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Inside food & drink manufacturing

Retailing Crisis

With the big four British supermarkets under intensifying pressure both from discounters - such as Aldi and Lidl - and premium outlets - such as Waitrose - we report how the changing retail landscape is affecting their food and drink suppliers.

The Co-op commits to 100% British frozen meat

The Co-op will become the only retailer to sell 100% British own-label frozen meat, after its commitment to source only British own-label fresh meat earlier this month.

Ice cream maker in £700,000 deal to supply Sainsbury

Ice cream manufacturer Mackie’s of Scotland has secured a £700,000 deal with Sainsbury to supply it with honeycomb-flavoured ice cream.

Greggs sales rise 7.5% as it concludes job cut talks

High street baker Greggs has reported an increase in total sales of 7.5% in the first 19 weeks of the year, and confirmed the completion of staff talks to ‘cut hundreds of jobs’.

Morrisons thanks food makers after sales rise

Morrisons reported a 3.4% rise in group like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, in its first-quarter trading update, as chief executive David Potts again thanked the supermarket’s team of food makers and retailers.

Sainsbury’s food is ‘resilient’ as profits fall

Sainsbury’s food business remains resilient in a difficult market, the supermarket says, as the group’s full-year profits before tax fell 8.2% to £503M in the 12 months to March 11.

Morrisons is in ‘much better shape’: analyst

Morrisons is “in much better shape” than it was last year, as it further exploits its manufacturing capacity, analysts say, ahead of its first-quarter results, due on May 4.

Easter food and gift spending to reach nearly £4bn

Easter shoppers are set to spend £3.9bn on food and gifts over the next few days, according to analyst GlobalData, as Mintel reveals the holiday is a key driver for chocolate innovation.

Tesco supplier relations ‘better than ever’ as sales rise

Tesco said its supplier partnerships were “as strong as they have ever been”, as it reported a 1.3% rise in UK like-for-like food sales in its full-year results.

Supermarket food promotions dip to 11-year low

Supermarket promotions are at their lowest level in 11 years, according to the latest retail sales figures from market researchers Nielsen and Kantar.

‘The Great British Biscuit Shortage’: 2016 sales fall

Biscuits were bought by 99% of UK households last year, despite a fall in sales driven by ‘The Great British Biscuit Shortage’, says biscuit and confectionery manufacturer Pladis.

Morrisons cuts time to pay small suppliers to 14 days

Morrisons’ small-scale food and drink suppliers will have to wait only 14 days for payment, after a pledge from the UK’s fourth-largest retailer.

Sainsbury warns of Brexit-related cost uncertainties

Sainsbury, Britain’s second largest retailer, has warned of turbulent times ahead related to Brexit, as it reported a 0.5% drop in like-for-like sales.

Morrisons’ profit would make Sir Ken ‘very happy’

Morrisons has reported an 11.6% increase in underlying profit to £337M, in a financial statement which the late Sir Ken Morrison “would have been very happy to observe”, according to analyst Shore Capital.

Supermarket forecasting errors and ‘pay to stay’ hurt suppliers

Supermarkets charging for forecasting errors, consumer complaints, margin maintenance, payments to remain listed – or being delisted without sufficient notice – or for better positioning instore and delayed payments, are some of the top problems raised by suppliers in the UK food and drink supply chain, according to the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) Christine Tacon.

Groceries Code comes under scrutiny

The UK food supply chain is coming under scrutiny at two events examining transparency, competition and focusing on the roles of Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) and the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP).

Over 800 jobs lost as 34 Budgens stores close

More than 800 jobs at a chain of 34 Budgens stores are to be lost, after its owner Food Retailer Operations Ltd (FROL) failed to find a buyer.

Amazon could open drive-thru stores

Amazon could target the UK next for its drive-thru grocery stores, following reports that the online retail giant planned to open its first drive-thru in Seattle in the US, it has emerged.

Greggs profits rise 10% as food-to-go sales rise

High street baker Greggs reported a 10% rise in profits to £80.3M in its full-year financial update, driven by consumers’ growing demand for food-on-the-go, alongside plans to restructure its manufacturing operations.

GroceryAid: ‘Everyone can turn to us’

I have been chief executive at GroceryAid for six months now and have been hugely impressed by the amazing work being carried out to support those who have served our industry well, but who for a variety of reasons have hit harder times.

Unilever review likely to lead to food disposals

Unilever’s top-to-bottom review of its business following the rejection of the £115bn bid from US Kraft Heinz earlier this week is likely to lead to the Anglo-Dutch company disposing of some of its underperforming food business, according to City analysts.

Hotel Chocolat reports ‘stellar growth’

Premium confectionery business Hotel Chocolat has reported “stellar growth” in first-half results for its 2016/17 financial year; boosted by strong Christmas sales and continuing store expansion, according to business analyst GlobalData.

Waitrose plans 678 job cuts as five stores face closure

Waitrose plans to cut almost 700 jobs, after revealing plans to close five of its stores and restructure its management.

Aldi becomes the UK’s fifth largest grocer

Aldi, the discount retailer which pledged to “change the face of retailer and supplier relations”, has become the UK’s fifth largest grocer.

Courgette shortage costs retailers £2M in January

UK retailers lost £2M in courgette sales last month, after unfavourable growing conditions in Spain meant supermarkets had to restrict UK supplies.

Manufacturers warned off ‘having a go’ at prices rises

Food manufacturers have been warned off “having a go” at prices rises to exploit inflation, at the Food Manufacture Group’s Business Leaders’ Forum (BLF).

Tesco’s suppliers could lose out from £3.7bn merger

Tesco’s £3.7bn mega merger with Booker could lead to their suppliers losing out, warns the former Northern Foods boss, Lord Christopher Haskins.

Tesco’s £3.7bn deal with Booker ‘to benefit suppliers’

Tesco says its £3.7bn merger with food wholesaler Booker will give suppliers “a broader market opportunity and strong growth prospects”, claiming the deal will create the “UK’s leading food business”.

Tesco was ‘smart’ in £3.7bn deal with Booker

Tesco’s £3.7bn mega merger with Booker will give the business first-mover advantage in competing against online giant Amazon, analysts claimed, as consumers are increasingly shopping online.

Greggs cuts at least 91 jobs in Wales

High street baker Greggs has revealed plans to cut between 91 and 120 jobs in a Welsh factory, the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) has said.

Greggs posts 7% sales boost after strong Christmas

High street baker Greggs reported its 13th consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales growth after a strong festive period, as full-year sales increased by 7% in its latest trading update.

Manufacturers should cash in on eating-out trends

Food manufacturers could benefit from the growing popularity of eating out, claims the director of market research group MCA.

Tesco fresh food sales drive festive growth

Tesco reported a 1.1% rise in total sales in the 19 weeks to January 7, including a 1.3% rise in like-for-like food sales over the Christmas period.

Morrisons’ food makers praised as festive sales rise

Morrisons’ chief executive David Potts praised the retailer’s “food makers and shopkeepers”, after it reported its strongest sales performance for seven years in a Christmas trading update.

Sainsbury posts record festive sales of more than £1bn

Sainsbury has reported record Christmas sales of more than £1bn today (January 11), boosted by its online sales.

Tesco closes two distribution centres

Tesco is to close two of its distribution centres, with the net loss of around 500 jobs, in a move designed to simplify its supply chain operations and management structure across all distribution operations and meet changing consumer demand.

Food firms to benefit from eating out trends

Food manufacturers are set to benefit from two separate contradictory eating out trends, predicts the director of market research group MCA.

Baxters posts profits despite ‘volatile’ retail market

Food manufacturer Baxters Food Group has reported a boost in profits in the 2016 financial year, despite a ‘volatile’ and challenging retail market.

Christmas food sales to boost grocery market

The UK grocery market is predicted to grow by 1.2% this Christmas, delivering a “strong result for manufacturers”, claims grocery think-tank IGD.

Amazon launches zero checkout store

Online shopping giant Amazon has opened its first physical grocery store in the US, which allows consumers to pick up their purchases and walk out, without queuing to pay at a checkout.

Iceland government launches legal action against Iceland Foods

The Icelandic government has taken legal action against Iceland Foods over the use of its name, claiming Icelandic businesses were “caused harm” as they couldn’t promote themselves with their place of origin.

Autumn Statement gets mixed reception from food and logistics sectors

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Statement drew a mixed reception from the food and drink manufacturing and logistics sectors, with praise for the doubling of export finance capacity to support trade but questions raised about the rise in the National Living Wage.

Manufacturers to ‘absorb extra costs … but something has to give’

Food and drink manufacturers will absorb extra costs as far as they can, but most will reach a point where something has to give, warns Food and Drink Federation (FDF) boss Ian Wright.

Supermarket prices ‘to rise 5% in six months’: Justin King

Supermarket grocery prices are set to rise by at least 5% in the next six months, driven by a fall in the value of sterling, predicts former Sainsbury boss Justin King.

Morrisons brings back Safeway brand

Morrisons is reviving the Safeway brand for a range of grocery products for wholesale to independent retailers, the supermarket announced this week (November 22).

Premier Foods blames falling sales on warm weather

Premier Foods’s ceo Gavin Darby has blamed a 4% fall in the manufacturer’s Grocery division sales and falling profits on warm weather in half-year results for the 26 weeks to October 1 2016.

Multiple retailers begin bounce back

Despite the persistence of deflation in the sector, the prospects for the UK multiple grocery market remain reasonably sound, according to a statement issued by investment firm Shore Capital towards the end of last month.

Bakkavor results boosted by ‘constant innovation’

Ready meal specialist Bakkavor has reported revenue growth across the group due to “constant innovation” in third-quarter results, says ceo Agust Gudmundsson.

M&S to open 200 food stores after clothing sales fall

Marks & Spencer (M&S) will open 200 new Simply Food stores by the end of 2019 and downsize its Clothing & Home division, as part of a strategic redirection, it revealed with its latest financial update.

Morrisons announces sales growth

Retailer Morrisons’ like-for-like sales have grown in the 13 weeks to October 30 2016, while total sales for the company had fallen. 

Retailing competition could reduce Brexit cost impacts

The food sector is so competitive that price wars between retailers may reduce the financial impact of Brexit on shoppers, said grocery think-tank IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch.

Morrisons headed for financial problems: Analyst

Morrisons can expect financial problems ahead caused by store closures, Brexit and the National Living Wage, HSBC Global Research predicted ahead of the retailer’s third-quarter trading update on November 3.

Manufacturers and retailers must work together

Food and drink manufacturers need to work with retailers to help customers have “an experience” when shopping, said grocery think-tank IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch.

Smart tech key to boosting sales: Diageo boss

Smart technology – including temperature-sensitive billboards – and inspired Twitter marketing have “significantly” boosted sales, claims drinks giant Diageo.

Manufacturers told ‘emotional innovation key to growth’

Food and drink manufacturers should engage with shoppers on “a more emotional level” when planning new product innovation, recommends grocery think-tank IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch.

Free-range egg campaign calls for price premium

Almost 80% of UK shoppers are happy to pay a premium for free-range eggs, according to a survey by the Love Free Range Eggs campaign, adding to its calls for retailers to maintain the prices of free-range eggs.

Grocery charity appoints William Reed exec as a trustee

The grocery charity GroceryAid has appointed William Reed senior executive Lorraine Hendle to its board of trustees.

Tesco posts sales boost as ‘momentum is returning’

Tesco’s “momentum is returning”, according to city analysts, after the supermarket firm posted a seventh consecutive quarter of volume growth in its half-year update today (October 5).

Greggs’s sales rise 5.6% after summer menu boost

Greggs reported a 5.6% rise in third-quarter sales, boosted by its healthier range and breakfast selection.

Morrisons makes ‘good progress’ on six priorities

Morrisons is making progress towards strengthening its business and fulfilling six strategic priorities, claimed a financial statement accompanying the retailer’s first-half results, posted earlier this month.

Sainsbury may be starting ‘to lag in supermarket price war’

Sainsbury may be lagging behind in the supermarket price war, according to one analyst, after the retailer posted its second consecutive quarter of falling sales, which the retailer blamed on a dip in food prices.

Aldi record sales: ‘positive news for food manufacturers’

Aldi’s rising sales are good news for its food and drink suppliers, as the discount retailer is anxious to promote British brands following the Brexit vote, analysts have said.

Aldi posts record sales with 12% yearly growth

Discount store Aldi has reported record results, including sales of £7.7bn and a year-on-year growth of 12%, in its financial year to December 31 2015.

Retailers should trust suppliers’ innovation teams

Since the big ‘re-set’ of the supermarket shelves, where scores of products vied for a reduced and downsized space allocation, we have seen an escalation in own-label activity.

Dairy Crest’s key brands to deliver volume growth

Dairy Crest’s four key brands – Cathedral City, Clover, Country Life and Frylight – are expected to deliver combined volume growth in the first half of this year, according to the firm’s pre-close trading update for the six months to September 30.

Morrisons’ boss thanks ‘food makers’, as profits rise

Morrisons’ chief executive David Potts has thanked the retailer’s “food makers”, after the business reported rising like-for-like sales and profits in first-half results posted on September 15.

Groceries code boss says progress made

With a decision on the future of the Groceries Code Adjudicator looming, Christine Tacon believes progress is being made. 

