May
27

Author:

Comment

Retail sales fall but growth ahead forecasted

Retail sales fall but growth ahead forecasted

New data has revealed that retail sales have fallen compared to a year ago.

However, the research from the CBI’s latest monthly Distributive Trends Survey also predicted growth in the coming month.

The data revealed that retail sales fell at the fastest pace since January 2012 over the year to April 2016. However, sales are expected to rebound next month, while orders are set to fall at a broadly similar pace.

Meanwhile, growth in the volume of internet sales slowed in the year to April, with the survey balance falling further below the long run average. Internet sales growth is set to pick up slightly in May.

Among the findings, 22 per cent of retailers said that sales volumes were up in April on a year ago, whilst 36 per cent said they were down, giving a rounded balance of down 13 per cent. Sales growth is set to rebound in the year to May (up nine per cent), although it remains below the long-run average of 24 per cent growth.

CBI Director of Economics, Rain Newton-Smith, commented: “Cold weather put a chill in sales of spring and summer ranges, with a reported dip in retail sales in the year to April, but with the near-term outlook for household spending holding up, the sector expects a modest rise in sales next month.

“However, with margins remaining tight within the sector, retailers will continue to operate in a fiercely competitive environment for some time.”

May
27

Author:

Comment

Bid for EU funding to promote organic submitted

Bid for EU funding to promote organic submitted

A bid to secure more than €10m for a consumer marketing campaign for organic has been submitted to the EU.

The Organic Trade Board has submitted the joint bid with Denmark, which, if successful, will run from 2017-2019. It will mean the EU will supply 80 per cent of the total cash for the activity, the remainder having been secured by pledges made by companies in the UK and Denmark.

The winning applicants will be announced in October, and it will mean an annual marketing budget of £1.7m a year for three years, which will be spent promoting organic.

May
27

Author:

Comment

Quarter of those with food allergies suffer reactions while eating out

Quarter of those with food allergies suffer reactions while eating out

Despite new labelling rules, the Food Standards Agency has revealed that a quarter of people with food allergies suffer reactions when eating out.

The survey, by the FSA and the charity Allergy UK, shows that while improvements have been made for those with allergies since new labelling rules came in a year ago, more needs to be done. The survey also found nearly one in five (19 per cent) of those allergic reactions resulted in a hospital visit.

The survey, carried out to mark Allergy Awareness Week 2016, found that overall, 83 per cent of respondents noticed an increase in measures designed to make life easier for allergic consumers, including menus marking out allergens, and staff actively checking food information with the kitchen. More than half (58 per cent) of allergic consumers said that their overall experience of eating out has improved; just six per cent said it has got worse. As a result, a similar proportion (52 per cent) say they now feel more confident eating out than they did before the legislation was introduced.

However, people with allergies still report problems when eating out. More than two thirds (69 per cent) experienced staff not understanding the severity of an allergy, and how easily a mistake can cause a reaction. A similar number (68 per cent) saw staff with a lack of knowledge of what’s in the food. Over half (56 per cent) had been made to feel like an inconvenience due to their allergy.

Dr Chun-Han Chan, Food Allergy Expert at the FSA, commented: “The fact that allergic consumers are noticing gaps in the knowledge of people serving them makes it evident that more needs to be done by food businesses to educate their staff on allergens. The number of people suffering from food allergies and intolerances has increased in the last decade, so it’s clear that it is not something businesses can ignore.”

May
27

Author:

Comment

Planet Organic launches delivery service to rival Amazon

Planet Organic launches delivery service to rival Amazon

Planet Organic is expanding its reach across London with a new delivery service.

The UK’s largest fully certified organic supermarket has teamed up with independent store delivery service Hubbub to deliver products within one-hour timeslots to postcodes across London.

The move comes ahead of the UK launch of Amazon’s one-hour online groceries business, Amazon Fresh, anticipated later this month, and means that Planet Organic’s new London express delivery service will give the supermarket first-mover advantage.

Renée Elliott, founder of Planet Organic, commented: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with Hubbub.co.uk, a like-minded brand, which shares our quality and ethical principles. A natural partnership, it will transform the experience for our customers.”

To offset the carbon footprint generated from the anticipated increase in demand for deliveries, for each parcel delivered, Planet Organic will make a donation to the Woodland Trust.
Peter Marsh, CEO of Planet Organic, added: “As a pioneer in the market, not only for delicious and healthy organic food but also free from dietary needs, Planet Organic has long filled a gap not served by supermarkets. Through our partnership with Hubbub, our home delivery service in London is now also second to none.”

Marisa Leaf, founder and co-CEO of Hubbub.co.uk, continued: “I’ve always admired Planet Organic’s innovative sourcing of the best organic food, but they are also driving innovation in digestive health and supplements. Now I’m excited about what we can achieve together.”