A counter point
Sir, Asda’s decision to remove traditional fresh meat and fish counters is a sign of the times. A similar move by Tesco suggests these counters are simply not doing enough sales. Supermarkets are seeing better opportunities in out-of-home consumption. But this is a real shame. Shoppers that use counters spend around 40% more than other shoppers.
Human contact plays a huge role in creating lasting loyalty and between shopper and store. Perhaps there is room for a middle ground, where stores can meet food-for-now demand while retaining that human touch.
Bryan Roberts, global insights director, TCC Global
Dedication to veganism
Sir, The revelation that Burger King cooks its vegan Rebel Whopper patties on the same grill as its meat variety, and the subsequent criticism for paying mere lip-service to veganism, highlights a need for brands to have a more genuine and nuanced understanding of vegan consumers.
Veganism has just been registered as an ethical philosophy akin to a religious belief, and - just like with any religion - vegans follow a code of practice.
Burger King’s laissez-faire attitude to the delivery of the vegan purity of this burger reveals a failure to understand the full cultural relevance of the movement. It’s a warning to brands that only those committed to the principles that underpin veganism will succeed.
Alex Gordon, CEO, Sign Salad
Drinks 2020 predictions
Sir, I always love reading these trend predictions.
The Grocer picks out a few trends for the drinks industry in 2020 here: the fact low and no-alcohol products are blowing up; craft beer and cider are winning over drinkers; and beer/cider and food pairings are finally taking centre stage. In addition to all this, in 2020, we have football in the form of the European Championship.
Pair that with an excellent summer and this might be a massive year for drinks. The question is whether small breweries can brew enough lager to satisfy potential demand.
Rebecca Pate, freelance marketing consultant, via LinkedIn