistently low prices with limited or no...

  • Destined to be a top performer

    13 Dec 2003

    Asda has chosen a great location for another new concept store which it believes will fall into CACI’s top 10% of stores for total turnover and sales densities. The store, in Sutton, Surrey, is large at 47,500 sq ft but located in a town centre...

  • Brands stay on the move

    13 Dec 2003

    Sainsbury climbs to the top of the chart this week with a strong alcoholic drinks section focusing upon price promotions. Safeway moves up two places to number two, standing just one percentage point behind the leader with a good household presence...

  • Brassica growers get together

    13 Dec 2003

    A date has now been fixed for the Brassica Growers Biennial Conference. The event will be held at HRI Wellesbourne on January 14 and is being organised by the Brassica Growers’ Association, Horticulture Research International and the...

  • British at Christmas

    13 Dec 2003

    British cucumbers are set to go on sale in retailers for the first time over the Christmas period. The small crop, which will be sold through M& S, has been made possible by using Finnish technology which provides additional light and...

  • Award for Manor Born

    13 Dec 2003

    Premium sausage manufacturer Manor Born is celebrating after gaining a listing in Sainsbury and a top award. The company took the International Design Effectiveness title at the Design Business Association’s Design Effectiveness Awards for its...

  • England drawing up its meat team

    13 Dec 2003

    English meat chiefs have announced plans to create a 10-strong marketing team to carve out a bigger market share for English product. The announcement follows the Meat and Livestock Commission’s decision to devolve responsibility for...

  • Clarity about what is biodegradable

    13 Dec 2003

    from Frazer Walker, director, EcosacSir; The problem of the unsuitability of some bags for food waste sent for composting highlighted by Peter Yarwood in his letter to The Grocer, (December 6) is very real.There have been (and...

  • Cheddar fall

    13 Dec 2003

    Supplies of cheddar for the Christmas trade will be adequate but the latest DEFRA release of UK public cold store stocks reveals a sharp decline in normal stock levels. At the end of September public stocks, most of which are Cheddar,...

  • Bacardi to review ad campaign

    15 Dec 2003

    Bacardi said it could drop footballer turned actor Vinnie Jones from its drinks campaign after he was convicted of an air-rage assault. Bacardi told The Sunday Telegraph that it had already decided not to use any of the three adverts...

  • Bunzl on track

    16 Dec 2003

    Distribution and outsourcing group, Bunzl, said results for 2003 were in line with market expectations after taking account of the effect of the weak dollar.Bunzl noted that its outsourcing services unit continued volume growth that more...

  • Asda sprouts campaign

    16 Dec 2003

    Asda has named Longwell Green in Bristol Britain’s sprout-eating capital, whose residents on average eat 85 sprouts per week. The chain’s store in Longwell Green sells 621,675 sprouts each week. Last week, Safeway claimed...

  • Del Monte buys fruit processor

    18 Dec 2003

    Fresh Del Monte in the US has agreed to buy fruit and veg processor Country Best Produce from Agway for $12.2m.New York-based has filed for bankruptcy and has processing and packaging operations in the city as well as in Florida and Atlanta....

  • Festive supply chain strain

    19 Dec 2003

    Supermarkets can expect to see volumes rise up to 25% in food and between 40%-50% in non-food over the Christmas peak, according to a new report from Deloitte. More than half (55%) of retailers they surveyed said they were worried about the...

  • BFG moves on Londis

    19 Dec 2003

    The Big Food Group has offered to pay Londis retailers £20,000 in cash over two years – double the amount offered by Musgrave last week.Under its proposal BFG said Londis retail shareholders would get £39.7m, while the directors would get...

  • Getting the bird to fly

    13 Dec 2003

    Cranberry Foods’ bosses are preoccupied with Christmas, but how will the new men at the top of the UK’s second biggest turkey producer reshape it to survive today’s market? Ed Bedington reportsChristmas is coming and Cranberry Foods...

  • Jacksons trials plasma screens

    13 Dec 2003

    The Grocer Top 50 member Jacksons Stores has been trialling plasma screens with Fishbowl Media in three stores to test their impact on sales. Brand development manager Mike Igoe said the scheme was in the “embryonic stages” and the chain was...

  • Health issue takes its toll

    13 Dec 2003

    The raging health debate appears to be taking its toll on some of grocery’s biggest hitting brands with The Grocer’s annual Top Products Survey, published today, highlighting shock sales drops. Among the losers in this year’s survey are...

