May
26

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UK high street sales pick up

The latest data has revealed that retail sales growth accelerated in the year to April, with volumes rising faster than expected.

That is according to the latest monthly CBI Distributive Trades Survey, which revealed that the volume of sales grew at the fastest pace since September 2015 in the year to April, with orders placed on suppliers rising at the strongest rate for a year-and-a-half. Overall, sales for the time of year were considered to be slightly above seasonal norms.

Looking ahead, however, volumes growth is expected to slow in the year to May and sales are tipped to be broadly average for the time of year, with orders expected to be largely unchanged.

Internet sales continued to grow at a solid pace in the year to April, in line with the long-run average, and are expected to grow at a broadly similar pace in May.

Ben Jones, CBI Principal Economist, commented: “Retail sales held up better than expected, especially considering that the survey did not cover the Easter period. However, retailers are still cautious over the outlook, expecting slower growth over the year to May, as higher inflation eats into household spending. With price competition remaining fierce and rising costs squeezing margins, retailers face mounting pressures in the months ahead.”

May
26

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Sweet smell of success

Weleda’s Jardin de Vie fragrances have scooped the CEW Eco Beauty Award 2017.

The accolades, considered the Oscars of the beauty industry, saw Weleda win one of the prestigious Lalique trophies after scooping the CEW Eco Beauty Award for the Weleda Jardin de Vie (Garden of Life) collection, which includes natural fragrances Agrume, Onagre, Rose and Grenade.

The objective of the CEW Eco Award is to encourage steps towards greater sustainability within the beauty industry. This particular award was independently judged by a team of eco experts and sponsored by global fragrance experts, Givaudan.

The CEW Award winners were featured in a special eight-page feature in the Mail on Sunday’s YOU Magazine, where Jo Fairley elaborated: “The all-natural Jardin de Vie spritz collection from Weleda, a renowned name in biodynamic beauty that has been environmentally conscious since its inception in 1921, impressed the eco-expert judges with its sustainably sourced ingredients, green production methods, minimal packaging, and simply lovely scents.”

Weleda’s Managing Director, Jayn Sterland, added: “Weleda won the very first CEW Eco Beauty Award in 2012 with our Weleda Pomegranate Firming Facial Care range, so it is exciting to win the award again in this very special 25th anniversary year for the CEW.”

May
26

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Obesity confirmed as chronic disease

The World Obesity Federation has confirmed it supports the definition of obesity as a chronic, relapsing disease.

In a statement published in the leading journal Obesity Reviews prepared by a scientific committee of the organisation, it concluded that obesity fits the epidemiological model of a disease process, except that the toxic or pathological agent is diet-related rather than a microbe.

In the position statement, Dr George Bray and his colleagues examine how an abundance of food, low physical activity, and several other environmental factors interact with genetic susceptibility. They draw parallels to chronic diseases, noting that the magnitude of obesity and its adverse effects in individuals may relate to the virulence or toxicity of the environment and its interaction with the host.

“Accepting the concept that obesity is a chronic disease process is important for several reasons,” said Dr Bray. “First, it removes the feeling that patients alone are responsible for their excess weight. It also focuses attention on the ways in which this disease process can be tackled. And finally, it shows that if we can successfully treat obesity, many of its associated diseases will be eliminated.”

In an accompanying letter to the Editor, the Federation’s policy experts suggest that declaring obesity to be a disease could benefit those people who are suffering with obesity and wish to have access to medical advice and support, “whilst also strengthening the call for dealing with the social determinants, obesogenic environments and systemic causes of individual weight gain”.

May
26

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Registration open as NHT Summit grows

Retailers are being invited to register their place to visit the Natural Health Trade Summit in what will be its biggest year to date.

The event takes place at The Principal Hotel, formerly called The Palace Hotel, in Manchester on October 22, held in association with the National Association of Health Stores (NAHS).

This year’s event, the third time it has taken place, will be bigger than before, with a newly expanded exhibition space upstairs to cater to demand. This will be in addition to the already established exhibition downstairs.

With more exhibitors than ever, across a range of sectors, the event will also once again play host to a selection of roundtable events, being held throughout the day on a range of topics.

Sales Director, Ruth Gilmour, commented: “We are proud that the NHT Summit has become an essential date in the industry’s calendar, being the UK’s only event dedicated entirely to the independent health food industry.

“Celebrating all that’s good about the industry, visitors can enjoy roundtable discussions tackling the hottest topics in retailing, more than 100 exhibitors showcasing their new products and show-only discounts and plenty of opportunities to meet and network. We are excited to be able to grow the show this year, and we look forward to welcoming you all.”

And take it from retailer, Joanne Hill, from Amaranth, in Stockport, who visited last year and commented: “We are full of ideas after the Natural Health Trade Summit! It’s a lovely place to catch up with suppliers old and new.”

Registration is free at www.nhtsummit.co.uk and we are encouraging all readers of Health Food Business to attend this important annual event. And for retailers looking to make a weekend of it, there are discounted hotel rates at all local hotels; visit www.reservation-highway.co.uk/nht17 to book. If you are planning to stay, we recommend booking your hotel as soon as possible as rooms are limited and sold on a first-come-first-served basis.