Marks & Spencer to slash over 500 head office jobs

Marks & Spencer (M&S) plans to cut 525 head office jobs, after a review of its management structure and operations.

Morrisons to chop meat prices by 12%

Morrisons has cut the prices of its meat and poultry products by 12%, just over a month after slashing the price of more than 1,000 every-day grocery items.

Shelf-space payments face GCA scrutiny

Food and drink manufacturers are being urged to participate in a consultation that aims to find out whether retailers are asking their suppliers to pay for better positioning of goods or expanded shelf-space.

Asda's sales continue to fall, despite price cutting moves

Asda’s woes continued last month with the release of its figures for the three months to June 30, which revealed a disastrous 7.5% fall in sales the supermarket chain’s eighth quarter of decline.

Grocery regulator: ‘I am dependent on suppliers’

The woman in charge of regulating the relationship between retailers and suppliers says she is “totally dependent” on food and drink firms telling her about unfair practices.

Tulip boss replaced as fortunes slide

Steve Francis has been appointed the new ceo of meat processor Tulip by its parent Danish Crown, replacing Chris Thomas with effect from September 5.

Tesco click-and-collect service launches to rival Amazon Fresh

Tesco has launched an online click-and-collect service that allows customers to collect their shopping within three hours of ordering.

M&S unveils new Christmas range

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has unveiled its new Christmas food range, describing it as the “must-have” collection.

Bank holiday weather to play key role in sales

Food and drink manufacturers were advised to check historical weather records before producing goods to be sold over the bank holiday weekend.

Icelandic Seachill to make 86 redundancies after M&S contract loss

Icelandic Seachill, the seafood supplier, has revealed it is to make 86 redundancies and close its deli site in Grimsby in the wake of losing a large contract with Marks & Spencer (M&S).

Unite pledges to fight for jobs at 2 Sisters’ pizza factory

Unite has pledged ‘to leave no stone unturned’ to save the 325 jobs under threat at 2 Sisters’ pizza factory in Nottingham.

Which sector saw highest costs since the Brexit vote?

The cost of manufacturing food and drink products has risen 4.3% over the past 12 months across all sectors, according to latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Childhood obesity plan ‘fatigued’ claim retailers

Retailers have stepped up their objections to the childhood obesity strategy, arguing that the report isn’t comprehensive enough and the government has failed to provide leadership.

Asda announces worst-ever sales slump

Asda has announced its worst-ever quarterly sales drop, the eighth consecutive quarter for falling sales at the British retailer.

2 Sisters pizza factory to consult over 350 job losses

2 Sisters’ pizza factory in Nottingham is to consult over the possible loss of 350 jobs.

Morrisons sells stake in US online food retailer for £45M

Morrisons has sold its 10% stake in US online food retailer Fresh Direct for £45M.

Food manufacturing giants team up to combat the retail crisis

Food and drink manufacturing giants – including Nestlé, Unilever and Coca-Cola – have joined forces with high-street retailers to tackle supply chain efficiencies and waste reduction, as part of the new Retail Grocery Advisory Board.

Unilever navigates some choppy seas

Unilever’s results for the first half of 2016 have shown profitable growth in what it claimed were challenging markets particularly in Europe, where underlying sales were flat and volume growth offset continued price deflation.

Survey to highlight supply chain challenges

The Food Manufacture Group is conducting an online survey of logistics and supply chain professionals to gather data on the implications for the food and drink sector of the momentous change that is underway, where consumers make more frequent grocery visits and increasingly buy food and drink online.

Frozen food manufacturers have ‘lots of opportunity’

Frozen food manufacturers should follow consumer trends closely to benefit from the key drivers of the industry, according to British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) chief executive Brian Young.

British frozen food market worth a cool £8bn

Food manufacturers face an £8bn-plus opportunity to target the frozen food market, according to a new report from the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF).

Expect Brexit timeline by October, says FDF boss

The boss of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) believes the Conservative government will set out a timetable for the UK’s exit from the EU at the time of its party conference, which takes place from October 2–5.

Morrisons’ latest price cuts ‘won’t affect suppliers’

Morrisons’ bid to open up a new front in the supermarket price war – by cutting the price of more than 1,000 every-day products – will leave its suppliers unaffected, the supermarket has confirmed.

The Black Farmer: ‘brands are the future’

Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones didn’t build a £10M business by sitting still – so Food Manufacture caught up with him while driving through the streets of London.

Greggs posts 6% rise in sales to £422M

High street baker Greggs posted a 6% rise in sales, which were boosted by its under-400 calories range, Balanced Choice.

Seafood firm warns 40 roles at risk of redundancy

Nolan Seafoods (UK) has warned that up to 40 jobs at the Aberdeen-based business are at risk due to volatile trading conditions and the loss of a major contract.

New pots for food-to-go at Tesco

Food packaging suppliers Faerch Plast and Colpac recently joined forces to develop a new pack design in conjunction with fresh prepared foods manufacturer Bakkavor for a new Tesco food-to-go range.

Amazon drone tests set to take off

Amazon is to test the viability of drone delivery in the UK, in partnership with the UK government.

Food-to-go offers £16bn opportunity for firms

The UK’s rapidly expanding food-to-go sector could provide key opportunities to grow sales from a market predicted to reach £16.1bn before the end of the year.

Turners Fine Foods cuts 457 jobs after entering administration

Almost 500 jobs were made redundant yesterday (July 26) at food wholesaler Turners Fine Foods, after the company’s owner, Silverstar Foods, appointed administrators from KPMG Restructuring.

Greencore sales rise 4% in third-quarter results

Greencore Group has reported 4% growth in third-quarter sales, after announcing its acquisition of The Sandwich Factory on Monday (July 25).

Premier Foods’s shares ‘undervalued after good Q1’

Premier Foods’s shares are undervalued following its first-quarter trading update, according to city analyst Shore Capital.

Premier Foods’s strategy ‘is paying off’, claims boss

Premier Foods’s boss Gavin Darby claims his recovery strategy is paying off, after the manufacturer reported its fourth consecutive quarter of rising sales.

Government ‘fails to back UK food’: Greencore boss

Government is failing to recognise the importance of food and drink manufacturing to the UK economy and is not providing the support it needs to grow both domestically and in export markets, Greencore boss Patrick Coveney has warned.

Wyke boss slams ‘cheap prices’ after dairy closures

Wyke Farms’s md Richard Clothier has slammed “eye-wateringly cheap dairy prices”, after news that more than 1,000 UK dairy farms have closed since 2013.

Brexit to change food buying habits: Nielsen

Consumers fear food prices will rise after Brexit and plan to change their buying habits accordingly, reveals new research from Nielsen. 

Grocery sales predicted to hit £197bn by 2021: IGD

The UK grocery market is forecast to grow by 10% between now and 2021, giving it a value of £197bn, according to the latest estimates from think-tank IGD.

Branded goods to benefit from online growth

The growth of online grocery shopping through the likes of Amazon Fresh and Ocado will significantly boost branded products at the detriment of own-label, the founder of the Black Farmer brand has claimed.

Marks & Spencer’s food sales drop 0.9%

Food sales at Marks & Spencer (M&S) fell by 0.9%, on a like-for-like basis, in its first quarter, amid reports consumer confidence had fallen to its lowest level in 21 years following the UK’s Brexit vote.

Amazon UK to create 1,000 UK jobs

Amazon UK is to create 1,000 new jobs across multiple departments, bringing the total number of recruits to 3,500 this year.

Own-label sales move from ‘supermarkets to discounters’

Own-label food manufacturers will continue to see their major multiple supermarket customers lose sales to discount retailers, according to a new report from market analysts IRI.

Morrisons says ‘sorry’ for breaching groceries code

Supermarket chain Morrisons has said “sorry” after it was found guilty of breaching the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) in 2015.

New fresh food ranges boost Tesco sales

The launch of new fresh food ranges helped drive positive like-for-like sales in first-quarter results posted today (June 23), according to Britain’s biggest supermarket chain Tesco.

2 Sisters boss reports ‘encouraging performance’

Boparan Holdings, the parent company for 2 Sisters Food Group, has unveiled third quarter (Q3) results, said to show an “encouraging performance in tough markets”.

Asda boss Andy Clarke to step down

Asda boss Andy Clarke is to step down from his role as ceo and president of Asda next month, after more than 20 years with the supermarket and six years at its helm.

Sainsbury Q1 results not ‘a car crash’

Sainsbury has posted worse than expected quarter one (Q1) results in the wake of increased competition – but they are “far from a car crash” – a leading City analyst has claimed.

Amazon Fresh faces huge ‘quality’ challenge

Amazon faces a number of challenges if its new food delivery service Fresh is going to succeed – but its price leadership position could make it a big threat to the multiples – a leading food specialist has claimed.

Unite starts legal proceedings against Arla Foods

Unite, the union, said it has instigated legal proceedings against Arla Foods, claiming it failed to “properly” consult over the possible loss of 230 jobs at the Hatfield Peverel dairy in March.

Cranswick’s ‘outstanding results’ praised by analysts

Meat firm Cranswick’s full-year results have been praised by City analysts for their “outstanding performance”.

Cranswick’s sales rise after ‘strategic developments’

Meat processor Cranswick has posted rising annual sales in full-year results, after 12 months of “strong commercial growth” and “strategic development”. 

Asda’s sales fall 5.7% after ‘fierce competition’

Asda has blamed a 5.7% fall in like-for-like sales in its first-quarter trading on “fierce competition” in the UK retail sector.

Dairy Crest sees revenue fall in deflationary market

Dairy Crest has reported revenue down by 5.8% to £422.3M in full-year results, driven by deflation in the market.

Baxters Food Group to cut up to 80 jobs

Baxters Food Group plans to cut up to 80 jobs at its Fochabers site in Moray, as the firm implements a new ‘manufacturing transformation programme’. 

Premier Foods posts group sales up 0.6%

Premier Foods has posted group sales up by 0.6% to £771.7M for the 52 weeks ended April 2 2016.

Moy Park profits rise, ‘after efficiency savings’

Poultry processor Moy Park has posted underlying profit before tax up by 32% to £14.1M, due to improved efficiency and cost savings, in first-quarter results ended April 2 2016.

2 Sisters business threatened by avian influenza

Poultry processor 2 Sisters Food Group said that the onslaught of avian influenza, negative consumer sentiment following campylobacter reporting and food deflation impacted its financial results for the year ending August 1 2015.

Morrisons’ supply chain is ‘a key strength’: analysts

Morrisons’ role as a food manufacturer – supported by its vertically integrated supply chain – is a unique sales point, which should be communicated more effectively, according to analysts, after the retailer reported its second quarter of rising sales.

Morrisons reports more rising like-for-like sales

Morrisons has reported its second quarter of rising like-for-like (LFL) sales, in results covering the 13 weeks to May 1 and, again, highlighted its role as “a food maker”.

Morrisons: more price cuts, ahead of results

Morrisons has revealed a new round of price cuts, ahead of its first-quarter results, due to be posted on Thursday (May 5).

CBI manufacturing survey shows orders fall by 4%

General manufacturing output remained stable over the past quarter, but orders fell, according to a survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

McCain sees pre-tax profits rise despite sales dip

Chip producer McCain Foods GB has seen pre-tax profits for the full year hit almost £64M, up from £54.7M in 2014.

Tesco returns to profit, after working closely with suppliers

Tesco is back in the black as pre-tax profits hit £162M, in its full-year results, up from the £6.3M deficit on the previous year, as the nation’s biggest retailer pledged to continue to work “more closely” with suppliers

Premier’s shares plunge, as McCormick ditches bid

Premier Foods shares plunged by up to 30% this morning, after US spice firm McCormick ditched its takeover bid for the Mr Kipling manufacturer.

Ornua dairy boss explains his £100M challenge

Having been tasked with integrating two dairy businesses, Aidan Wilson, head of Ornua Ingredients UK, sets out his plans for growth.

M&S boss wins backing despite food sales ‘below expectations’

City analysts have backed the new boss at Marks & Spencer (M&S), Steve Rowe, after the company unveiled food sales below analysts’ expectations.  

More food producers go bust, after ‘supermarket price war’

The rate of food manufacturers going bust has tripled in five years – with an 11% rise in firms going out of business in the past year alone – as a direct result of “cut-throat competition” between the UK’s leading supermarkets, warns accounting and consulting group Moore Stephens.

Food deflation persists in UK despite rises elsewhere

Food deflation remains a persistent feature of the UK economy, despite the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing headline inflation up 0.5% in March.

Premier targets growth, as bid talks continue

Premier Foods set out big growth plans this week, while reporting “constructive” talks with US spice manufacturer McCormick, which wants to buy the Mr Kipling manufacturer.

Co-op boss demands 60% pay cut – for himself!

The head of The Co-operative Group has insisted on a 60% reduction in his overall remuneration package, after claiming the business was “on the right track”.

Sainsbury slams union claims of 850 job losses

Sainsbury has rejected claims from Unite the union that it plans to axe up to 850 jobs, days after spending £1.4bn to buy Argos owner, the Home Retail Group.

Morrisons boss puts money where his mouth is

Morrisons ceo David Potts has demonstrated his confidence in turning around the fortunes of the retailer by investing a further £360,000 in shares.

