This week in FMCG
Wesfarmers shareholders have voted in favour of the proposed A$20 billion demerger of supermarket Coles. It’s Australia’s biggest ever demerger as the company spins off the grocery chain. It received 601,032,572 votes in favour and 2,900,858 against it. Coles shares will be listed on the ASX on 11:00am on November 21 subject to court approval. Wesfarmers chairman Michael Chaney said it was pleasing to receive overwhelming shareholder support for the demerger and it meant that they can now “implement this significant repositioning of the Group’s portfolio, one which we believe sets up both Wesfarmers and Coles for future success.”
Every year, Coke’s iconic truck tours the UK to hand out soft drinks to the public. However, this year, Coke has cut down the tour itinerary after it received backslash from health campaigners for its sugary drinks. The truck has reduced its tour to 24 stops, down from 42 locations last year. Sugar Smart, a campaign of Sustain to reduce over-consumption of sugar, called on the company to stop handing out free sugary drinks. General manager, Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland, Jon Woods wrote an open letter to Sugar Smart and Sustain highlighting the efforts the soft drinks maker has made in reducing sugar in its drinks. Sugar Smart said in a petition that “with soft drinks being the single largest contributor to children’s sugar intake, Coca-Cola are stopping in locations with some of the worst diet-related health problems.
Chocolate brand Kit Kat has created a new gin product with the Melbourne Gin Company. KitKat Chocolatory head chocolatier Connie Yuen said the experimentation process was “an exciting challenge”. They incorporated Australian native botanicals to create two distinct flavours. The new milk chocolate wafers are infused with gin and added caramelised macadamia nut and juniper berries or candied citrus and rosemary. Melbourne Gin Company founder Andrew Marks said it is “paying homage to London Dry Gin.” Aussies can now get their hands on the new gin Kit Kat at Central Melbourne’s Kit Kat Chocolatory.
Supermarket giant Woolworths has launched the new Christmas Pop-Outs collectables. Similar to its rival Coles but with a holiday team, Woolies created 12 Christmas-themed cardboard characters that shoppers can build themselves. The characters ‘pop-out’ of a cardboard frame and shoppers can follow the instructions at the bottom of the board to build them. Characters including Santa, Reindeer, Elves, Gingerbread Man, Snowman, etc. Aussies can get them with every A$30 spent on products in store or online. Coles said it will roll out three characters every week, for the next four weeks and a collector Christmas tree stand to house the characters will be available to purchase for A$3.
Alibaba’s Singles Day or 11.11 Global Shopping Festival held each year was held in Shanghai in 24 hours this year. The e-commerce giant said that more than 180,000 brands participated from Australia, Japan, US, South Korea and Germany. In the first hour of 11:11 Global Shopping Festival, sales of Australian lamb increased 775 per cent from 2017. Chinese consumers bought international goods including health supplements, milk powder, facial masks, nappies, infant and toddler nutrition and everyday skin care products. Alibaba said a total GMV settled through Alipay reached RMB213.5 billion ($42.45 billion) Alibaba Group chief executive Daniel Zhang said that it “witnessed the strength and rise of China’s consumption economy, and consumers’ continued pursuit to upgrade their everyday lifestyles.”
The Australian Embassy in the Philippines recently held a cookbook launch with Aussie expat Chris Urbano in Manila. His new book, The World of Filipino Cooking: Food and Fun in the Philippines, curates Filipino dishes with Australian ingredients and wine. The event was held at the residence of Australian ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely. She said that “the beauty of what Chris is doing is he is combining Australian ingredients with some Philippine ingredients – a fusion cuisine. [The dishes are] very unique and [have] interesting ingredients.” Urbano cooked local dishes paired with wine such as streetside calamares; Calumpit longganisa; black bean rigatoni pasta and a refreshing Filipino style fruit punch made with fresh produce. He said any dishes can be paired with wine whether for cooking or drinking. He offered Australian riesling and red wine to complement each dish he whipped up for the guests in Manila.
That’s it for this week! Have a restful weekend and check Inside FMCG on Monday morning for the top headlines.