Kit Kat Vegan

Source: Nestlé

Nestlé launched a vegan KitKat bar last year following a UK trial

Nestlé raised prices at close to the fastest pace in more than three decades last quarter but sacrificed only a modest slice of its sales volume, as consumers proved willing to pay more for its packaged food and drinks (The Financial Times £). KitKat and Nescafe maker Nestle’s quarterly sales slightly beat expectations after sustaining demand despite price hikes of almost 10% (The Daily Mail).

Several of the world’s largest consumer goods companies have quelled fears over a global contraction in household spending after their results showed shoppers were still stomaching price rises on a wide range of products from burgers to baby food and toilet rolls. (The Financial Times £)

British American Tobacco has agreed to pay a $635mn penalty to US authorities after a subsidiary on Tuesday pleaded guilty to charges that it violated US sanctions on North Korea, in the largest settlement of its kind (The Financial Times £). British American Tobacco has agreed to pay $635 million (£512m) to US authorities over alleged sanctions busting in North Korea stretching back a decade (The Times £). British American Tobacco (BAT) has agreed a $635.2m penalty with US authorities relating to “misconduct” in sanctions-hit North Korea (Sky News).

Online grocer Ocado has announced plans to shut its oldest distribution centre as it shifts towards robotic warehouses in a move that will affect around 2,300 workers (The Daily Mail). Ocado Group is to close its oldest warehouse, in Hatfield, putting about 2,300 jobs at risk (The Times £). Ocado and Marks & Spencer’s online retail joint-venture is to close its oldest warehouse, in Hatfield, putting up to 2,300 jobs at risk (The Guardian). Thousands of jobs are at risk after Ocado announced plans to close its oldest distribution centre (Sky News).

Shoppers increasingly turned to supermarkets’ cheapest own-label products as grocery inflation remained above 17% over the past month, keeping the pressure on already strained household finances (The Guardian). Grocery inflation dipped slightly in the past month but the price of groceries is still 17.3 per cent higher than last year, new figures show (The Times £). Grocery inflation rate eases but may not have peaked yet, industry data suggests. Kantar Worldpanel says there is cause for some hope that the worst is behind us as its measure of inflation, which covers thousands of supermarket goods, eases back from a record high in March (Sky News).

Pret A Manger is increasing the price of its coffee subscription service by 20%, saying it needs to preserve profit margins in the face of “stubbornly high” inflation (The Financial Times £). Inflation has struck at Pret A Manger. The sandwich chain has increased the price of its coffee subscription from £25 to £30 and changed the name of the loyalty scheme to Club Pret (The Times £). Pret A Manger has hiked the price of its five-a-day coffee subscription service by 20% to £30 a month (The BBC). Pret has increased the price of subscription as coffee costs soar, but the chain’s boss insists the offer remains ‘a phenomenal deal’ (The Telegraph £).

The boss of Primark’s owner Associated British Foods said it is “through the worst” of a period of volatile inflation which has eaten into the fashion and food group’s margins (The Times £). Associated British Foods’ profits dipped in the half year to 4 March despite strong in-store growth, as inflationary pressures ate into margins (The Daily Mail). The boss of Primark’s owner has warned that consumer confidence is ‘still very low’ as the business posted flat half-year profits (The Daily Mail). Primark is to extend its online click & collect service to London and expand in the southern US after reporting strong first-half sales (The Guardian).

John Lewis Partnership chairman Sharon White has vowed to preserve what makes John Lewis unique, in a column in The Telegraph. “Our customers are now more financially prudent but they still want to do the right thing.” (The Telegraph £)

Salmon prices are about to leap by as much as 10%, industry analysts have warned. The latest blow for shoppers comes as Norway’s government plans to slap a hefty tax on the delicacy. (The Daily Mail)

Sales and profits at McDonald’s exceeded Wall Street’s expectations in the last quarter as the world’s appetite for fast food remained strong despite inflationary price rises. (The Times £).

Profits at the Duke of Westminster’s vast property empire fell sharply last year, although the dividend paid to the King’s godson and his family rose to almost £50m. (The Times £)

Fruit producers turn to nets for better crops. Nets are commonly used to keep out pests in vegetable production, particularly in high-value areas like seeds. Yet in fruit production the use of nets is still being explored and tested. (The BBC)