National Living Wage: Today’s the day

Food and drink manufacturers, alongside other businesses nationwide, are steeling themselves for the introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW) from today.

Supermarket late payments force food firms to borrow millions

Late payments by supermarkets and investment in new equipment forced small and medium-sized (SME) food producers to borrow a record £1.72bn last year.

Meat manufacturing firms untouched by Asda jobs review

Asda’s meat manufacturing firms, Kober and Forza AW, are unaffected by its restructuring review, which has resulted in 280 job losses.

Premier Foods fends off hostile takeover bid

Premier Foods has fended off a hostile takeover bid from McCormick & Company – because it “significantly undervalues [the manufacturer’s] growth prospects” – and agreed a partnership with Nissin Foods Holdings.

Premier Foods appoints international boss

Premier Foods has appointed a new international boss, Jette Andersen, to spearhead the manufacturer’s growth in the key markets of North America and Australasia.

2 Sisters’ owner targets ‘Better before bigger’, as profits rise

2 Sisters’ owner Borparan Holdings claims its “Better before bigger strategy”, is starting to pay off, after posting operating profit up by £26.4M to £22.1M for the 13 weeks to January 30 2016.

Morrisons’ food manufacturing: asset or liability?

The business benefits of Morrisons’ food manufacturing capacity has divided industry commentators, after ceo David Potts highlighted the firm’s role as “food maker and shopkeeper” in full-year results last week.

Morrisons’ sales fall, as boss highlights ‘food maker’ role

Morrisons has revealed falling like-for-like sales and profit, in full-year results to the end of January, as ceo David Potts highlighted the retailer’s role as “a food maker”.

Multiples take the battle to the LADs

Aldi is beginning to face stiffer competition from fellow limited assortment discounter (LAD) Lidl and from the value-based multiples Tesco and Morrisons, according to city analysts.

Morrisons regains listing on exclusive FTSE 100

Morrisons has regained its listing on the exclusive FTSE 100 group of companies, after a boost to its share price arising from improved trading and the announcement of its partnership with online retailer Amazon.

Greggs to cut 355 jobs and shut three bakeries

High street baker Greggs plans to axe 355 jobs and close three of its 12 bakeries, while revealing a £100M investment programme.  

Tesco to use social media to drive frozen sales

Tesco has plans to boost its online sales of frozen foods – where it sees greatest opportunity to drive volume – in an attempt to address an underperforming category instore, using social media as a promotional vehicle, its frozen category director has revealed.

Range reviews point to more pain in store

Asda is the latest high street multiple to announce that it was conducting a “range review’’, wherein as much as 25% of its stock-keeping units (SKUs) will be removed from sale in some categories.

British retail sector may lose 900k jobs by 2025

Up to 900,000 jobs could be lost from the British retail sector by 2025, partly due to rising costs linked to the National Living Wage and the new apprenticeship levy, warns the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Morrisons’ boss ‘has moved mountains’ in a year

Morrisons’ boss David Potts “has moved mountains” in the year he has served as ceo of the Bradford based retailer, says City analyst Shore Capital.

Organic grocery market ‘outpaces non organic’

Sales of organic grocery products climbed by 4.9% last year to £1.95bn – outstripping the non-organic grocery market which decreased by 0.9% – according to the Soil Association’s 2016 Organic Market Report.

Morrisons invests £30M in its staff

Morrisons will invest £30M in a four-year makeover of its staff facilities across its stores, after employees claimed they were outdated.

EasyFoodstore sets four rules to cope with ‘overwhelming demand’

The new EasyFoodstore has been forced to set four rules to help the discount store cope with what it describes “as over-whelming demand for our 25p introductory offer”.

Aldi to open 80 stores, creating 5,000 jobs

Aldi has revealed plans to open 80 new stores across the UK as part of its expansion strategy, creating 5,000 new jobs.

Bakkavor posts 2% growth boosted by fresh prepared foods

Bakkavor has posted 2% like-for-like revenue growth to £1.65bn for its financial year ended December 26 2015, boosted by a strong performance in UK fresh prepared foods.

Sainsbury says bye bye to multi-buy promos

Sainsbury will phase out multi-buy promotions by August 2016, after a survey found shoppers felt they were out of step with attitudes towards waste, health and value.

Premier Foods’s share price is ‘undervalued’

Premier Foods’s share price is undervalued and fails to reflect recent business improvements, according to City analyst Shore Capital.

25p easyFoodstore forced to close by bargain hunters

The new 25p easyFoodstore was forced to close yesterday, after hundreds of bargain hunters cleared the shelves of its London store.

EasyJet founder launches 25p discount food store

EasyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou has opened a no frills, discount food store – called easyFoodstore store – to complement his cut-price airline and travel businesses.

Morrisons uses food manufacturing to cut prices

Morrisons is to harness the power of its food manufacturing capability to cut prices even further, as it battles the limited range discounters Aldi and Lidl and the other big supermarkets, its boss David Potts has revealed.

Tesco apologises for grocery code abuses – again

Tesco boss Dave Lewis has apologised for a second time to suppliers, after the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) ruled Britain’s biggest retailer had breached the Groceries Supply Code of Practice rules in three key areas.

Asda reviews 5,000 store jobs

Asda is reviewing the future of about 5,000 jobs as part of proposed store changes including the closure of canteens, photo centres and in-store clothing counters.

Morrisons boss’s customer focus ‘begins to pay off’

Morrisons boss David Potts’s customer focus is paying off – with its food manufacturing capability playing a key role – but much more needs to be achieved if the business is to achieve its potential, according to city analyst Shore Capital.

Premier Foods’s results sweetened by Sweet Treats

Premier Foods claims a strong Sweet Treats performance helped the business achieve year-to-date group sales up by 0.3%.

300 Bakkavor jobs under threat: union

More than 300 Bakkavor jobs are under threat after the chilled food manufacturer lost a significant amount of business from Tesco, according to the GMB union. 

Asda plans ‘hundreds of job losses’

Asda is planning to axe hundreds of jobs at its head office and has opened talks with staff about the ‘difficult’ structural changes.

Financial results, jobs and dairy lead headlines

Food and drink financial results, criticism of beverage manufacturers and jobs lead the week’s top food and drink manufacturing headlines.

ABF results: Allied Bakeries boosts sales volumes

Allied Bakeries has managed to boost sales volumes but continues to experience ‘pricing challenges’, according to a trading update from parent company Associated British Foods (ABF).

Tesco’s Christmas fightback against discounters

Tesco continued the Christmas fightback of the big four supermarkets against the limited range discounters, posting UK like-for-like sales growth of 1.3% during the six weeks to January 9.

Morrisons’ surprise Christmas results show rising sales

Morrisons has posted like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, up by 0.2% for the nine weeks to January 3, in what one city analyst described as “a morale boost to sector sentiment”.

Discounters enjoy good Christmas while big four suffer

The discount retailers Aldi and Lidl enjoyed a boost in sales over Christmas, while the big four suffered in a market that saw sales fall by 0.2%, according to figures released by Kantar Worldpanel today (January 12).

Asda re-ignites price war with £500M investment

Asda looks set to re-ignite the price war among the UK retailers by investing £500M in price cuts.

Marks & Spencer’s Bolland to be replaced by M&S veteran Steve Rowe

Marks & Spencer (M&S) today announced that its ceo Marc Bolland will stand down in April and be replaced by Steve Rowe, its executive director of general merchandise.

Food and drink manufacturing news of the year – part 2

Morrisons, the demise of S&A Foods, an iconic brand name change and a beer mega merger all feature in the second part of our top food and drink manufacturing news of the year.

Sir Ken shops at Sainsburys for £6M shares

Life president of Morrisons, Sir Ken Morrison and his son William have shopped at Sainsbury to buy £6M shares, according to media reports.

Christmas food and grocery shopping to hit £5bn

The food and grocery sector can look forward to a £5bn Christmas, according to retail research agency and consulting firm Conlumino.

2 Sisters, Morrisons and apprentices make week’s headlines

2 Sisters Food Group’s decision to snap up S&A Foods’s former site in Derby and reports of Morrisons’ potential exit from the FTSE 100 leads our selection of the top headlines in food and drink manufacturing.

Tesco, Hovis and financial result lead week’s news

Criticism hurled at Tesco, jobs under threat at Hovis a number of food and drink manufacturers posting positive financial results lead this week’s top headlines.

Bakkavor confident of ‘good Christmas momentum’

Fresh prepared foods manufacturer Bakkavor expects good Christmas sales despite tough trading conditions arising from the continuing sharp competition between retailers, according to its third quarter results for the 39 weeks to September 26 2015.

Food retailers to shun ‘wasteful’ ‘Black Friday’

Online food retailer Approved Food has backed Asda in its decision to shun ‘Black Friday’, which it warned could add to the UK’s food waste problem.

Premier Foods recovery strategy ‘starts working’

Premier Foods’s recovery strategy is “starting to bear fruit”, according to City analyst Investec, after the manufacturer posted its first quarterly branded sales rise in two years last week.

Food manufacturing to play key role in Morrisons’ revival

Food manufacturing’s key contribution to Morrisons’ recovery was again highlighted by leading City analyst Shore Capital, following a meeting with the troubled retailer.

Seabook Crisps turnover soars to £27M

Seabrook Crisps has boosted profitability and increased its turnover by 11% to £27M after adapting to the changing retail environment.

Discounters hit Morrisons, Tesco and Asda ‘hardest’

Morrisons, Tesco and Asda have been the “hardest hit” as rival discounters Aldi and Lidl claim a 10th of the UK market, according to data provider Nielsen.

‘Fog on the horizon’ for food trade in 2016

The food sector faces considerable uncertainty about what the retail landscape will look like next year, given the monumental changes coming down the line not least the introduction of a National Living Wage (NLW) of £7.20 an hour next April.

Sainsbury profit slump ‘shows food industry challenge’

Sainsbury’s 17.9% slump in underlying pre-tax half year profits to £308M reveals the challenges facing the whole food industry, according to a leading retail analyst.

Premier Foods’s sales boost ‘credit to management’

Premier Foods’s first quarterly branded sales rise for two years was a tribute to the manufacturer’s management team, say leading City analysts.

Tesco to be ‘most visited retailer this Christmas’

British consumers will fill Tesco with festive cheer this Christmas as it looks set to be the top choice among consumers for seasonal food and drink, according to e-commerce firm Webloyalty.

Soft drinks and confectionery lead supermarket promotions

Soft drinks and confectionery are two of the most heavily promoted products in the UK, the new IRI fast moving consumer goods price and promotion report has revealed.

Premier sales up due to ‘innovation and investment’

Premier Foods’s first quarterly increase in branded sales for two years is due to “innovation and investment”, claims the manufacturer.

Morrisons’ sales fall – again

Morrisons sales continue to slide – with like-for-like sales, excluding fuel falling by 2.6%, blamed partly on a reduction in promotional vouchers – in third-quarter results posted this week.

Sainsbury boss calls for ‘joined up’ food chain

Sainsbury’s director of brand Judith Batchelar has called for a far more joined up solution to the huge problems of structural change affecting the UK’s food supply chain.

Aldi trumps Morrisons and Lidl on minimum pay

Aldi plans to increase its minimum pay rate to £8.40 an hour for UK employees, well above the new National Living Wage.

Food and drink SMEs wait longer for payment

Small to medium-sized food and drink manufacturers (SMEs) are being forced to wait more than two-weeks longer than big businesses to receive payment from their customers, according to research by the Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA).

Food retail industry has ‘mother of all hangovers’

The food retail industry is recovering from the “mother of all hangovers” after falling into a state of chaos during the recession, according a leading analyst.

Supermarket pricing probe welcomed by Which?

A government probe into supermarket price comparisons has been welcomed by consumer pressure group Which?

‘Damaged supply chain’ biggest loser in price war

The UK’s “damaged food supply chain” has proved the biggest casualty of supermarket price war, warns business recovery specialist Begbies Traynor, as it notes stability returning to the struggling UK grocery sector and their food and drink manufacturing suppliers.

Reformed ‘villain’: Tesco simplifies supply chains

Tesco was leading the way by simplifying its supply chains, after having been cast as the “villain” for complex dealings, according to an analyst.

Tesco agrees £250M land sale

Tesco has agreed to the £250M sale of 14 land development sites across southern England, in a further sign that the supermarket race for space has come to an end.

Asda shops at Sainsbury for new boss

Asda has shopped at Sainsbury for its new chief operating officer Roger Burnley.

Tesco should recompense suppliers: readers’ poll

Tesco should recompense suppliers who lost out through the supermarket’s self-confessed past mistakes, according to most Food Manufacture Group readers.

Food manufacturers must respond to consumers’ ‘huge cultural shift’

Food and drink manufacturers must respond to a “huge cultural shift” in consumer behaviour towards own-label products, according to grocery think tank IGD ceo Joanne Denney-Finch.

Tesco hots up supermarket war with price pledge

Tesco has opened a new front in the supermarket price war, by pledging to match branded prices at its tills, as analysts and Food Manufacture Group readers questioned the big four retailers’ focus on price matching. 

Big four retailers ‘dug their own grave’

The big four supermarkets have “undoubtedly” dug their own grave and contributed to the “crisis” in the retail industry,  according to Clive Black of Shore Capital.

