planet organic

Sainsbury’s has joined a queue of bargain-hunting shoppers examining a last-ditch rescue of the Planet Organic brand. The supermarket group has pitched an offer for Planet Organic’s name and intellectual property assets in a deal that would probably be implemented through an insolvency process. (Sky News)

A revival in the fortunes of THG proved short-lived yesterday after widening losses and an earnings miss overshadowed talk of a takeover (The Times £). The online retail tech company THG said its annual losses widened last year to £550m amid higher costs and as home shopping waned with the end of pandemic lockdowns (The Guardian). THG losses nearly quadrupled last year after sales growth slowed significantly and administrative costs soared (Daily Mail).

The head of THG has said his focus will be on making the ecommerce retailer more profitable after its annual loss ballooned, a day after the beleaguered company said it had received a takeover approach from US private equity group Apollo (Financial Times £)

British free range eggs will soon start returning to supermarket shelves, following the lifting of restrictions introduced last year by the government in an attempt to curb the spread of bird flu. (The Guardian)

Pernod Ricard is to halt exports of Absolut vodka to Russia after it faced a storm of criticism from politicians and calls to boycott its drinks by prominent restaurants in the liquor’s homeland of Sweden (Financial Times £). The maker of Sweden’s Absolut vodka has said it is ceasing all exports to Russia after calls to boycott the brand flared up in Sweden and on social media (The Guardian).

The bakery chain Greggs is to appeal against a ban preventing a central London outlet from selling hot food through the night after police claimed it could lead to a spike in crime and disorder (The Guardian). Greggs is to launch a legal battle, after it was banned from selling sausage rolls in central London 24 hours a day (Telegraph £).

Suppliers to Tesco and Pret A Manger are among those to have fallen victim to a surge of insolvencies in the UK food and drink sector, after a global shortage of crops pushed businesses to the brink (Financial Times £). The number of company collapses has risen sharply, with businesses toppled by high energy prices, the end of government handouts and tighter credit conditions (The Times £).

The late Queen Elizabeth II’s favoured marmalade Tiptree has become the latest food brand to fall victim to shrinkflation after its maker cut jar sizes in response to rising costs. (Telegraph £)

Inflation may have replaced Covid as the pub industry’s bête noire as closures proliferate, but the boss of one quoted operator reckons his company is “now in the best shape it’s ever been”. (The Times £)

First-quarter profits at Johnson & Johnson were largely wiped out by a $6.9bn charge related to the American drugs company’s plans to settle lawsuits alleging that talc in its baby powder and other products caused cancer. (The Times £)