The Co-op Group is exploring the sale of its general insurance operations for about £300m amid accelerating changes to the industry’s distribution model. The Co-op has appointed investment bankers from Fenchurch Advisory Partners to advise on potential options for its insurance business, which made £11m in underlying profit in 2017. (Sky News)

A sale is likely to affect the jobs of about 1,000 staff who work in the Co-op’s insurance division. It comes as insurers grapple with shifts in the market prompted by changing customer preferences and new regulation that means insurance has had to be sold more directly and at a lower cost. (The Times £)

The furore over Irn-Bru’s switch to a reduced-sugar recipe appears to have fizzled out as the Scottish company that makes the carbonated soft drink AG Barr reported strong first-half trading. (The Times £)

Smurfit Kappa is set to benefit from demand for alternatives to plastic packaging as businesses increasingly seek more environmentally friendly ways to transport goods. (The Telegraph)

Retailers are likely to face a consumer backlash if they fail to take action to curb plastic use, according to a survey by the owners of Canary Wharf in London. (The Guardian)

Beer brewer Molson Coors has promised to “aggressively” address falling volumes in the North American market, where customers’ thirst for brands like Coors Light, Miller Lite and Molson Canadian failed to perk up in the second quarter. (The Financial Times £)

Shares in Mexican dairy giant Grupo Lala took a dive in early trade as the company announced it was replacing Scot Rank as CEO next month with Mauricio Leyva, a longtime executive of brewer AB InBev in a bid to turn around a disappointing profit slide. (The Financial Times £)

British factory growth weakened last month as a slowdown in domestic activity offset higher demand from overseas. Analysts warned that the manufacturing sector could take months to recover from the “damp squib” of performance in July, after a closely-watched survey found that it fell short of expectations. (The Times £)

The German Farmers’ Association on Wednesday cut its forecast for wheat production for the year, saying the yield would likely reach its lowest point in at least 15 years as crops suffered from a drought caused by unusually hot weather. (The Financial Times £)

The big retail news yesterday was that House of Fraser is teetering on the brink of collapse after a Chinese investor pulled out of a deal to buy a stake in the ailing department store and inject £70 million of funding. (The Times £, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Sky News)