asda christmas staff

Asda’s fantastic females

Sir, Your 23 January Leader grossly misrepresented the necessary changes Asda made last week. Since 2013, 36% of senior colleagues who have left the business were female. This has neither altered Asda’s overall gender mix nor our commitment to the awardwinning Women in Leadership programme. We have some fantastic and talented female colleagues, many of whom joined us in the last two years. They were dealt an underhand and unnecessary blow by The Grocer last week.

Restructuring is never easy but change is absolutely necessary in the current environment to secure the future of our business. And while it’s true that an all-female board might have “huge PR value”, Asda remains a meritocracy, making decisions that are right for the future of our business rather than to generate positive headlines.

Hayley Tatum, senior vice president, people, Asda

Whole Earth’s ranking

Sir, Earlier this month, we announced that Whole Earth had overtaken Sun-Pat to become the UK’s number one peanut butter brand by value to 52 w/e 6 December 2015. We used this information to book an advert in The Grocer for the Jams & Spreads feature on 16 January. Following a challenge from Sun-Pat and a review with IRI of the category data, a minor database anomaly was identified that hadn’t previously been picked up by either IRI or Whole Earth. Once the situation was updated to reflect the full value of Hain Daniels/Sun-Pat, it was found that our claim was incorrect. This was a genuine mistake based on a database anomaly and we are happy to set the record straight. We apologise to Sun-Pat for prematurely claiming the number one value spot in the peanut butter market. But we remain very proud of Whole Earth’s exceptionally strong 17% value growth during the year.

Paul Saxby, head of category management, Wessanen UK

Keep it real for kids

Sir, Mums say their children are growing up with a taste for engineered food - unnecessary additives, artificial flavours and colours - and, as parents, feel misled by claims of ‘natural’ or ‘real’ on food labelling.

Our latest investigation shows how the food industry, to deliver convenience, is distorting children’s experience of ‘real’ food with fast flavour hits and easy-to-eat textures that make them eat more and faster. The industry is using the zone of artifice to pretend to meet parents’ needs. Parents told us they don’t trust the food industry. Isn’t it time we made sure the food we sell is something our little ones will thank us for?

Anna Rosier, MD, Organix

Simple swaps

Sir, While the major players invest in adapting ranges to cut sugar, new players can be fleet of foot delivering better-for-you alternatives. We should all be encouraging simple swaps that are easy for consumers to maintain. Making just one swap in a weekly basket can lead to lasting health benefits.

Maria & Sara Trechman, co-founders, Well&Truly