Amazon Fresh a precursor to ‘more significant’ blow for retailers

Amazon Fresh will pave the way for its Dash service, which automatically orders used items in household fridges and freezers, delivering a further blow to British supermarkets.

Tesco posts 55% slump in first-half profit

Tesco has posted a 55% slump in first-half underlying profit to £354M from £779M last year, the day after its boss Dave Lewis pledged to standardise payments to its suppliers.

Tesco pledges to simplify supplier payment terms

Tesco has announced plans to standardise payment terms in a bid to simplify its relationship with suppliers in the UK.

‘Good times roll’: Greggs's sales growth continues

High street baker Greggs posted own-shop like-for-like sales up 4.9% in “another strong” trading quarter, according to analyst N+1 Singer.

Supermarket supplier visits: five top tips

For suppliers to the big four supermarkets and the supermarkets themselves, there looks to be no reprieve is in sight from the tough and bloody price wars.

Morrisons follows Lidl and gives pay rise

Morrisons has announced a pay rise for store staff at a cost of £40M, following the lead of discount supermarket Lidl earlier this month.

Aldi online launch seen as ‘major worry’: analyst

Aldi’s move into online shopping will be a “major worry” for other supermarkets offering home delivery, according to a leading analyst.

Food manufacturing veteran joins Morrisons board

Morrisons has appointed a food manufacturing veteran who may prove an “invaluable” hire, predict leading analysts.

Boparan Holdings replaces ABF as UK’s largest food and drink manufacturer: survey

The parent company for 2 Sisters Food Group has replaced Associated British Foods as the UK’s largest food and drink manufacturer, according to an index of 150 firms.

Morrisons ceo Potts invests £500,000 in shares

Morrisons ceo David Potts has invested £500,000 in the business, shortly after reaffirming the retailer’s commitment to food and drink manufacturing.

Lidl invests £9M in living wage pledge

Discount retailer Lidl is to invest £9M in paying its 17,000-strong UK workforce the living wage – the nation’s first supermarket to achieve the landmark.

Organic sales boost from new categories: Nielsen

Steady growth in organic sales could be boosted by expansion into new food and drink categories, advises market data specialist Nielsen.

Morrisons should sell manufacturing sites as well as c-stores: analyst

Morrisons must sell off its manufacturing sites to be competitive after having already agreed to offload its convenience business, according a leading analyst.   

Morrisons' turnaround: fresh food offer 'has key role'

Morrisons’ focus on fresh food, with its Market Street concept, has a key part to play in its six-point turnaround plan, according to leading analysts.

Morrisons’ profits plummet, as boss underlines faith in manufacturing

Morrisons has revealed a 47% plummet in half-year profits before tax to £126M plus plans to close 11 stores, affecting up to 900 jobs, as boss David Potts reaffirmed his faith in the retailer's food manufacturing business.

Morrisons results prove ‘no quick fix’: analysts

The latest results from Morrisons, revealing a nearly 50% drop to £126M in first-half profits before tax, show that there is “no quick fix” for the troubled retailer, according to leading analysts.

Morrisons agrees to sell c-stores for £25M

Morrisons has confirmed the long-awaited sell-off of its convenience store business for about £25M in cash.

Morrisons c-stores’ prospective buyer sets out vision

The prospective buyer of Morrisons’s convenience stores has set out his team's vision for the business and pledged to safeguard thousands of jobs.

Morrisons ‘most vulnerable’ to acquisition: analyst

Morrisons’ 11% market share and poor past management makes it the “most vulnerable” of the big four supermarkets to acquisitions, a leading analyst has claimed.

Morrisons tops supermarket takeover talk

Morrisons has refused to confirm or deny reports it could be in buyout talks after its shares spiked by 5%, following speculation of a UK supermarket takeover by a South African businessman.

Food deflation 'one of lowest' in July

Manufacturers faced mixed news last month with the release of government statistics showing food deflation in July at “one of the lowest values ever recorded”.

Poundland online could ‘steal a grocery march’

Poundland’s first online delivery service could “steal a march” on UK grocery retailers, an analyst has claimed after the deep discounter revealed its e-commerce plans.

Nomad Foods reports £392M loss as empire grows

Nomad Foods, the new owner of frozen food company Iglo Group, has reported a £392M loss in the six months to June 30 as the investment firm eyes other potential acquisitions.

Cheese firm halts production: 70 jobs at risk

Somerset cheese producer Cricketer Farm is set to halt production next year or before, threatening about 70 jobs.  

Five benefits from Poundland takeover approval

Poundland’s £55M takeover bid for 99p Stores has won provisional approval from the the competition watchdog, clearing the way to deliver five key benefits, said one leading analyst.

Morrisons could face huge bill if c-stores sold

Morrisons could face a multi-million pound bill if the retailer tries to offload its M local convenience stores (c-stores), according to recent media reports.

Cranswick’s ‘near perfect’ record to tempt investors

Pork and pastry firm Cranswick’s “near perfect” 25-year growth record for profit and dividends plus potentially lucrative new opportunities should tempt investors, predicts City analyst Investec.

Asda sales slump despite ‘not doing much wrong’

Asda has not “done much wrong”, despite posting its worst sales performance in its 50-year history, according to leading City analyst Shore Capital.

Morrisons said to be close to convenience store sale

Morrisons is close to agreeing the sale of its M-Local convenience stores to investment group Greybull Capital, according to press reports, as Shore Capital warned the supermarkets’ convenience business had “reached its zenith”.

Asda to increase price it pays for milk to 28p a litre

Following price protests by farmers, Asda has announced that it will raise the price it pays its milk supplier, Arla, to 28p a litre, while keeping the retail price at the current level.

Morrisons to pay dairy farmers more for new cheddar cheese brand

Morrisons has responded to pressure and extended its support for beleaguered dairy farmers by announcing today (August 14) that it would be launching a premium ‘Milk for Farmers’ cheddar cheese brand.

450 jobs saved at Young’s after £1.35M investment

Young’s will create more than 200 jobs after securing £1.35M of investment, following a recent announcement to ditch more than 900 jobs when it lost a major contract to supply Sainsbury in June.

Amazon Fresh UK launch: the flaws

Amazon’s plan to dominate fresh food delivery in the UK could be flawed if it follows its US model too closely, a leading food chain consultant has warned.

Morrisons boosts dairy farmers’ income with new milk

Morrisons is to launch a new milk brand where 10p per litre of the retail price will go directly to dairy farmers. 

Supermarkets manufacturing food is ‘a real threat’

Food and drink business failures are on the increase and supermarket plans to bring more manufacturing in-house could make the food industry even more cut-throat.

Amazon’s fresh food launch powers ahead

Amazon is fitting out a former Tesco warehouse in Weybridge, Surrey, amid speculation that it could launch its UK fresh food delivery service as early as next month.

Morrisons meets with angry farmers over milk prices

Morrisons is set to meet with farming unions today (August 11), following widespread dairy protests and another milk price cut last week.

Supermarkets ‘risk losing millions’ in manufacturing

Supermarkets planning to take up food manufacturing in their fight to gain a competitive edge over the limited range discounters Aldi and Lidl risked losing millions of pounds and faced being stuck with underperforming factories, a leading analyst has warned.

Morrisons threatens legal action amid milk protests

Morrisons has threatened to take legal action against farmers, as protests over low milk prices continue to escalate.

Kerry Foods sales revenue falls by 6.4%

Kerry Foods has suffered losses as a result of heavy promotional activity caused by the major multiples in response to the growth of the German discounters Aldi and Lidl.

Morrisons takes on new HR director

Morrisons, Britain’s second largest fresh food manufacturer and fourth largest retailer, has appointed Clare Grainger as its new group human resources (HR) director.

Price war is worse for retailers than food firms

The supermarket price war is worse for retailers than food manufacturers – or at least that’s what the BRC’s Andrew Opie tells Nicholas Robinson.

Morrisons boss ‘takes charge of recovery’

Morrisons boss David Potts has firmly taken charge of the business, introducing key changes to put the retailer firmly back on the road to recovery, according to City analyst Shore Capital.

Food-on-the-go helps Greggs to strong first half

Strong food-on-the-go sales helped high street baker Greggs to a 6.4% rise in total sales to £398M in first half results for the 26 weeks to July 4.

‘Newcastle should be … sausage rolling Greggs’

“Newcastle should be toasting, or is that sausage rolling Greggs today, after another impressive update,” is how city analyst Shore Capital summed up the high street baker’s half-year results.

New product lines lift Greencore’s food-to-go sales

New product lines at Greencore’s Northampton factory helped the manufacturer boost revenue from its UK food-to-go division by 4% on a like-for-like basis in third-quarter results for the 13 weeks to June 26.

Morrisons adds to top team with another Tesco exec

Morrisons boss David Potts has continued to rebuild the retailer’s senior management team, after the exit of more than half the previous board, with the appointment of former Tesco executive Gary Mills as group retail director.

Why Which? super complaint was ‘a waste of time’

So we have a response from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to Which?’s ‘Super Complaint’ about the issue of misleading pricing practices in the grocery market.

Morrisons should make more of food manufacturing

Morrisons has been advised to make more of its food manufacturing links by a business recovery specialist, who warned retailers could ditch their suppliers after diversifying into food production.

Premier Foods sales hit by early Easter

Premier Foods has reported sliding sales in its first quarter results to July 4, due to this year’s early Easter, ahead of its annual general meeting yesterday.

Amazon Fresh launch ‘could be trouble for Ocado’

The long-awaited launch of Amazon Fresh in the UK is imminent and could spell trouble for Ocado, a specialist in online retail and logistics has claimed.

Co-op’s 200 store boost ‘good for suppliers’

The Co-operative’s plans to open 200 new convenience stores and recruit 3,000 extra staff can only be good news for food and drink manufacturers, a spokesman has said.

Food suppliers warned price slashing ‘here to stay’

Food suppliers have been warned the retail landscape is set grow “even bleaker” and price slashing is “here to stay”, in a new report from a business recovery specialist.

Morrisons data leak auditor jailed for eight years

A former Morrisons auditor has been jailed for eight years after leaking the personal data of 100,000 of the company’s employees in a revenge attack on the firm.

Supermarket pricing tactics ‘misleading’, says CMA

The competition watchdog has ruled that some supermarkets have misled consumers in pricing, just a day after the German discounter Aldi pledged not to force manufacturers to fund its promotions.

Dairy Crest predicts ‘strong growth’ for key brands

Dairy Crests’ four key brands will “see strong growth” in the remainder of this year, according to an interim management statement covering the three months to June 30, posted ahead of yesterday’s annual general meeting (AGM).

Carr's Kirkcaldy mill ‘helps lift margins’

Flour supplier Carr’s Group’s Kirkcaldy mill in Scotland has helped the food, agriculture and engineering group lift margins, according to leading City analyst Investec.

Morrisons challenged over supplier payment demand

Morrisons has been challenged by the UK supermarket watchdog to explain why it is demanding impromptu payments from its suppliers.

Poundworld creates 4,400 jobs with new warehouse

Yorkshire-based discount retailer Poundworld Retail will create 4,400 jobs with the opening of a new Wakefield warehouse.

Top retailers should exploit food strengths

Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and Morrisons must make more of what they do best with food and drink in their fight back against the discounters Aldi and Lidl, a leading analyst has claimed.

M&S food in ‘very good place’ but pressure mounts on boss

Marks & Spencer (M&S) food remains in a “very good place”, although pressure is mounting on the retailer’s boss as the rest of the business lags behind, according to market analysts.

Asda loses £500,000 a week as bread sales fall

Asda is losing £500,000 a week in plant bread sales, as consumers continue to turn away from the traditional sliced loaf, according to the retailer’s senior category buying manager Emily Peck.

Manufacturing is ‘supermarket Armageddon saviour’

Supermarkets with their own food manufacturing facilities have a better chance of price war survival, city analysts have claimed, after the boss of Waitrose warned Britain’s biggest retailers would be wiped out by continued price cutting.

Suppliers need training on the Groceries Code

Few supermarket suppliers are adequately trained in the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP), limiting their ability to use the full force of the law that’s there to protect them against retailer mistreatment, it has been revealed.

Whistleblowers keep silent for lack of trust

Supermarkets appear to be treating their suppliers a little better over the past year, according to a survey conducted by the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) Christine Tacon.

Here’s what state you think the industry’s in

Competition from limited assortment discounters (LADs) continues to cause problems for the food and drink manufacturers and their supermarket customers, according to our exclusive annual Food Manufacture survey.

Morrisons boasts largest sales growth of big four

Morrisons boss David Potts has boosted the ailing retailer’s sales and market share for the first time since December 2011, after heading the business for just four months.   

UK is biggest online grocery market after China

The UK’s online grocery market – valued at £9.57bn a year – is the globe’s second largest after China and is poised for further rapid growth, predicts the grocery think tank IGD.

Big four supermarkets ‘could become big three’

Supermarket price wars could force the merger of one or more of the UK’s big four supermarkets with one of its rivals, analysts claim.

Ocado’s ‘profitability problem' remains: city analyst

Ocado faces a key profitability problem, despite speculation that the online supermarket and distribution business is poised to agree an international deal, according to leading City analysts Shore Capital.

