Booker, the UK’s biggest wholesaler has begun rationing beer, cider and soft drinks as rising demand amid the heatwave and England’s World Cup campaign comes up against a shortage of food-grade carbon dioxide gas. (The Guardian)
Booker, which was bought by Tesco earlier this year, said customers including pubs, restaurants and stores were already being given limited stocks (Sky News). The Tesco-owned retailer, which is used by bars, restaurants and traders, is capping customers to 10 cases of beer, and five of cider or soft drinks (The BBC).
The Europe-wide shortfall of carbon dioxide has forced Booker, the food wholesaler, to ration beer and cider sales, while operations at Scotland’s biggest pig abattoir were to be abandoned on Wednesday, as the gas shortage that has disrupted supply chains at fizzy drinks manufacturers and poultry producers entered its second week. (The Financial Times £)
The BBC looks at why the CO2 shortage really matters for the UK’s food and drink supply. It writes: “A shortage of CO2 gas is starting to bite. From pig processors to beer firms, the lack of carbon dioxide is hitting production. Even soft drinks giant Coca-Cola says its UK bottling plant was interrupted by the shortage.” (The BBC)
Booming sales of gin and “wonky” fruit and vegetables have helped the UK’s supermarkets ring up £500m of extra sales in recent weeks. Morrisons, which has championed the sale of so called “wonky” veg – smaller or misshapen fruit and vegetables – said its popularity has helped make it the fastest-growing of the UK’s big four supermarkets (The Guardian). Sainsbury’s missed out as its big rivals cashed in on a heatwave that sent sales of gin, soft drinks and hay fever remedies soaring in recent months, new figures suggest (The Telegraph). Sainsbury’s sales surprisingly slumped as it battled to secure its £14.1billion merger with Asda (The Daily Mail).
Alison Brittain, the chief executive of Whitbread, has hit out at the government’s apprenticeship levy, calling it “enormously bureaucratic” and a tax on business. (The Times £)
The spending power of Britain’s hard-pressed consumers is slightly increasing as inflation falls and wages rise compared with last year. The latest Asda Income Tracker, which charts the income that households have left to spend after taxes and basic living costs, shows that last month spending power was £16.56 higher compared with a year ago. (The Times £)
British strawberry patches are an unlikely Brexit battlefield, writes The Financial Times (£) as summer fruit growers warn about difficulties in hiring seasonal workers.
A pre-9pm ban on junk food TV advertising before 9pm would cost Channel 4 £40m a year, the chief executive has said, suggesting advertisers would move to YouTube and Facebook which can “hyper-target” children. (The Guardian)
In the UK — the national stock market most loathed by institutional investors according to a recent survey — fund managers who have been buying out-of-favour stocks are enjoying their time in the sun. Out of the top-seven best performing stocks in the FTSE 100 year to date, two are the supermarkets J Sainsbury and Tesco. (The Financial Times £)
Marston’s is hoping a range of American craft beers will boost its fortunes and take the business more upmarket. The group, which owns pubs across the UK, has enjoyed soaring sales of Founders All Day IPA after it won distribution rights to the beer following its £55million purchase of brewery company Charles Wells, which owned the rights, last year. (The Daily Mail)
Amazon Business, the ecommerce platform for companies to buy office supplies and services such as invoicing, has expanded into Italy and Spain in a sign of the tech group’s ambitions in the corporate services market (The Financial Times £).