Food inflation accelerated to a 45-year high last month but the pace of price rises should ease as the year progresses, shoppers have been told (The Times £).

After hitting a new record of 19.1% in March, food price inflation should also start to slow. Shipping, transport and packaging costs have been falling, which has filtered into slowing food producer output prices. This means the rate of price growth for goods leaving warehouses and factories has been slowing. (Sky News)

Britain’s cost of living crisis is showing no sign of easing after new data showed UK inflation stuck above 10% in March, making it more likely that the Bank of England will increase interest rates next month (The Financial Times £). UK inflation fell by less than expected in March, staying in double figures as households came under pressure from food and drink prices soaring at their fastest annual rate since 1977 (The Guardian). 

The Guardian looks at why are UK food prices up by 19% – and which foods are worst affected? The price of some lines of staple foods such as cheddar cheese, white bread and pork sausages have soared by up to 80% in some shops over the past year, as much as eight times the headline rate of inflation. (The Guardian)

Tesco may have to stop using its Clubcard logo in its current form after discounter Lidl won a trademark lawsuit against the UK grocer over the use of a yellow circle on a blue square (Financial Times £). Tesco may have to stop using a blue and yellow logo to promote its Clubcard loyalty scheme after the High Court ruled that it had infringed the trademark of Lidl, the German discounter (The Times £). Tesco is to be ordered to stop using its Clubcard motif after a judge ruled the supermarket had copied Lidl’s logo and “deceived” customers (Telegraph).

The judge found Tesco had infringed Lidl’s trademark and was guilty of “passing off” in misleading shoppers into thinking that products under the Clubcard Prices scheme are offered at the same or lower prices as those in Lidl (The Guardian).

The German discount chain brought the case in 2020 shortly after its rival adopted a yellow circle against a blue background to promote its Clubcard Prices discount scheme. (Sky News)

A group of institutional investors in Nestlé has increased pressure on the world’s largest food company to become less reliant on unhealthy products and warned that consumers’ overconsumption of packaged goods with limited nutritional value poses “systemic risks” to financial returns (Financial Times £). Nestle is being urged to cut the proportion of unhealthy food it sells and “play its part” for global health (BBC).

An activist investor in THG believes that its shareholders would shun the recently announced takeover approach from Apollo Global Management even at a premium of 100%. (The Times £)

Matt Moulding has made no secret of his frustration since The Hut Group listed on the stock market – the beleaguered entrepreneur was at it again this week on social media. In a 512-word lament on Linkedin, he claimed that ‘a select few within the world of hedge funds, media and bank analysts’ are trying to undermine Britain’s listed companies. (Daily Mail)

Some of the world’s biggest buyout firms are exploring the possibility of a joint bid for Subway, the $10bn sandwich chain. Advent International, Bain Capital and TPG are considering teaming up in a so-called “club deal” as the auction of Subway nears the conclusion of a second round of bidding. (Sky News)

Heineken has found a buyer for its Russian business. The Dutch brewer said it could not identify the buyer, as it was still waiting for the Russian authorities to approve the sale. (The Times £)

Heineken sales have fallen flat as punters put down their favourite pints in the face of higher prices. (Daily Mail)

Heineken drinkers will not like how inflation has pinched their purses. But so far it has worked wonders for the Dutch brewer’s shareholders. Asian and Africa/Middle Eastern trade sagged badly. Yet Heineken’s most important regions in the Americas and Europe beat analyst expectations. (Financial Times £)

Just Eat Takeaway has pledged to buy back up to €150m worth of shares, seeking to appease investors as orders continue to fall at Europe’s biggest food delivery group. (Financial Times £)

Just Eat has upped its 2023 adjusted core profit outlook, stating it continues to make good progress on delivery-led operational improvements (Daily Mail).

Just Eat Takeaway has stepped up the recruitment of skilled technical staff in Britain despite laying off 1,700 delivery drivers last month amid a downturn in orders (The Times £).

The number of teenagers regularly vaping has jumped to one in seven, according to a new survey of schools in northern England, fuelling further calls from government advisers and medics for popular flavoured e-cigarettes to be banned. (Financial Times £)

Ukrainian vodka producers toast a rise in global sales. When Russia invaded Ukraine last year its vodkas were quickly removed from shelves around the world. It was an opportunity for rival Ukrainian brands to take their place. (BBC)

Spanish startup on ‘mission to save planet’s beer’ from climate crisis. Ekonoke’s hydroponic cultivation of hop plants attracting interest of big-name brewers. (The Guardian)