The chairman of Britain’s biggest supermarket has warned “the worst is yet to come” on rising food prices. Tesco’s John Allan told the BBC he was aware people were on very tight budgets and having to choose between food and heating “troubles us” (The BBC). The chairman of Britain’s biggest supermarket chain has warned that “the worst is yet to come” on food price inflation, as he predicted it will soon hit 5% (The Guardian). The worst of rising food prices is “yet to come” with a potential 5% surge in spring, the chairman of Tesco has warned (Sky News).
Private equity firms Advent International and Leonard Green are exploring a buyout of the beleaguered online retailer The Hut Group. Executives from Advent are said to have recently visited THG’s offices in Manchester, and Los Angeles-based Leonard Green is also understood to be running the rule over the company (The Times £). Shares in The Hut Group soared amid speculation it is being circled by private equity suitors (The Daily Mail).
Two of Unilever’s largest investors have called for a radical shake-up of the company or its board in the wake of its abortive £50bn pursuit of GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer health business (The Financial Times £). Top shareholders in Unilever have warned that the household goods giant is facing a crunch week as it prepares to face questions over its botched swoop on Glaxo Smith Kline (The Times £).
Two of Britain’s biggest companies are set to hand out a combined £8bn in dividends this week, after suffering blistering attacks from US activist investors. Emma Walmsley, chief executive of drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline, will pay out £4bn to shareholders and beleaguered Unilever chief Alan Jope is expected to unveil a £3.7bn payout. (The Daily Mail)
Boris Johnson is preparing to drop plans to ban “buy one, get one free” deals on junk food, and other anti-obesity measures, in a bid to win back mutinous Conservative MPs, according to government officials (The Financial Times £). Sajid Javid has insisted the government is “absolutely committed” to banning junk food promotional deals after Boris Johnson told MPs he would look again at the measure (The Times £)
Carlsberg plans to raise its beer prices this year to deal with steeply rising costs, a measure that it warned was likely to hit beer sales as it becomes the latest company to pass inflation on to consumers (The Financial Times £)
Sales for the Upper Crust owner SSP have softened in recent weeks as the Omicron variant of Covid-19 dented passenger numbers, tripping up the catering company’s post-pandemic recovery (The Times £). The owner of the Upper Crust sandwich chain has reported a drop in sales as concerns about the Omicron coronavirus variant kept customers at home but said it was hopeful of better performance as commuters return to offices (The Guardian). SSP Group, the owner of the Upper Crust baguette chain, has acknowledged taking a hit from restrictions imposed in the wake of the Omicron variant’s emergence (The Daily Mail).
City centres are roaring back to life as workers return to their desks, according to two leading companies. (The Daily Mail)
Checks on food and agricultural goods from Britain to Northern Ireland must continue pending a hearing next month, a Belfast court has ruled. (Sky News)
Amazon’s stock rallied on Friday for its best one-day gain since 2015 after it announced a 17% increase in the price of its popular Prime membership scheme (The Financial Times £). Amazon enjoyed the biggest daily jump in valuation in American market history last night at the end of a volatile week for the world’s largest technology companies (The Times £).
Waitrose and Lidl have been named the UK’s greenest supermarkets in a ranking of their greenhouse gas emissions and efforts to cut plastic and food waste. (The BBC)
Prices for restaurant meals and hotel stays look set to rise sharply after the hospitality sector’s industry body said firms were being forced to pass on surging costs. (Sky News)
Mounting fears about the cost-of-living crisis have knocked consumer confidence for a second consecutive quarter, a survey has found. (The Times £)
Ex-Sainsbury’s boss Justin King to lead Allwyn swoop on lucrative National Lottery licence. The Czech lottery operator is setting its sights on the UK, where it could deploy similar gimmicks. It has enlisted a team including King to spearhead its battle to win the right to run the lottery, snatching it from the incumbent, Camelot. (The Times £)
First came soya, nut and then oat but the new challenger to the plant milk crown is the humble spud as potato milk arrives on UK supermarket shelves. Described as “deliciously creamy” and capable of producing the “perfect foam” for a homemade latte or cappuccino, the Swedish potato milk brand Dug goes on sale in 220 Waitrose stores this week. (The Guardian)
The Telegraph interviews the boss of Europe’s biggest super-fast grocery service, Gorillas founder Kağan Sümer. Gorillas, founded in Berlin, only launched in the UK last March, but now has 32 warehouses across five cities, from which fleets of riders are dispatched within minutes of a time-poor shopper ordering ready meals, fresh bread, beer or wine. (The Telegraph)