Tesco’s shareholders are ‘on the warpath’

Tesco’s shareholders are “on the war path” and ceo David Lewis’s bonus could be an early scalp, claims a business recovery specialist.

Tesco’s haemorrhaging sales slow

Tesco boss Dave Lewis has slowed the retailer’s haemorrhaging sales, as his plans to regain customers from the discounters Aldi and Lidl achieved a dip of just 1.3%, its first quarter results show.

Big four’s market share ‘gone for good’: analyst

Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and Morrisons will never recover the market share they have lost to the discounters Aldi and Lidl, because they remain “too big and too slow” to react effectively, a leading analyst has claimed.

Young’s lost Sainsbury contract risks hundreds of jobs

Hundreds of jobs at Young’s Seafood could be at risk, after the manufacturer lost a key contract to supply Sainsbury with salmon.

Discounters open more stores than big four

The discounters, such as Aldi and Lidl, are opening twice as many stores as the big four, new research from the Local Data Company (LDC) has shown.

Premier Foods is ‘on improving revenue trend’

Premier Foods is on “an improving revenue trend” but it’s still early days in the turnaround plan, according to leading City analyst Investec.

Poundland sales top £1bn for first time

Discount retailer Poundland has posted sales up by 11.8% to top £1bn for the first time, in full-year results to March 29 but warned trading in the first half of this financial year will be subdued.

Supermarket promotions ‘lose suppliers money’

It’s official: supermarket product promotions lose money for the manufacturers that make them, according to a three-year study from Nielsen covering  212M promotions across 5M fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).

Premier Foods’s profit forecast upgraded

Premier Foods’s profit forecast has been upgraded by City analyst Investec.

How food industry can boost milk’s value: fortify it

Fortified milk could help to boost the value of milk sales, despite supermarket price war slashing the price of the white stuff to as little as 89p for a four pint bottle, according to new research from market research organisation Mintel.

Did supermarkets sway competition watchdog?

Big supermarkets may have influenced the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA’s) decision to deepen its probe into the proposed merger of Dairy Crest Group’s Dairies Division with Müller-Wiseman, according to leading City analyst Shore Capital.

Premier Foods, Müller and retailers make GWBW

Premier Foods, Müller Dairy, Iceland and Sainsbury all feature in negative news in the latest edition of our video news roundup Good Week, Bad Week.

Tesco told: ‘Raise £5bn to get back on track’

Tesco will have to raise more than £5bn to shed its “junk debt” and get its credit rating back on track, according to the ratings agency Moody’s.

Iceland’s sales hit by triple whammy

Frozen food retailer Iceland’s sales were hit by a triple whammy of  intense competition from Aldi and Lidl, food price deflation and “changing consumer habits” over the past year, it claimed.

Tesco admits to Groceries Code breaches

Tesco has admitted to a “number of probable breaches” to the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) in its annual results, leaving the retailer open to rebuke from the watchdog.

Morrisons’ Potts makes more price cuts

Morrisons boss David Potts has today (June 8) slashed up to a third off the prices of 200 everyday items in his latest bid to turn the beleaguered retailer’s fortunes around.

Discounters remain key part in retail growth

Hard discounters will remain a key feature in the UK grocery market, estimated to grow 13% to £200.6bn by 2020, despite predictions their growth could be about to fade.

500 new jobs at discounter B&M

Northern discounter B&M will create 500 jobs at two new warehouses, it confirmed after reporting 2014 sales of £1.6bn last week.

Bread, Greencore and retailers make week’s top news

A potential growth fall for Aldi and Lidl and the impact supermarket price wars have had on bakers lead our selection of the week’s top news.

Food and drink firms focus on premiumisation

Food and drink manufacturers are increasingly exploiting premiumisation by focusing on niche products in a bid to insulate their businesses from the low prices arising from  the supermarket price war, reveals a new report.

Aldi and Lidl on a path to destruction?

Discounters Aldi and Lidl could be on a path to destruction, potentially becoming “the person they tried to beat”, if their growth is mismanaged, leading city analysts have warned.

Bread is ‘price war casualty’ – FoB director

Bread is one of the biggest casualties of the supermarket price war, as retailers keep dropping its price to rock bottom levels in a bid to entice shoppers, according to Gordon Polson, Federation of Bakers’ (FoB’s) director.

Top food and drink brands ‘in trouble’: Rabobank

Top food and drink brands are falling out of favour with US consumers, warns a new report from Rabobank, which offers five top tips to revitalise sales.

Loyal shoppers help end Morrisons’ bad run

Morrisons sales have risen for the first time in 18 months, bucking the trend among the top four UK supermarkets, while discounters Aldi and Lidl keep growing, Kantar Worldpanel claims. 

Morrisons may face revolt over Dalton Philips’ bonus

Morrisons could face a shareholders’ revolt at its annual general meeting (agm) later this week over its decision to pay former ceo Dalton Philips a £1M bonus, after a share advisory group slammed the decision “as severely out of line”.

Financial watchdog focuses on supplier relations

The complex relationships between retailers and their suppliers is to be investigated by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) over the coming year, it was announced in its 11th annual report published today (May 29).

B&M to open 60 stores after profit surge

Discounter B&M will open 60 new stores in the UK, after reporting substantial revenue growth in the first set of results following its £2bn initial public offering (IPO) last year.

Tesco loses to Aldi in global brand rankings

Tesco has been overtaken by Aldi in the top 20 most valuable global retail brands list, while Lidl made it onto the list for the first time.

M&S’s profit ‘depends on food suppliers’

Upmarket retailer Marks & Spencer’s (M&S’s) first return to profit in four years reflects the strength of its relationship with its food suppliers, according to market analyst Conlumino.

Retailers reject more dodgy deals claims by Which?

Retailers have rejected further claims by consumer pressure group Which? that they mislead shoppers with dodgy deals and confusing pricing.

Booker buys Budgens and Londis chains for £40M

The Booker Group, the UK’s largest cash and carry wholesaler, has agreed to buy Budgens and Londis for £40M.

Food sales helps M&S to first profit in four years

Rising food sales and new product innovation has helped Marks & Spencer (M&S) post its first full-year rise in profits for four years.

Asda must ‘hold its nerve’, as sales slide: boss

Asda should “hold its nerve” urged ceo Andy Clarke, as first quarter like-for-like sales fell 3.9% for the 15 weeks to April 19 2015.

Premier Foods confident in brands despite sales fall

Premier Foods claims its strategy of brand investment is paying off, despite reporting branded sales down 4.1% to £683.7M for the year to April 4 2015.

Morrisons’ boss David Potts seeks Sir Ken’s advice

Morrisons’ ceo David Potts has enlisted the help of the store’s former boss Sir Ken Morrison in his bid to revive the fortunes of the beleaguered retailer.  

New Poundworld owner to invest in new stores

Poundworld Retail’s store expansion drive will accelerate in the wake of its acquisition by private investment firm TPG, according to a statement by the new owner.

Major retailers pressed to secure shop floor jobs

Unite the union has pressed the UK’s biggest retailers to secure shop floor jobs, following a spate of major redundancies in response to mounting pressure from the discounters Aldi and Lidl.

Bakkavor’s focus on UK, US and Asia ‘working well’

Bakkavor’s strategy of focusing on the UK, US and Asia is “working well”, according to the firm’s first-quarter results for the 13 weeks to March 28, which revealed revenue up by 4% at £425.5M.

Food firms asked to share views on industry's future

As the food and drink manufacturing sector considers the impact of the Conservatives’ election victory, the Food Manufacture Group invites you to share your views about the industry's future.

Supermarkets called on to declare supplier income

Supermarkets should declare income from suppliers, in line with recommendations from corporate reporting regulator the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), according to a food industry accounting expert.

Morrisons’ boss to exploit ‘unique attributes’ as sales slide

Morrisons’ boss David Potts has pledged to exploit the retailer’s “unique attributes”, as the retailer’s first-quarter trading results revealed like-for-like (LFL) sales down nearly 3%.

Sainsbury ‘licking self-inflicted wounds’ after results

Sainsbury has been left “licking self-inflicted wounds” after its results announcement today (May 6), according to leading food industry analyst Clive Black.

Sainsbury’s first loss in 10 years after property write down

Sainsbury has posted a loss of £72M – its first loss in 10 years – after writing down £620M of its property assets in full-year results to March 14.

Sainsbury boss jail appeal hearing date set

Sainsbury boss Mike Coupe’s appeal hearing in an Egyptian court against his two-year jail sentence has been postponed until Thursday May 21, as the retailer revealed its first loss in a decade in full-year results posted today (May 6).

Retailers are reacting to the HGV driver shortfall

Retailers are understood to be taking measures to address a shortage of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers, having previously denied that the issue could potentially cripple the perishable food sector.

Jail threat now for Sainsbury’s ex boss Justin King

Sainsbury’s former boss Justin King now faces the threat of imprisonment in an Egyptian jail, after it emerged earlier this week that current chief executive Mike Coupe was sentenced to two years’ in prison for an embezzlement conviction.

A big unknown in cereal

Own-label manufacturers are secretive. But John Hiles is ready to rip open the box of the cereal business he heads, Nicholas Robinson reports

Greggs’s ‘strong’ results praised by analysts

High street baker Greggs has posted own-shop like-for-like sales up by 5.9% in the first four months of the year, in “a strong” set of results, according to the analyst N+1 Singer.

Ditched Morrisons’ boss gets £1M bonus

Former Morrisons’ ceo Dalton Philips – ditched by the retailer in January – has received a £1M bonus, taking his total pay for last year to £2.1M, according to the retailer’s Annual Report.

Sir Ken loses £167M as Morrisons’ shares plummet

Sir Ken Morrison, former boss of Morrisons, has lost £167M in the past year as the value of the shares he holds in the business has dropped, according to The Sunday Times.

New Anglo-American partnership leads Good Week/Bad Week

A new partnership between the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) and its American counterpart – the Institute of Food Technologists – leads the selection of good and bad news from the past seven days in a special edition of Good Week/ Bad Week filmed at the IFST’s spring conference.

800 Sainsbury job cuts ‘concerning’

Sainsbury’s proposals to cut 800 jobs across some of its stores to save £500M have left trades union officials concerned.

Sainsbury to axe 800 jobs and save £500M

Sainsbury will cut 800 jobs in a store-management restructure to save £500M over the next three years.

Supermarkets ‘right to fight’ super complaint

Supermarkets should defend themselves against the ‘super-complaint’ issued by consumer group Which? following an investigation into apparently misleading supermarket pricing practices.

Signs of hope after Tesco’s ‘dismal’ year

Tesco has suffered a ‘dismal’, ‘nightmare’ year, “struggling to reassert its dominance”, but is showing signs of hope for the future, according to analysts.

Management reshuffle Potts’s most ‘significant’ bit of business

The widespread management reshuffle at Morrisons has been the most significant activity at the retailer since David Potts took over in March, according to an exclusive poll on this website.

Tesco posts its worst ever pre-tax loss of £6.4bn

Tesco has posted a pre-tax loss of £6.38bn for its financial year to the end of February – the worst result in its 96-year history.

Food suppliers ‘devastated’ by supermarket price war

Supermarket price war continues to “devastate” small-scale food and drink suppliers, as they fight a David and Goliath style battle with the big retailers, warns business recovery specialist Begbies Traynor.

Industry stagnates as suppliers cut investment

UK industry – including food manufacture – is in a “state of stagnation” as suppliers cut investment and impose recruitment bans and pay freezes until May’s general election, experts have claimed.

Morrisons restructuring leads the headlines

Restructuring at Morrisons leads our Good week, bad week video roundup of food industry news over the past seven days.

Morrisons board bosses: 70% ‘leave the building’

Seven in 10 of Morrisons’ management board have left the business since new ceo David Potts began work last month, notes City analyst Shore Capital, after the departure of group trading director Casper Meijer on Monday (April 13).

Supermarket Empire ‘strikes back’

The empire strikes back: that’s the verdict of City analyst Shore Capital on supermarkets’ bid to repel the market share gaining hard discounters Aldi and Lidl. But concerns remain about Sainsbury.

Labour’s manifesto: food industry implications

Labour pledged to expand the role of the supermarket watchdog to protect food producers, create better paid jobs and apprenticeships across the rural economy, while creating a “world-leading food, farm and fisheries sector” in its manifesto released yesterday (April 13).

Morrisons ‘warned’ to stick with manufacturing

Food manufacturing is essential to the future success of Morrisons, this website’s readers have ‘warned’ the retailer’s boss David Potts, following conflicting advice from City analysts.

Potts’s first month in Morrisons – in pictures

Morrisons’ new boss David Potts has had a memorable month at the helm of Britain’s fourth largest retailer.

How to avoid a supermarket delisting

Food and drink manufacturers must ensure their products continue to meet the needs of retailers and consumers or they risk a Kingsmill-style delisting, according to category management specialist Bridgethorne.

Poundland ‘could walk away’ from 99p Stores deal

Poundland could ditch its £55M deal to take over 99p Stores, after the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) pledged to fully investigate the acquisition unless it received assurances that shoppers would not lose out, according to City analyst Shore Capital.

