Asda is opening is first convenience stores outside a petrol station as its new owners search for ways to expand the UK’s third largest supermarket chain and overtake Sainsbury’s (The Guardian). Asda is launching its first convenience stores as the battle between supermarkets to win business steps up (Daily Mail).

THG shares have jumped on the news that Japan’s SoftBank will sell its stake in the troubled British online shopping group to its co-founder Matthew Moulding and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund (The Guardian). Investors in The Hut Group (THG) were given some respite only a day after the fourth largest shareholder said it would dump its entire stake (Daily Mail).

Pubs and clubs are facing the prospect of beer shortages while fast food firms including Burger King, KFC and Pizza Hut are also under threat of disruption from industrial disputes (Sky News). The prospect of a UK beer shortage is looming as drivers and workers at a firm that makes about 40% of deliveries to UK pubs and clubs are to stage five days of strike action over pay and job cuts (The Guardian).

Dan Loeb has taken a stake in Colgate-Palmolive and mooted a spin-off of its pet food unit. Third Point, the American activist investor, cited several reasons for the move, including Colgate-Palmolive’s pricing power in an inflationary environment, as well as the strength of Hills, its pet food division. (The Times £)

If you thought a recent alert about higher food, energy and production costs would turn up the heat, or at least the pressure, on Greggs, then think again. HSBC laid out its investment case for the FTSE 250 bakery business yesterday, arguing that the high street chain was in a strong position to manage costs and prompting an orderly queue for its shares. (The Times £)

The centre of gravity for alternative proteins, be they plant-based or grown in a vat (cultured meat) is moving inexorably towards Asia. Asia has woken up to the need for new ideas and greater security in food — annual intellectual property filings for plant-based meat has grown more than three times over the past decade, with more than half of intellectual property documents originating from Asian-based companies. (Financial Times £)