We're pleased to bring you just some of the major food & drink retail and supply stories recently covered by The Grocer.
Harrods opens dedicated chocolate hall following revamp
Harrods has completed the four-year revamp of its food halls, with the opening this week of its dedicated chocolate hall. The restoration of the hall is part of a £300m investment in the Knightsbridge store, much of it focused on the food halls.
Deli Retailing Code of Practice launched by Guild of Fine Food
The Guild of Fine Food has unveiled its first-ever Deli Retailing Code of Practice, designed to supplement the Food Standards Agency’s ‘Safer Food, Better Business’ hygiene advice. The code is described as a “comprehensive guide on technical and regulatory matters designed specifically for the day-to-day needs of specialist food and drink retailers”.
Post-lockdown beef and chicken sales start to slow
Sales of chicken and beef - which both boomed during lockdown - have started to slow, according to Kantar data. Conversely, chilled fish sales rose 22% year on year in the 12 weeks to 18 April, while pork and lamb are also proving popular with shoppers.
Rates overtaking rent as biggest retail property cost
Plummeting rents mean business rates are now the biggest property expense faced by many shopkeepers, according to British Land, one of the UK’s biggest commercial landlords. Rates are currently based on the open market rental value of property in 2015. Because retail rents have fallen during the pandemic, instead of being about 50% on top of the rent bill, the tax can now be over 100%.
Riverford Organic Farmers’ turnover spiked 13.5%
Sales at vegetable box provider Riverford Organic Farmers soared last year after a “phenomenal surge in demand” during the initial lockdown. Turnover jumped 13.5% to £75.7m for the 52 weeks to 30 April 2020, as a spike in demand at the end of its financial year added to strong sales and growing demand in the pre-pandemic period.
Rising production costs could push up retail dairy prices
Processors may soon have to pass on rising costs to retail customers, industry figures have warned. Processors have been gradually increasing farmgate prices over the past month in response to strong global dairy commodity demand and a lower-than-expected UK spring flush.
Jersey Royal potato harvest hampered by poor weather
Supplies of Jersey Royal potatoes have been hit by dry weather, the crop’s biggest supplier has said. Jersey Royal harvesting typically runs from April to July, with May forming the peak of its season. But a five-week period with no rainfall on the island in April and early May meant potato exports to British retailers had been 60% of their typical volumes for this time of year.
Alcohol-free spirit brand to launch funding drive
Non-alcoholic spirit brand Straight & Narrow is to mount a £100k crowdfunding campaign ahead of rolling out a 13-strong range of flavoured 0% spirits in the autumn. They would be sold at “disruptive” prices of £12 to £15 per 70cl bottle, said the brand, with six flavours to launch in September and the rest in December.
Kolibri drops CBD from non-alcoholic RTD cocktails in revamp
London startup Kolibri Drinks has revamped its range of customisable, non-alcoholic RTD cocktails, axing the cannabis content. Following an overhaul, its lineup now comprises Tales of Tuscany: Sparkling Berry & Juniper Aperitivo; Tales of Marrakesh: Sparkling Cardamom Baharat; and Tales of Somerset: Sparkling Elderflower & Lime Spritz (rsp: £4.80/315ml).