This week in FMCG

News-This-Week-240718-AThis week the Australian FMCG sector has seen plenty of big headlines. We’ve brought you the biggest stories every day. So let’s backtrack on what has happened this week at home and abroad.

Supermarket giants have prompted much discussion amongst readers and industry practitioners this week about everything from free plastics bags to futuristic stores.

Meanwhile a global FMCG giant has had a Federal Court decision deferred on a penalty for misleading customers. The Australian wine sector has launched a five-year plan for the industry which will help catapult Australia as one of the leading winemakers across the globe.

Plastic gymnastics at Coles

Supermarket Coles has received much flak over their decision to continue handing out free reusable plastic bags, despite its intentions last month to reduce plastic waste. Coles had intended to stop providing the reusable bags for free on August 1 and instead charge 15 cents per bag. However, a spokesperson announced on Wednesday that they would be provided for free indefinitely.

A day later, after much criticism from customers and environmentalists, the tables turned again as managing director of Coles told staff that the store will stop giving out free bags to customers on August 29.

Woolworths 3.0 store opens in QLD

Dubbed as the new “Woolworths 3.0”, the new supermarket in Ascot features some elements from the Marrickville Metro store opened in Sydney earlier this year, but with added features for Brisbane shoppers. It includes a drive-through service area with dedicated parking space to collect online shopping. There’s also an app to alert the store shopping are on the way to where shoppers can park in the designated area and there’s no need to get out of the car. This feature is expected to be a favourite for busy parents. Now how cool is that?

Woolworths Queensland state manager Matthew Franich said that the new “Woolworths Racecourse Village Ascot marks the next evolution of our journey to create a neighbourhood food store for Queensland customers.”

Court deferred decision on Heinz penalty

The Federal Court has moved the decision regarding the penalty for FMCG food giant Heinz over misleading consumers about its Little Kids Shredz snacks. Judge White said that he’s “satisfied that each of the Heinz nutritionists ought to have known that a representation that a product containing approximately two-thirds sugar was beneficial to the health of children aged one to three years was misleading.” The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has called for a A$10 million fine to act as a suitable deterrent, but Heinz has proposed A$400,000 as more appropriate. 

Australia sets five-year strategic wine plan

Inside FMCG has interviewed Andreas Clark, Wine Australia CEO on the liquor organisations’ plans for the local industry. He said that their goal is for a prosperous Australian grape and wine community. The wine organisation has launched different activities from the Australian Wine Made Our Way campaign to the Aussie Wine Week in the US.

Why ALDI is successful

Australian businessman Dick Smith has pinpointed ALDI as the downfall of his food business due to the discount grocer’s “extreme capitalism” and has even warned the CEOs of Woolworths and Coles. The Conversation wrote that an an important element of ALDI’s strategy is a severely limited range of “preselected” products. The company’s smaller range (some 1,500 store-keeping units as opposed to 20,000 to 30,000 in a large Coles or Woolworths outlet) has several advantages – in terms of store footprints, warehousing infrastructure and supplier discounts, to name a few.

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