Profits at Asda slipped by almost a quarter last year, while sales were flat, as the UK supermarket chain cut prices (The Financial Times £).

In the first full year of ownership by the Issa brothers, the UK’s third-largest supermarket chain said profits fell almost a quarter to £886m in 2022. Sales were up just 0.1% to £20.5bn (The Mail).

As The Grocer reported, Asda called the results “resilient”.

The market report in The Mail writes that Tesco is in demand after analysts predicted bumper profits. Investment bank Morgan Stanley expects Tesco to report a profit of £2.53bn for the year to mid-April – above the range of £2.4bn and £2.5bn the grocer gave in January (The Mail).

A criminal investigation has been started after allegations that a rogue meat supplier mixed rotten pork with fresh meat and falsely labelled foreign meat as British before selling it to supermarkets and food manufacturers. The investigation by the Food Standards Agency comes after a report in Farmers Weekly which alleged that the company, which has not been named for legal reasons, sold the mislabelled pork until at least the end of 2020 (The Times £).

Meat produced by the company is reported to have ended up in products such as ready meals, quiches, sandwiches and other produce sold in Tesco, Asda, Co-op, Morrisons and Marks & Spencer (The Guardian).

Just one slice of bread is typically saltier than a packet of ready salted crisps, campaigners have warned. Researchers from Action on Salt, a group based at Queen Mary University of London, looked at 242 sliced breads on sale in UK supermarkets (The Times £).

The government has pledged to clamp down on children’s access to vapes, with reports that ministers are considering a ban on brightly coloured, disposable, fruit-flavoured products (The Times £).

Shoplifting is much worse in Britain than in Europe as a result of grocery price inflation hitting record highs in March, a retail boss has warned. Tracey Clements, the head of BP convenience stores, blamed the cost of living crisis for rising levels of retail crime (The Times £).

English wine maker Chapel Down is aiming to be a more ‘premium’ brand after record sales last year (The Mail).

Liberal firebrand senator Bernie Sanders accused Starbucks founder and billionaire Howard Schultz of leading an unprecedented crusade of “illegal union-busting” at the coffee chain in a Senate hearing face-off on Wednesday (The Financial Times £).

The Seattle-based company has denied allegations that it illegally dismissed pro-union baristas or spied on workers as hundreds of stores organised unions starting in late 2021 (The Times £).