It’s been less than a fortnight but New Year’s Eve probably seems like a distant memory.

Certainly it’s been a busy start to the year for the multiples, with price guarantees being launched, boards being reshuffled and, this week, plenty of results being announced.
 
Sainsbury’s reports tomorrow, with Tesco going the day after. We’ll look back on those numbers in due course.
 
After Morrisons and Ocado yesterday, today marked the turn of Marks & Spencer. With LFL festive sales up almost 2%, Marc Bolland was trumpeting the ‘return to quality’ that’s surely been going on now for at least a year.
 
‘Quality’ was a recurring theme for the heavyweight panel of industry leaders assembled by The Grocer for our Preview of the Year.
 
Tesco’s Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Joe Morris of TJ Morris and General Mills’ Jim Moseley all identified the quality message as key. Mark Hunter of Molson Coors pointed to continuing efforts by the drinks trade to stave off commoditisation. And Vion UK boss Ton Christiaanse was among those predicting major growth for premium own-label lines.
 
There’s plenty more pre-emptive wisdom, and lots more big-hitters, to be found in the preview. And we also rate the efforts of last year’s pundits.
 
Judging by the uncanny powers of Stuart ‘Mystic’ MacFarlane, AB InBev should be well prepared for whatever 2011 throws at it. 

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