Poundland’s bid for 99p Stores under threat

Poundland’s plan to buy 99p Stores faces a full investigation by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA), unless the retailer can offer assurances that shoppers won’t be disadvantaged by the deal.

Groceries adjudicator Tacon defends her role

The Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) Christine Tacon has refuted attacks about her ineffectiveness, after criticism that she lacked the clout to punish supermarkets that breached the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP).

Living near Waitrose boosts house prices

Houses near a Waitrose store are worth 12% – or £38,831 – more than those elsewhere, while proximity to an Aldi shop can cut their price by 3%, according to research from Lloyds Bank.

Finsbury pre-tax profit rockets 95% after acquisition

Finsbury Food Group, the cake, bread and bakery goods manufacturer, has posted pre-tax profits up by 95% to £4.1M for the six months to December 27 2014 – boosted by its acquisition of the Fletchers Group of Bakeries.

Tesco to use nutrient profiles to target health

Tesco plans to use the average nutrient profiles of food within its shoppers’ baskets as a means of informing its future new product development (NPD) and providing targeted healthy eating advice and marketing strategies.

Sainsbury to create 480 online jobs

Sainsbury will bolster its online retailing capabilities by creating 480 ‘specialist’ jobs in response to rising consumer demand for more convenient and intuitive ways to shop.

Easter eggs – too good to save for children: Mintel

Easter eggs are too good to buy just for children, according to new research from Mintel.

Morrisons ‘must sell its manufacturing sites’ to thrive

Morrisons’ food manufacturing assets have divided city opinion as analysts gauge the early steps of the beleaguered retailer’s new ceo David Potts.

Lidl's and Aldi's beds look more comfortable

Suppliers aren’t feeling the pinch of the big four’s price cutting, which is their only line of defence against discounters Aldi and Lidl.

Morrisons to cut 20 bosses in ‘Tesco-style shakeup’

Morrisons ceo David Potts is to axe up to 20 more bosses in a bid to clear out the old team and counter the firm’s multi-million pound losses by running it more like Tesco, a leading analyst has said.

Sainsbury: doubling c-store numbers achievable

Sainsbury could double the number of its convenience stores from 700 to more than 1,500 at current rates of opening, according to ceo Mike Coupe.

Heinz Kraft merger is top headline of the week

The Heinz Kraft $100bn mega merger leads our Good week, bad week selection of top food and drink industry headlines of the past seven days.

Morrisons boss ‘could galvanise’ the retailer

Morrisons new boss David Potts “could galvanise” the troubled retailer, according to City analysts less than two weeks after he took over the role of chief executive from Dalton Philips.

Five top Morrisons executives exit in board shakeup

Morrisons boss David Potts has revealed five board members are to leave the retailer in a management shakeup designed to “speed up” the business.

Food firms to profit from de-stress food and snacks

Food manufacturers can profit from producing products that help stressed consumers unwind, according to market research specialist Canadean.

Morrisons new boss invests £1M in shares

New Morrisons boss David Potts has signalled his faith in the troubled retailer by buying more than £1M of the supermarket’s shares.

Morrisons boss tells HQ team to work on shop floor

Morrisons’ boss David Potts has told his head office staff to work on the shop floor this Easter – in a bid to persuade them to “listen hard” to customers and store colleagues. 

Aldi's £59.5M distribution centre to create 500 jobs

Aldi’s planned £59.5M regional distribution centre will pave the way for up to 10 new stores in Wales and create more than 500 new jobs.

Sainsbury targets quality as results beat forecasts

Sainsbury is nailing product quality goals and plans to boost the rate of product improvements in the coming financial year, according to fourth quarter (Q4) results, which beat expectations.

Sainsbury cuts discounters’ price lead

Sainsbury cut the price gap between it and discount retailers such as Aldi and Lidl in its fourth financial quarter (Q4), reflecting the discounters’ flagging momentum, a leading analyst has claimed.

500 new Lidl distribution centre jobs

Lidl’s proposed 41,806m² new distribution centre would create up to 500 jobs and be the discounter’s 11th in the UK if plans were approved.

Morrisons should make manufacturing ‘a weapon’

Morrisons’ new chief executive David Potts should make food manufacturing “a weapon”, as he battles competition from the other big four retailers and the hard discounters, according to a leading City analyst.

Food manufacturing investments lead good news

Food manufacturing investments and acquisitions dominate the headlines in the latest edition of Good week, Bad week – your sideways look at the past seven days in food and drink manufacturing.

Premier Foods wins analyst support as volumes rise

Premier Foods is set to gain from the growth in volume sales that supermarkets are experiencing and the fall in commodity costs, according to Shore Capital analyst Darren Shirley.

Morrisons posts plunging pre-tax profit – down 52%

Beleaguered supermarket chain Morrisons has posted pre-tax profit down 52% to £345M for the full-year to February 1 and axed 380 jobs with the closure of 23 convenience stores.

Morrisons’ fall in shopper numbers concerns analyst

Morrisons has experienced a “worryingly flagging” fall in the number of shoppers visiting its stores in the past year, according to its annual results, a leading analyst has claimed.

Tesco stirs again as incomes rise, says expert

Tesco is reawakening as incomes rise and volume sales start to rise in the UK grocery market, according to Clive Black, director and head of research at Shore Capital.

Aldi and Waitrose top list of fastest growing retailers

Discounter Aldi and posh supermarket Waitrose have topped a new list of the UK’s top 20 fastest growing retailers, supplying further evidence of the increasing polarisation of the grocery market.

Lean processors better placed in the price war

The supermarket price war hasn’t been as bad for food manufacturers as some think and has instead provided a boost for many firms, according to business experts.

Ocado to grow ahead of online grocery market

Online retailer Ocado will continue to grow ahead of the online grocery market, predicted its boss Tim Steiner, as it posted group sales up by 19.2% for the 12 weeks to February 22.

Morrisons results to show price war damage

Morrisons’ full-year results – to be published on Thursday March 12 – are expected to show another significant fall in profits, reflecting the impact of supermarket price war, as city analyst Shore Capital offered a seven-point to-do list for new ceo David Potts.

Good week, bad week (Wk 10)

High street baker Greggs, new food manufacturing roles and Mondelēz International all feature in Good week, bad week; our sideways look at the past seven days in food and drink manufacturing.

Morrisons announces a further round of store price cuts

Morrisons’ price cuts, announced last month, are the latest round in its strategy to become more competitive by investing £1bn in price reductions over three years.

Greggs’s pre-tax profits soar by +40%

High street baker Greggs has claimed its full-year results show “an exceptional step up in performance”, as it reported total sales up 5.5% to £804M and own-shop like-for-like (LFL) sales up by 4.5%.

Online shopping is the new frontier for food

Could 2015 be the year when online food and drink shopping really takes off? While online sales have been growing rapidly, it’s been from a relatively low base.

Good week, bad week (Wk 9)

Grim news for food manufacturing jobs leads our selection of the top headlines of the past seven days in the latest edition of Good week, bad week.

What Morrisons’ new boss should do next

In case Morrisons’ new ceo David Potts was looking for inspiration to revive the flagging fortunes of the Bradford-based retailer, an article in The Telegraph has helpfully suggested a to-do list.

Invest to win from convenience – Geoff Eaton

The recovery among high street retailers and increased consumer demand for convenience shopping should prompt manufacturers to invest in and change their ranges and operations, an industry veteran has urged.

Meet Morrisons’ new ceo: David Potts

Morrisons has shopped at Tesco to acquire its new ceo David Potts on a salary of £850,000/year plus incentives.

Discounters dent Fairtrade sales

Rapid growth of the discounters has dented Fairtrade sales, new figures from the foundation have shown.

Good week, bad week (Wk 8)

News of new food and drink manufacturing jobs leads this edition of Good news, bad news, your sideways look at the past seven days in the UK food and drink industry.

Asda invests £600M in stores as sales slide

Asda has announced a £600M investment in its stores, as full-year results revealed the supermarket chain’s like-for-like sales had dipped by 1% and its latest quarterly performance showed an accelerating decline.

Tesco names chairman Broadbent’s successor

Tesco has appointed John Allan as chairman, replacing Richard Broadbent, who announced his departure in October last year.

Christmas milk sales down £22M

Milk sales plunged by £22M over Christmas, despite rising volumes sold in the period, reflecting competition among retailers to keep prices down, according to market analyst IRI.

Suppliers ‘won’t be hit’ by Morrisons’ price cuts

Morrisons has stressed the price cuts it has announced will not rebound on suppliers, but will be entirely funded by the supermarket chain itself.

Tesco tight lipped on ‘10,000 job cuts plan’

Tesco is remaining tight lipped about widespread media reports that Britain’s biggest retailer is planning to cut up to 10,000 jobs in a bid to revive its flagging fortunes.

Good week, bad week (wk 7)

Tesco, Tulip and Premier Foods had good news to report this week, as our Good week, bad week spotlight picks out the food industry firms that were up and those that were down over the past seven days.

Retailer promotions in the firing line

Food and drink manufacturers face big challenges during 2015 as the multiple supermarkets adopt new business models to fight back against hard discounters such as Aldi and Lidl.

Tesco returns to growth, but market share dips

Tesco’s sales are rising again as growth in UK grocery sales speeds up, but its market share is still falling, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Supermarkets urged to buy Scottish food and drink

Supermarkets in Scotland and their customers are being urged to put the nation's food and drink first by the Scottish government.

Cooplands enters administration, as 300 jobs axed

More than 300 jobs are to be lost at the Yorkshire bakery Cooplands, after the business went into administration.

Scotland’s Stirfresh nails £250,000 Aldi deal

Fruit and veg company Stirfresh has signed a contract worth £250,000 annually to supply 58 Aldi stores in Scotland, claiming that clinching the deal was refreshingly easy.

Food industry firms: Good week, bad week (wk 6)

That was the food industry week that was – good for some and bad for others. In our sideways look at the past seven days, we chart the firms with something to celebrate and those that may prefer to forget the week.

New BRC Global Standard targets food fraud

Greater transparency in the supply chain and better food safety in small facilities is the ambition of the British Retail Consortium’s revised (version 7) Global Standard for Food Safety, launched last month.

Tesco faces groceries code probe for ‘supplier abuse’

Claims that Tesco treated its suppliers unfairly are to be probed by the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) Christine Tacon, but no financial penalties can be imposed if evidence of wrong doing is revealed.

Former Tesco execs get £2.2M pay-off after all

Tesco has agreed to pay ceo Philip Clarke £1.2M and chief financial officer Laurie McIlwee £970,000 in damages, having suspended payments following their 2014 departure from the business.

Food manufacturing: Good week, bad week

How was your business week – tough, terrific or just indifferent? In this new occasional series, the Food Manufacture Group takes a sideways look at the week’s food and industry news.

Expect to see seismic changes from retailers

Suppliers to the retail sector can expect seismic changes in their relationships with customers over the year ahead as the multiples attempt to fight back against the rise of the limited range discounters.

Supermarket price war ‘saves shoppers £5/week’

The supermarket price war has saved shoppers up to £5 a week over the past year, according to an independent shopping and comparison website.

Cranswick results ‘buck grocery trend’

Cranswick’s third-quarter results, boosted by strong Christmas sales, continued to buck the flat or downward trend in the UK grocery market, said City analysts.

Food and drink M&A driven by retail market

Food and drink manufacturing mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have been mainly driven by intense competition in the UK retail sector, according to analysis from Grant Thornton.

Business forum gave access to top food execs

Unrivalled access to top food and drink manufacturing executives was the top reason singled out by the sponsors of the Food Manufacture Group’s Business Leaders’ Forum for backing the event.

Waitrose’s new 2,000 job plan to boost manufacturing

Waitrose’s plan to create 2,000 new jobs in stores and a new e-commerce grocery depot this year is expected to boost the retailer’s manufacturing businesses.

Business Leaders’ Forum – in quotes

Obesity, skills and the changing retailer landscape were some of the key issues debated at last week’s Business Leaders’ Forum at the Walkie Talkie building in central London.

Prepare for election threats and opportunities

Food and drink manufacturers should prepare for the threats and opportunities arising from the General Election in May, according to law firm DWF.

Morrisons’ revival relies on manufacturing: new boss

Morrisons’ food manufacturing links will play a key role in restoring the fortunes of the troubled retailer, which will take up to five years, says its new chairman Andrew Higginson.

Premier Foods’s sales continue to slide

Premier Foods has reported another fall in sales for the fourth quarter of last year, while reaffirming its pledge to drive down costs .

Greencore ceo: profit collapse a top industry trend

A “catastrophic collapse” in retail profitability was one of five top food industry trends highlighted by Greencore ceo Patrick Coveney at Food Manufacture’s Business Leaders’ Forum on January 20.

Supermarket price wars in focus at business forum

The impact of the supermarket price war on food and drink manufacturers, politics and the prospect of a food tax all featured in Paul Wilkinson’s summary of 2014 at the Business Leaders’ Forum in central London.

Business Leaders’ Forum: one day to go

Senior food and drink manufacturing executives are preparing for the Business Leaders’ Forum (BLF) in central London tomorrow (January 20). The event – staged by the Food Manufacture Group – is a morning seminar for the sector’s leaders to discuss the topics directly impacting the profitability of their manufacturing business.