  • Hovis supplier says 10% bread rise unavoidable

    13 Dec 2003

    Britain’s largest baker has told customers it plans to raise the wholesale price of all its bread and bakery snack products by 10% from mid-January following the latest hike in the price of flour. British Bakeries, which makes Hovis and Mothers...

  • Hughes leads Jacob’s team

    13 Dec 2003

    Savoury biscuit and cracker supplier Jacob’s has appointed Jeremy Hughes commercial development manager to strengthen its relationship with trade customers. He replaces Debbie Spillane, who has left the company. Hughes will be responsible...

  • Getting the beers in

    13 Dec 2003

    Savvy shoppers may yet spark a beer war and send stocks sliding says Siân HarringtonThe multiples appear to be listening to the pleas of drinks suppliers and putting a lot of effort into managing the beer category as Christmas...

  • Geest forms Asda import alliance

    13 Dec 2003

    Geest has formally announced plans to join forces with another supplier to exclusively supply Asda with imported produce. The move will see the UK’s second largest retailer sourcing its imported produce through a sole importer. In a...

  • Israel boosts potato crop

    13 Dec 2003

    Israeli growers have increased their potato crops by as much as 50% to meet an anticipated increase in demand from the European market. Total export tonnage is forecast to rise from 70,000 tonnes to 100,000 tonnes. An estimated 3,000 tonnes...

  • Glen back on the TV

    13 Dec 2003

    Glen the Highlander is set to return to television to give Scottish meat a boost during the festive season. Quality Meat Scotland said the kilted character would be back on television screens on Boxing Day to boost sales of Scotch...

  • Irish lesson in keeping litter down

    13 Dec 2003

    from Tim Davies, AP Burt & Sons LimitedSir; I read with interest the letter from Peter Yarwood highlighting the problems of biodegradable polythene carrier bags (The Grocer, December 6).He concluded the market would not...

  • Hibernia talks

    13 Dec 2003

    Administrative receivers for Hibernia Foods are now in talks with other potential buyers for the Sara Lee to Brains Faggots business. Receivers had been in exclusive negotiations with a single buyer interested in the whole of the business...

  • Interbrew on track

    15 Dec 2003

    Interbrew said its results for 2003 would be broadly in line with the first nine months. The Belgian brewer said that for the first 11 months of the year organic volume has grown by 6.2%. It said volumes would continue to rise in the UK and...

  • Gallaher on track

    17 Dec 2003

    Gallaher, the maker of Silk Cut and Benson & Hedges cigarettes said trading was in line with expectations and expected currency movements to have a marginally positive impact on earnings. The company noted that higher tobacco taxes and an...

  • Food sales up in Scotland

    17 Dec 2003

    Fine summer weather in Scotland has boosted food sales with tourists spending their money on supplies while on self-catering holidays in the country, according to the Scottish Retail Consortium.Total food sales rose by 7.2% – up from 6.9%...

  • Food sales up in Scotland

    17 Dec 2003

    Sales of fresh produce, including meats and dairy produce boosted like-for-like food sales in Scotland by 3.4% in November.The latest Scottish Retail Consortium sales monitor found that in the run up to the festive season there had been an...

  • Gallaher on track

    17 Dec 2003

    Gallaher, the maker of Silk Cut and Benson & Hedges cigarettes, said that it expected full-year results to be "in line with expectations". The group said that high levels of UK taxation had seen a 5% decline in UK duty-paid market volumes in...

  • Government crackdown on gangmasters

    18 Dec 2003

    The government has indicated that statutory registration may be on the cardsto solve the gangmaster scandal in fresh produce.And it points the finger at supply chain pricing pressures as a factor in creating the widespread abuse of...

  • Henkel buys Dial in the US

    18 Dec 2003

    European detergent specialist Henkel said it would pay $2.9bn for Arizona-based Dial, the makers of Dial soap and Purex detergent. Henkel chief executive Ulrich Lehner said: “The planned acquisition of Dial is very important for us and will...

  • Fyffes upgrades profit forecast

    19 Dec 2003

    Irish fruit and vegetable distributor Fyffes said full-year pre-profit should be 7% ahead of its figures for 2002.Fyffes announced the upgrade on the back of strong performances from its acquisition of German banana distribution business...

  • Fyffes upgrades profit forecast

    19 Dec 2003

    Irish fruit and vegetable distributor Fyffes said full-year pre-profit should be 7% ahead of its figures for 2002.Fyffes announced the upgrade on the back of strong performances from its acquisition of German banana distribution business...

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