Waitrose and Deliveroo have struck a two-year partnership for rapid home grocery deliveries after a successful trial of the service (The Guardian). After a successful trial, the supermarket chain said that it was expanding its use of the delivery app from 40 to 150 shops with access to about 13 million people in total (The Times £). Waitrose will expand its Deliveroo delivery service to another 110 stores by the end of the summer after seeing ‘strong sales’ through the app, in a move which will create up to 400 jobs at the supermarket (The Daily Mail). The idea of the new two-year partnership is to make a range of 750-1,000 products available to be delivered to customers in as little as 20 minutes (Sky News).

Shoppers are making more trips to supermarkets and are spending less online since lockdown restrictions have eased (The Times £). Grocery experts said the ‘worst of the pandemic is behind us’ as the successful vaccine rollout led to the busiest month in supermarkets in more than a year (The Daily Mail). Supermarkets in Great Britain have experienced the busiest in-store four weeks in a more than a year as consumer confidence to head out improves (The Evening Standard).

Britain’s biggest retailers recorded the sharpest growth in sales since 2018 as consumer confidence was boosted by the easing of lockdown in England and Wales, and progress with the Covid-19 vaccination programme. (The Guardian)

Czech billionaire Karel Komarek has responded to the shock entrance of one his biggest gambling rivals by unveiling a partnership with Vodafone in his bid to win control of the National Lottery. (The Telegraph)

Traders in US cheese futures now hold contracts worth 64m pounds of block cheddar, a sharp increase from the start of the year, with companies racing to lock in supplies in anticipation of accelerating demand as the American economy reopens from coronavirus lockdowns. (The Financial Times £)

Kripa Varanasi, a professor at MIT, the research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Dave Smith, his former doctoral student, have raised $50m and announced a partnership with Colgate after their company patented a container coating that ensures every last drop of toothpaste comes out of the tube. (The Times £)

South Africa has been unusual during the pandemic in that it placed bans on sales of not only alcohol but also tobacco, in order to prepare hospitals for surges in Covid cases. That has made South Africa a study in how illicit markets have responded to lockdowns. Legitimate drinks and tobacco players took an instant economic hit as their customers turned to illegal supplies. (The Financial Times £)