What forced Philips out of Morrisons – in pictures

Dalton Philips quit Morrisons last week following a year of challenges, controversy and criticism from analysts and former bosses.

Supermarket price war to force food suppliers to fail

The supermarket price war could force more than 100 food suppliers out of business, warns a new report from insolvency specialist Begbies Traynor.

Tesco reveals more store cuts

Tesco aims to axe 13 stores in Hungary and rumours suggest more will follow internationally, according to Shore Capital director and head of research Clive Black.

Sainsbury to axe 500 store support staff

Sainsbury has confirmed plans to cut 500 jobs among its store support staff, who work at centres in London, Manchester and Coventry.

Ant & Dec to replace Philips at Morrisons?

Funny Geordies Ant and Dec are in the odds at 1,000/1 to replace Dalton Philips as Morrisons’ new ceo, according to tweets following his announced departure today.

Morrisons boss Dalton Philips to quit as sales fall

Morrisons boss Dalton Philips is to quit the business, as the retailer announced falling festive sales and the decision to close 10 unprofitable stores.

Morrisons’ Christmas results ‘disappointing’

Morrisons is the UK’s “most undernourished” supermarket, according to a leading analyst commenting on the retailer’s Christmas trading statement, in which it unveiled the departure of ceo Dalton Philips.

Stinging HGV crisis to hit supermarkets

Food firms are set to feel the sting of the worsening road haulage crisis, as industry leaders call for more action to stem the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) driver shortage.

Tulip next pork firm to cut jobs

Tulip has announced plans to cut up to 78 roles at its Tipton factory in the West Midlands days after rival pork processor Karro Food Group proposed 150 job cuts.

Trade bodies ‘should play bigger role’ on supplier abuses: DEFRA

Food industry trade associations should play a bigger role in helping to expose the abuses suffered by suppliers at the hands of supermarkets and other customers, said environment secretary Liz Truss at the Oxford Farming Conference this week.

Food can’t boost M&S’s ‘dismal’ performance

Marks and Spencer’s “dismal” performance was lessened by strong food sales, but the posh retailer’s weak online business could be troublesome, city analysts have warned.

Tesco reveals sales fall and big cost-cutting plan

Tesco has unveiled another fall in like-for-like sales (LFL) and a major cost-cutting programme, including the closure of 43 stores, in financial results covering the 19 weeks to January 3.

Tesco’s leadership gap must be plugged

Tesco must plug its leadership gap to aid its turnaround, as the retailer’s suspension of key players in the light of its accounting crisis has weakened it, one analyst has claimed.

Tesco’s plan likely to rock the whole industry

Tesco’s plan to tackle its plight is likely to have big implications for the whole of the food industry, according to Shore Capital analyst Clive Black.

Sainsbury at low ebb, vulnerable to Tesco recovery

Sainsbury’s suffering can “only intensify” according to one analyst, as the retailer’s poor third financial quarter (Q3) results highlighted its vulnerability should Tesco begin to recover from a tough 2014.

Tesco crushes Aldi ad wooing supermarket shoppers

Tesco has quashed an Aldi marketing campaign aimed at poaching supermarket shoppers after complaining about its ‘Swap and Save’ adverts to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Waitrose in ascendant in Christmas sales battle

Waitrose’s Heston sub-brand helped boost Christmas sales, claimed the retailer, which was the likely ‘clear winner’ among the supermarkets over the festive period according to one food industry analyst.

Sainsbury and Asda launch price offensive

Sainsbury and Asda have announced massive price cuts less than a week into the New Year as the traditional supermarkets continue to feel the menace of discounters Aldi and Lidl.

FSA’s campylobacter policy slammed

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) policy of naming and shaming supermarkets by ranking their fresh chicken according to its contamination with campylobacter was ill-conceived and counterproductive, Clive Black, head of research at City analyst Shore Capital, has warned.

Asda boss warns of another tough year for supermarkets

British supermarkets face another tough year forcing some to consolidate, the boss of Asda Andy Clarke has predicted in two separate interviews.

Tesco finances face new probe

Troubled supermarket giant Tesco faces a fresh probe into its accounts by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

HGV driver shortage could cripple food industry

Supermarkets have denied claims a shortage of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers could cripple the perishable food and drink industry.

Thorntons issues Christmas profits warning

Thorntons has issued a Christmas profits warning, telling investors profits will be lower than expected due to a slump in supermarket orders.

Christmas sales strongest for 25 years

Britain’s beleaguered retailers are experiencing their strongest pre-Christmas sales for 25 years, with grocery sales showing the sharpest rises.

Top food manufacturing news of the year

An article revealing the identity of Britain’s most popular chocolate bar was the most widely read on this site during 2014.

Asda boss to lead IGD in New Year

Asda boss Andy Clarke will become president of grocery think-tank IGD on January 1 2015.

Boparan boss blames profit fall on tough market

Boparan boss Ranjit Singh – ceo of the 2 Sisters Food group – has blamed the firm’s nearly £7M fall in like-for-like (LFL) operating profit on tough trading conditions.

More Britons eat up their fresh fruit and veg: Mintel

British consumers are eating more fruit and vegetables and becoming increasingly critical of retailers who waste food, reveals new research by Mintel.

Pre-Christmas sales show Aldi, Lidl stay strong

The grocery market returned to growth in the 12 weeks to the end of December 7, with continued success for Waitrose and discounters Aldi and Lidl, according to Kantar Worldpanel data.

Premier Foods admits mistakes over pay-to-stay plan

Premier Foods boss Gavin Darby has admitted mistakes were made in the implementation of the highly controversial stay-to-pay plan.

Greggs’s full-year profits ‘ahead of expectations’

High-street baker Greggs predicted full-year profits will be ahead of analysts’ expectations, after posting own shop like-for-like (LFL) sales up by 5.2% for the 24 weeks to December 13.

Doubts persist about Ocado’s Waitrose contract

Fears remain over the long-term viability of Ocado’s contract with Waitrose as the upmarket supermarket looks set to develop as a direct competitor to the online retailer, a leading analyst claims.

Sprouts and mince pies hit in pre-Christmas sales

A slowdown in pre-Christmas food sales in traditional grocery retailers has hit Brussels sprouts and mince pies the hardest, according to data analyst Information Resources (IRI).

Tesco issues yet another profit warning

Troubled supermarket giant Tesco has posted another profit warning, declaring that its full-year results will be significantly below expectations. 

Food firm struggles linked to Premier-style investment demands

Half of food firms’ financial difficulties have been linked to companies demanding one-off payments from their suppliers in a similar way to Premier Foods, according to one industry expert.

Supermarket suppliers ‘are cannon fodder’

Insolvencies among food manufacturers have risen sharply over the past year, as competition between supermarkets and discounters has resulted in them being treated “as cannon fodder”, claims accountancy firm Moore Stephens.

Aldi’s organics entry could cause a price war

Organic food could become the next battleground in the supermarket price war, Helen Browning, chief executive of the Soil Association, has warned after Aldi’s move into the sector.

Premier Foods denies ‘holding gun’ to suppliers’ heads

Premier Foods has denied accusations that it has mistreated suppliers by demanding unfair payments to continue trading with them.

Autumn statement gets praise and brickbats

Chancellor George Osborne’s last Autumn Statement before next year’s general election drew both praise and criticism from food manufacturers and economic commentators.

US Black Friday shopping craze hits UK

The US shopping craze Black Friday is sweeping Britain today, with the police called to quell supermarkets disturbances as shoppers jostled for the best buys, while some retailers slashed food and drink prices.

Finsbury Food wins bakery manufacturing Oscar

Finsbury Food Group has won the Bakery Manufacturing Company of the Year trophy in the industry’s Oscars, ahead of a financial update which looked forward to improved profits next year.

Poundland, Woolworths with food, is ‘retail winner’

Poundland is “a retail winner”, judged a leading City analyst, after the discount chain posted soaring pre-tax profit growth of 34% to £12.6M in first half results.

Waitrose trials dietary advice in stores

Waitrose is offering shoppers access to in-store dietary advice on a trial basis in a bid to help consumers with a range of concerns, including food allergies.

Christmas food and drink spend to reach £5.3bn

Savvy consumers will visit various retailers this Christmas for food and drink shopping, with total grocery spending expected to rise 1.5% from last year to £5.3bn, Webloyalty has claimed.

Analysts respond to Sainsbury results

Analysts have cautiously welcomed Sainsbury’s trading figures for the first half of its financial year, but claim the supermarket chain has a “mountainous challenge” ahead of it.

Aldi to create 35,000 jobs in £600M expansion

Discount store Aldi has pledged to create 35,000 new UK jobs over the next eight years in a £600M expansion that will boost its store numbers to 1,000.

Sainsbury suffers from ‘unstoppable growth’ of discounters

Sainsbury’s falling profits and sales – revealed in first-half results for its 2015 financial year – show the pressure exerted by hard discounters Aldi and Lidl, according to retail and city analysts.

Morrisons posts ‘dismal’ third quarter results

Morrisons has posted a “dismal” set of third-quarter results, which prove it is losing the battle with hard discounter stores Aldi and Lidl, warn City analysts.

Retailers step up unannounced audits to fight fraud

Supermarkets are shifting to unannounced audits of suppliers in efforts to make their supply chains watertight in the wake of the horsemeat scandal, according to professor Chris Elliott.

M&S strategy shows signs of starting to work

Marks & Spencer’s (M&S’s) half-year results show its recovery strategy is beginning to work, according to some City analysts.

First six Sainsbury Netto stores to open imminently

Sainsbury will open the first six stores in its joint venture with Netto on November 6, but the supermarket chain’s proposition needs serious thought, according to a leading food analyst.

Beware Christmas food fraud, warns expert

Food and drink manufacturers and retailers have been warned to beware the threat of Christmas food fraud, as cash-conscious shoppers hunt for the best deals; possibly tempting some in the supply chain to break the law.

Morrisons’ trading a worry in ‘un-investable sector’

Morrisons’ trading remains a worry, as the retailer enters a critical quarter in a currently “un-investable” British retail sector, warns City analyst Shore Capital, ahead of the firm’s third-quarter results to be posted this week.

Three in 10 to shop for scary treats in discounters

Supermarkets face a Halloween shock as three in 10 shoppers (29%) said they aimed to buy seasonally-themed products from high street discount retailers, according to the latest IGD research.

M&S tops authentic brand league

Marks & Spencer (M&S) tops the rankings of the UK’s most authentic brands, according to a report from global communications agency Cohn & Wolfe.

Premier Foods boss develops c-store, online sales

C-stores and online retailers offer Premier Foods considerable growth potential and the maker of Mr Kipling cakes is working on bespoke products for those channels, according to ceo Gavin Darby.

Top seven food and drink trends for 2014: Waitrose

The influence of technology and social media on the nation’s diet is the top of seven key food and drink trends, identified by posh retailer Waitrose this year, based on millions of purchases in shops and online.

Tesco results provoke sharp reaction from analysts

Tesco’s bleak third-quarter results – posting a 92% fall in pre-tax profits to £112M and news of the chairman’s decision to quit – have provoked a predictably acerbic reaction from City and retail analysts.

Tesco chairman to quit as pre-tax profit falls 90%

Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent is to quit the business, as the troubled retailer admitted overstating first half profits by £263M and posted pre-tax profits more than 90% down.

Big four should hit discounters with c-stores

The big four retailers should launch more convenience stores on the doorstep of their rival discounters to fight the competition, according to a leading professor from Aston Business School.

Premier Foods’s branded sales dip in third quarter

Premier Foods saw branded value sales fall in its third financial quarter (Q3) as the maker of Mr Kipling cakes and Ambrosia desserts was stung by supermarkets losing share to discounters.

Aldi launches new organic range in upmarket bid

Discount retailer Aldi has launched what it claims is an affordable range of organic products that will help customers save 25% on their normal British organic basket, as the store continued its drive to offer upmarket products.

Three supermarkets faced financial action in Q3

Three national supermarkets faced adverse financial actions in the past quarter as food retailers showed the sharpest increase in ‘significant’ financial distress of all sectors monitored by Begbies Traynor.

Asda wins out as food market enters deflation

Asda headed the supermarket pack as the food market officially entered a period of deflation, although consumers were the real winners, according to the latest Kantar Worldpanel figures.

Premier Foods delivers ‘awful’ stock performance

Premier Foods has delivered “a truly awful 2014 stock performance”, despite making solid restructuring progress, said City analyst Shore Capital, ahead of the firm’s third-quarter trading results, due for release later this week.

Top finance guru dumps Tesco shares

The world’s richest investor, Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway, has sold more than 245M shares in supermarket giant Tesco, after describing his investment as “a huge mistake” earlier this month.

Halloween boosts food and drink sales: Mintel

Halloween is proving devilishly good for UK food and drink sales, according to new research from Mintel.

Amazon creates 1,000 jobs at UK distribution centres

Online retail giant Amazon is to create 1,000 new jobs at UK fulfilment centres, six months after a leading UK wholesale boss predicted the retailer would deliver “a fresh approach” to the UK grocery market.

Tesco suspends three more execs in profits probe

Tesco has suspended three more executives as the investigation into the £250M overstatement of its profits continues.

Thorntons blames sales fall on supermarket order patterns

Thorntons has blamed its 11.9% fall in first quarter total group sales on the changing order patterns of supemarkets and other outlets.

