This week in FMCG
Quite an interesting this week has been in the FMCG industry with big names making the headlines.
Australian retail conglomerate Wesfarmers has requested a trading halt this morning pending an announcement on its planned A$20 billion demerger of its supermarket Coles. The trading halt is until Tuesday. In August, the company said it would retain 15 per cent of post-demerger and retain its 50 per cent ownership of its rewards card, flybuys.
The Australian Government finally axed the tampon tax on Wednesday. It decided to remove the 10 per cent tax on tampons and pads, which will come into effect on January 1, 2019. Prime minister Scott Morrison told Perth radio station 6PR that he wanted to see the tax changed. Others claimed the tax was sexist as it doesn’t include condoms and Viagra.
Coke has purchased a 45 per cent stake in Made Group in a joint acquisition with its local drinks distributor Coca-Cola Amatil. Made Group’s brands include Cocobella, Rokeby Farms, Impressed and Nutrient Water. Its co-founders Luke Marget and Matt Dennis will remain in charge of the drinks business as Coca-Cola Australia and Coca-Cola Amatil support it by growing its market reach and distribution.
Lion has decided to cut costs by cutting its number of workers at the Milton brewery in Brisbane. The factory manufactures XXXX beer and will lose 25 full-time workers while 36 jobs are expected to go at the West End brewery in Adelaide. The liquor giant said job cuts are needed in order to remain competitive in the marketplace “against a range of cost pressures” and the “continued decline” in the mainstream beer market. Lion is also currently undergoing a strategic review and said that “our preference would always be to offer voluntary over compulsory redundancies in the first instance.”
The discount grocer is set to expand to 130 new stores between 2019 and 2020. This comes after ALDI’s major £1bn investment in store refurbishments last year. The supermarket giant reported sales in the UK and Ireland lifted by 16.4% to £10.2bn in the year to 31 December 2017. Giles Hurley, CEO of ALDI UK and Ireland said the discount grocer enticed shoppers with lower prices and good quality produce.
German supermarket giant Kaufland has geared up its recruitment efforts in Australia. It advertised an area manager job opening recently which will send chosen candidates for a 14-month “training and development” period in Europe where they will “become a fluent German speaker” and learn what makes the supermarket brand successful. It also offered a “fully maintained company BMW” vehicle for transportation around Europe.
Choice pinpointed several brands for misleading consumers in their annual Shonkys Awards. This year it targeted Kellogg’s, for its Nutri-Grain Banana & Honey Smash Protein Squeezer for too much sugar. The consumer group said that it tempted kids to eat an unhealthy breakfast but Kellogg’s told Inside FMCG that Nutri-Grain To Go product range is still a great food as “almost half of the sugar comes from the Banana puree, honey and oats [as well as cane sugar.”