This Week in FMCG

metcashAnother week has ended as we delivered the latest Australian FMCG business headlines for our readers.

Grocery wholesaler booked a $352 million impairment on industry weakness; Supermarket giants pledged to sustainability commitments and to halve food waste; Poultry giant chief resigned; Meal kit business announced its IPO; Aussie companies created new iconic spread smoothie; Coffee chain retailer boss stepped aside.

Metcash booked $352 million impairment on grocery weakness

Grocery wholesaler Metcash has announced its plans to book a $352 million impairment on its goodwill and other assets in its supermarkets and convenience departments, after losing its Drakes Supermarkets in South Australia. The company said the ongoing competitive intensity in the grocery sector and weakness in the West Australian economy were to blame for $318 million in goodwill and $34 million in other asset impairments.

Woolworths reaffirmed sustainability commitments

Supermarket giant Woolworths has pledged ​its commitment to phase out selling plastic straws; reducing plastic packaging in fruit and vegetables and launching reusable shopping bags. These are some of the few commitments the grocery announced on the eve of World Environment Day.

Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci announced the company plans at an industry sustainability event hosted at its Support Office in Bella Vista, Sydney. He said the grocery giant has “made progress in reducing the amount of plastic in our stores, supported recycling labelling initiatives, and made improvements in energy efficiency, sustainable sourcing and reducing food waste, we know that more needs to be done to meet our customers’ expectations.”

Coles pledged to halve food waste by 2020

Another supermarket giant Coles has pledged to cut food waste across its supermarkets by 2020. AAP reported the grocery plans to slash the amount of plastic used to wrap its fruit and vegetables and make all its home-brand products’ packaging recyclable. Coles managing director John Durkan said the company wanted to lead the way in its commitment to the environment. The latest move comes as the retailer plans to phase out single-use plastic bags on July 1.

Ingham’s chief executive to step down

Aussie poultry producer Ingham’s has announced he will leave the company later this year. Ingham’s chief executive Mick McMahon will step down after the release of Ingham’s full-year results in August, and will be replaced on an interim basis by chief commercial officer Quinton Hildebrand while the firm considers internal and external candidates.

Marley Spoon to raise $70 million

Meal kit company Marley Spoon has announced it will raise $70 million through an IPO. The Germany-based company said it’s offering shares via a type of security that allows international companies to trade on the ASX at an offer price of $1.42 per share to institutional, broker firm and chairman’s list investors. No general public offer will be made.

Marley Spoon is expected to begin trading on the ASX on 2 July under the ticker MMM, with an indicative market capitalisation of around $200 million. Marley Spoon chairman Deena Shiff said the meal kit business is “focused on growing its customer base and improving the efficiency of its operations to enhance its market position and delivering sustainable growth for its shareholders.”

Boost Juice, Vegemite partnered with new Vegemite Boost

Australians Smoothie bar, Boost Juice, and Australia’s iconic spread Vegemite has created the new Vegemite Boost. Aussies will get to try the new smoothie that’s made of chocolate, vanilla yoghurt, banana and a hint of Vegemite. Claire Lauber, managing director of Boost Juice, said “when we first thought of the idea for a Vegemite flavoured smoothie, we knew it was pretty out there. However, Vegemite, when combined with the chocolate, banana and dates, really is delicious.”

Starbucks exec Schultz to step aside

Starbucks Corp executive chairman Howard Schultz has decided to step away from hands-on management at the global coffee chain giant, effective June 26. His recent announcement led to speculation that he will make a US presidential bid. AAP said some investors interpreted Monday’s news as a sign that Schultz was finally making an expected move into politics.

Have a good long weekend everyone! We’ll be back on Tuesday morning for the latest headlines.

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