Prepare for food industry shake-ups, says IGD expert

Food firms can prepare for ‘unpredictable’ market shake-ups if they make themselves more outwardly-focused and more open to change, according to IGD chief economist James Walton.

Tesco shows ‘staggering’ decline over recent years

Tesco’s decline over recent years has been “quite staggering”, according to City analyst Shore Capital, as its analysts predicted further board changes at the troubled retail giant.

Brands must target occasions, consumption, says Premier Foods

Premier Foods is targeting eating occasions and changing shopper habits in order to boost sales of brands such as Mr Kipling cakes and Ambrosia desserts, according to its boss Gavin Darby.

IGD boss highlights food industry challenges

The rise of the discount retailers was the most disruptive force on the UK grocery market in the last year, according to delegates at the IGD conference yesterday (October 7).

Boost declining sales with lower prices, retailers told

Supermarkets must work on lowering prices instead of relying on promotions, if they are to boost their declining sales, delegates at IGD’s annual Convention were told yesterday (October 7).

Fear of speaking out against supermarkets must stop

Manufacturers must speak out against the financial pressures supermarkets place on them if they are ever to invest in automation and improve their margins, an industry boss has urged.

Tesco’s new appointments a ‘light beam of good news’

Troubled retailer Tesco’s appointment of the bosses of Ikea and the Compass Group as non-executive directors has been heralded as a “light beam of good news” in a sea of darkness, by city analyst Shore Capital.

Supermarket price war to sting M&A activity

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the food and drink manufacturing sector will be stung by the worsening supermarket price wars, a leading analyst has warned.

Morrisons’ points system takes on the discounters

Morrisons has launched a price match points system for customers in its latest attempt to take on the discounters.

Aldi’s and Lidl’s surge could be ending – analysts

The upsurge of the discounters may finally be over as the “imploding” big four take decisive action to tackle them, leading city analysts have claimed.

Discounters less likely to breach the Groceries Code

Discount retailers, such as Aldi and Lidl, are less likely to breach the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) than the big four, the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) Christine Tacon has claimed.

Suppliers in the frame with Tesco profits hit

Tesco’s bombshell announcement last month that it had overinflated its profits by a staggering £250M for the first six months of the year has really put the proverbial cat among the pigeons.

Sainsbury results: the reaction

Sainsbury’s third consecutive quarter of falling like-for-like sales represents a watershed, not just for the beleaguered retailer but the whole fast-moving UK grocery sector, agreed most City and retail analysts. Here, we capture their verdict, at a glance in key quotes, on the supermarket’s second-quarter results published today.

Tesco’s overstatement of profits was ‘acceptable’

Tesco’s overstatement of its half-year profits by £250M was an “acceptable” way to deal with the pressure of losing market share to other retailers, according to an accounting expert.

Sainsbury’s ‘very poor results’ dismay City analysts

Sainsbury’s “very poor” second-quarter results will “send shock waves” through the grocery market, warned analysts, as the retailer revealed its third consecutive quarter of falling sales.

Millions of pounds in fines for supermarkets: Tacon

Fines of hundreds of millions of pounds could be imposed on retailers if they are found to be in breach of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP).

Tesco FCA investigation is ‘another black mark’

The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) investigation into Tesco’s overstated half-year profit guidance is another “black mark” for the retailer, city analysts have said.

Groceries code boss asks Tesco to review supplier policy

Tesco has been asked to examine its behaviour towards suppliers by the Groceries Code Adjudicator Christine Tacon.

Omni-channel lifts supermarkets’ sales by up to 20%

Supermarkets that have integrated their store and online sales in a so-called ‘omni-channel’ approach to retailing have seen a sales uplift of 10–20% over the past 12 months, according to a new study released today at the World Retail Congress in Paris.

Aldi’s caviar plan to catch wealthy shoppers

Aldi will attack the premium end of the food market by targeting wealthy consumers this Christmas, bosses have said, after announcing a 65% increase in its UK profits to £260.9M.

Sainsbury moves to tackle ‘worrying’ sales dip

Sainsbury shows signs of tackling its “worrying” reversal of fortunes, shifting towards consistent low pricing, according to a leading food industry analyst.

Seven trends will drive US supermarkets: IFT

Meeting the needs of price-driven consumers is the top of seven key trends driving the changing landscape of US supermarkets, according to a report published by the Chicago-based Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).

Tesco’s new chief financial officer starts early

Tesco has announced its new chief financial officer (cfo) Alan Stewart began his role yesterday (September 23), three months earlier than previously planned.

Food exports rise in first half but Scotch whisky falls

Food and non-alcoholic drink exports climbed by 4.8% to reach £6.5bn in the first half of this year but Scotch exports sank by 11% to £1.77bn over the same period.

Supermarkets target fresh food to fight discounters

Fresh food is the first battleground as traditional supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury fight against stiff competition from discounters Aldi and Lidl, according to a leading food analyst.

Food and drink in an independent Scotland – in pictures

Thousands of Scots will vote for or against Scottish independence this Thursday (September 18), but how do some of the UK’s biggest food and drink firms think independence will affect them?

Greggs’s sales boost impresses City

High-street baker Greggs has wowed City analysts after it reported own shop, like-for-like sales up by 5.4% for the 11 weeks to September 13, compared with a 1% fall for the same period last year.

Morrisons progress in limbo, say analysts

Morrisons’ business strategy is balanced on a knife edge, with financial experts divided over its merits.

Morrisons results reveal supermarket price war wounds

Morrisons has revealed half-year profits down by more than 30%, as the retailer battled sharper competition from discount stores.

Grocery abuse claims rejected by SOFHT boss

Claims made by the independent Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) Christine Tacon that alleged supermarket abuses of power were going under-reported have been refuted by an industry expert.

Hilton Food Group invests £21.3M to build capacity

Tesco meat packer Hilton Food Group is investing significantly in its facilities at Huntingdon to meet increased demand from the retailer, which it announced in its results today (September 9) for 28 weeks to July 13.

Food suppliers must learn from discounters

Food and drink suppliers should use insights from the success of hard discounters Aldi, Lidl and Poundland to boost their own retail prospects, a category management specialist has claimed.

Tesco boss pledges to be ‘customers’ champion’

The new Tesco boss’s pledge to be “the customers’ champion” has won praise from City analyst Shore Capital.

Tesco’s fortunes lurch from bad to worse

Tesco, a “once great company” according to a leading food industry analyst, has downgraded its profit forecasts and brought forward the date of Philip Clarke’s handover to new ceo Dave Lewis.

Grocery market slumps to 10-year low

The UK grocery market slumped to a 10-year low in the latest quarterly period covered by Kantar Worldpanel data.

Morrisons pumps £19M into fresh produce supply

Morrisons is investing £19M to speed up the supply of fresh produce and keep it cooler for longer in a bid to keep ahead of competition from discounters Aldi and Lidl.

Retail loyalty a thing of the past

Store loyalty is diminishing as more shoppers are using four different retailers on average each month, according to grocery think-thank IGD.

Food and drink industry set for ‘depressing Christmas’

Food and drink businesses are set for a depressing Christmas as price competition among major retailers will dampen price inflation on food products in December 2014, according to a report by Mintel.

Tesco and Sainsbury likely to follow Asda price cuts

Tesco and Sainsbury will likely follow Asda’s cost- and price-cutting lead to combat discounters Aldi and Lidl, according to food industry commentator Clive Black, responding to Asda’s latest results.

Food suffers deeper retail decline

Pressure on food industry profits looks set to continue as cash sales keep dropping, according to experts.

High hopes rest on Morrisons’ new chair

High hopes have been pinned on the ability of Morrisons’ new chairman elect Andrew Higginson to revive the fortunes of Britain’s fourth largest supermarket chain.

Changing face of retail hits Kerry Group

Consumer food sales took a hit at Kerry Group from the fragmenting retail market, despite UK brands holding up well, and overall sales growth, the firm said in its interim management report.

Supermarket buyers’ culture aids fraudsters

The cost cutting culture that exists in supermarket buying departments will have to change if future incidents like last year's horsemeat contamination scandal are to be avoided, according to a food safety expert.

Aldi and Lidl’s market share hits all-time high

Discount retailers Aldi and Lidl are continuing to win sales and have seen their market share hit new records, at the expense of Tesco and Morrisons, according to the latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

Morrisons appoints former Tesco finance boss as chairman

Troubled retailer Morrisons has appointed former Tesco finance boss Andrew Higginson as its new chairman, following Sir Ian Gibson’s decision to retire in 2015.

People on the move in the food and drink industry

Tesco boss Philip Clarke’s decision to quit the retailer on October 1 2014 leads our selection of the latest people on the move in the food industry.

Supermarket bosses hit back at Tesco tax plan

Calls for a £400M levy on supermarkets – dubbed the Tesco tax – would lead to higher food prices, according to retail bosses.

Morrisons gives out cash to tempt online customers

Morrisons is trying to turnaround poor sales and boost its slow-starting online business by giving cash to customers in conjunction with third-party rewards platform Quidco.

Tesco boss finds party’s over after quitting top job

A party for Tesco boss Philip Clarke, scheduled for last night (July 22), to celebrate his 40 years with the retailer, was cancelled on Monday, after he revealed his intention to quit his chief executive role in October.

Morrisons announces 50 jobs at new facility

Morrisons has announced it will invest a “sizeable” amount of money to open a new 8,825m² distribution centre alongside its existing Bridgwater manufacturing site.

Tesco boss Philip Clarke to quit after profit warning

Tesco boss Philip Clarke is to quit the embattled retailer in October, despite pledging in April to “see this job though”.

Grocery sales ‘worst ever’ in past two months

Grocery sales in May and June were the “worst ever” seen, as the market reeled in an aftershock of the recession, according to one longstanding industry analyst.

Aldi comes first in top 10 brands survey

Aldi is the brand creating the most positive media buzz, according to YouGov BrandIndex’s 2014 mid-year Buzz rankings, with both it and fellow discounter Lidl among the top 10 for the first time.

Neuroscience could boost food sales

Food businesses need to tap into neuroscience and understand how consumers make fast and unconscious decisions, if they are to improve their sales, says a marketing expert.

Report supermarket abuse, urges grocery adjudicator

In as many weeks, two polls have sent me a strong message that I still have a big job to raise awareness of what I can do for groceries suppliers and build their confidence so that they give me the information I need to act.

Retailers help boost UK job market

There were more jobs gained than lost in the UK food and drink sector – taking into consideration manufacturing, distribution, packaging and retail – over the last six months, FoodManufacture.co.uk can exclusively reveal.

Groceries code boss urges action after Food Manufacture survey

The Groceries Code adjudicator (GCA), Christine Tacon, has used an article written exclusively for this website to urge suppliers to report alleged supermarket abuses of power, after they expressed concern about her role in Food Manufacture’s State-of-the-industry business survey.

Dairy Crest reveals its investment plans

Capital investment is sexy and Dairy Crest has just come to the end of a four-year investment plan, which saw £75M spent across the company’s dairy operations.

Marks & Spencer’s food sales up - again

Marks & Spencer’s food sales rose by 4.2% in the first quarter of its financial year ending June 28, continuing to buck the trend of falling general merchandise sales, despite online problems.

Supermarket abuse needs more action

Suppliers remain unconvinced that the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) Christine Tacon is doing enough to stop the big supermarkets abusing their power.

Supermarket price war biggest problem for industry

Price wars between the major multiples are causing bigger problems for food and drink suppliers than anything they have experienced for many years, as the big four supermarkets battle it out with each other.

Aldi's and Lidl’s combined sales may top Morrisons next year

The combined UK sales of discount stores Lidl and Aldi are on course to rival Morrisons’s total sales this year and could top them next year.

Asda announces 1,360 redundancies

Asda’s 1,360 redundancies will help it adapt to the intense changes faced by UK retailers, ceo Andy Clarke claims, and follows a similar announcement made by Morrisons last month to cut 2,600 jobs.

Retailer watchdog will go without supplier support

Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) Christine Tacon has criticised food and drink suppliers for failing to complain about supermarket abuses of power, warning her office was threatened unless they were more forthcoming.

Discounters' costs will increase as they grow

News that supermarket chain Sainsbury had entered into a £25M joint venture (jv) with Dansk Supermarked to establish 15 Netto stores across the UK was further evidence that the major multiples recognised they needed to do more to address the inexorable rise of hard discounters Aldi and Lidl.

Morrisons' job losses unlikely to be last in sector

Bad news continues to dog supermarket chain Morrisons, with the announcement last month that 2,600 store managers were likely to lose their jobs as part of a review of its retail operations.

Discount retailers to get stronger, says IGD

Discounters such as Aldi and Lidl are set to double their sales in the next five years, accounting for £1 in every £9 spent by 2019, according to grocery think tank IGD.

Morrisons’ bond deal offers shareholders hope – analyst

Morrisons’ ability to raise £300M through a favourable bond deal on Friday (June 27) was “a chink of light” for shareholders, according to Shore Capital analyst Clive Black.

Grocery industry faces upheaval – CGF Global Summit

The grocery industry faces massive change and top retailers and suppliers met at the 58th Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF’s) Global Summit in Paris to debate the issues and gain future inspiration.

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