The crisis engulfing Morrisons deepened as another slump in sales saw it lose ground to rivals such as Aldi and Lidl (The Daily Mail). The discount supermarkets Lidl and Aldi continue to grow in popularity as consumers cut back amid a squeeze on household budgets as the cost of living crisis affects the weekly grocery shop (The Times £).

Grocery inflation eased for the first time in 21 months in November, according to data, but the cost of a traditional Christmas dinner will still be around 9% up on 2021 (Sky News). The average cost of Christmas dinner in the UK is expected to rise almost 10% this year compared with last December, as inflation continued to hit household budgets, new data show (The Financial Times £). Households will typically have to spend nearly 10% more on Christmas dinner this year, despite data showing growth in supermarket prices slowed for the first time in nearly two years (The Guardian).

Asda plans to open 300 new convenience stores in the next four years as part of its quest to supplant Sainsbury’s as the UK’s second-largest grocer (The Financial Times £). Asda is planning to open 300 convenience stores and create 10,000 new jobs in the next four years as it tries to grab a bigger share of the grocery market and potentially overtake rival Sainsbury’s to become the UK’s second largest supermarket (The Guardian). Asda is planning to open 300 convenience stores in the next four years as it battles to overtake Sainsbury’s and become Britain’s second biggest supermarket (The Daily Mail).

The UK risks food supply disruption as multiple farming sectors shrink amid skyrocketing costs and labour shortages, the country’s largest agricultural lobby group warned on Tuesday (The Financial Times £). Britain’s farmers are warning the government risks “sleepwalking” into a food supply crisis unless it urgently provides support to those struggling with the soaring cost of the “three f’s”: fuel, feed and fertiliser (The Guardian). Egg shortages “could just be the start” as the UK is “sleepwalking” into a food supply crisis, the union for farmers and growers has warned (Sky News).

The price of own-brand and budget products in supermarkets has been rising far faster than premium and branded items during the cost of living crisis, new figures suggest. (Sky News)

Sales at Upper Crust owner and travel hubs food outlet operator SSP Group have risen abvove pre-Covid levels, despite UK recovery being slowed by industrial action. (The Daily Mail)

Football fans visiting the pub to watch England’s World Cup matches have boosted drink sales at Marston’s by up to 50%, providing a fillip for the sector as it struggles with higher costs (The Financial Times £). Families are making large bookings at the local pub after not being able to gather for Christmas for three years, according to Marston’s (The Times £). Martson’s returned to profit in the year to October as punters flocked back to its pubs after the pandemic restrictions ended, despite the cost of living crisis (The Daily Mail).

Alistair Osborne writes: “Marston’s chairman William Rucker must persuade his banks to relax covenants. But, if they did so for Covid, why not now trading has recovered? On analyst forecasts the shares trade on six times earnings. You can debate whether the board should have rejected [last year’s bid from] Platinum. But the glass-half-empty view is already in the price.” (The Times £)

The price of fuel at the pump rose more quickly than it fell in response to changing wholesale prices this year, the regulator has found (The Times £). There is evidence that “rocket and feather” fuel pricing happened in 2022, a competition watchdog has said (The BBC).

Amazon has reached a final deal with EU antitrust regulators over concerns its use of data undermined rivals, in a move that will close two of the most high-profile probes in Brussels. (The Financial Times £)

An advert for beer company BrewDog has been banned over a “tongue-in-cheek” claim that its fruit-flavoured beers constitute “one of your five a day” (The Guardian, Sky News, The BBC).

John Allan, the chairman of Tesco, will be among senior business leaders addressing a Labour Party business conference tomorrow. (The Times £)

Bill’s Restaurants has clashed with Marston’s in a High Court property dispute as the company battles to shore up its finances. (The Daily Mail)

The FT looks at “why lab-grown meat may never be on the menu”, noting that high production costs together with increasingly vegetarian appetites may prevent this industry taking off. (The Financial Times £)