With grocery stories continuing to be slim pickings as the UK gears up for the bank holiday weekend, the latest market share from Kantar Worldpanel and Nielsen generates some column inches. Most of the papers focus on Lidl overtaking Waitrose as UK’s seventh biggest supermarket. Lidl increased its market share to a record 5.2% in the 12 weeks to 13 August, according to research from Kantar. The discount retailer has gained 0.7 percentage points of share in the last year, taking it above Waitrose and into the UK’s top seven supermarkets for the first time, as consumers turn further towards discount retailers, The Telegraph writes. The Guardian notes that fellow discounter Aldi, which overtook Waitrose in 2015, recorded a sales rise of 17.2%, giving it a 7% market share. The Times highlights that a rising numbers of families with children shopping at Lidl helped lifted it above Waitrose to become the UK’s seventh largest supermarket, with sales up 18.9% in the period. The Mail asks if there is a new middle-class favourite in town. The Guardian takes a view on the grocery wars in an opinion column entitled “Lidl Britain”. “British supermarkets were once an established social ecosystem: Waitrose and Marks & Spencer catered for the wealthy, Asda for the hard up, and Tesco and Sainsbury’s for everyone in between,” the piece begins. “Then a foreign species disturbed it.”
The EU has launched an in-depth probe into Bayer’s $66bn takeover of US-seed-and-chemical group Monsanto – a deal that would create the largest integrated pesticide and seed company in the world. Brussels said on Tuesday it is concerned Bayer’s deal will hurt competition in the markets for pesticides, vegetable and crop seeds, traits (GM seed characteristics) and investment in digital farming technology, particularly in light of the recent consolidation in the industry, according to The Financial Times. Officials said they will look into the implications for customers of the planned combined entity, using competition laws to mount the probe, The Telegraph adds. The commission said yesterday that it had “preliminary concerns” that the proposed acquisition by the German company could reduce competition in a number of markets, “resulting in higher prices, lower quality, less choice and less innovation” (The Times).
Asda has been forced to bin 10,000 bags for life after an ‘Isle of White’ spelling error (The Guardian). The supermarket had printed the design featuring a local child’s illustration to mark the opening of a branch in Newport on the Isle of Wight. The Times headline reads “A White old howler on Asda’s bags”.
Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestlé are among seven soft-drink makers that have agreed to limit the amount of sugar they use in beverages sold in Singapore, marking the latest campaign from a health regulator to fight diabetes by targeting sweet drinks (The Financial Times). US sandwich chain Panera is unveiling cups that list how many teaspoons of sugar have been added to drinks, as the sandwich company battles for the lunch money of more health-conscious American consumers (The Financial Times).
Dominic Chappell, the former bankrupt who bought BHS for £1, is to be prosecuted by the Pensions Regulator for failing to provide information related to his purchase of the now defunct retailer (The Telegraph). The watchdog announced on Tuesday that it is to prosecute Chappell for not providing information and documents it requested during its high-profile investigation into the sale of BHS (The Financial Times). Failure to provide such information without a reasonable excuse is a criminal offence that can result in a fine, The Guardian adds.
McDonald’s has terminated the franchise agreement underpinning its 169 restaurants in northern and eastern India, after nine years of conflict that have weighed on its efforts to expand in the country, writes The Financial Times.