A year after the scandal erupted and it seemed Horsegate was history in the first weeks of 2014, with 69% of consumers telling us they hadn’t been bothered by it happening in the first place. Christmas trading figures revealed it was a dismal festive season for Morrisons with a 5.6% fall in sales, while baby and toddler range Ella’s Kitchen cut out the middle man with its launch into e-commerce.

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Suppliers welcomed the appointment of Mike Coupe as Justin King’s replacement at Sainsbury’s in what would later prove a timely departure by the CEO. And in another astute move Jason Gissing walked away from his role with Ocado, making a tidy profit in the process. With a less healthy bank balance were food waste campaigners Wrap, who bid for charity status in a move framed in irony considering the ‘greenest-ever government’ in power and a heightened awareness of waste by the public.

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It appeared the supermarkets were beginning to take the threat of the discounters seriously, with Tesco admitting it would take years to catch up on prices, and Morrisons’ £1bn investment in a price war triggering a drop in confidence across the market. But all talk turned to The Co-operative Group later in the month as Euan Sutherland quit in a haze of leaked pay packages and Facebook rants.

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