This week FMCG was rocked by some big supermarket news. Take a look back at the rest of this week’s stories in the sector.
A former employee of supermarket giant Coles has been charged theft and deception. The ex-staffer allegedly stole over A$1.9 million from the supermarket giant through phoney invoices. Victoria police arrested the 36-year-old Aaron Baslangic, on Friday in Sandringham, Melbourne. He was the former head of strategic initiatives and B2B for Coles Online. Coles said he falsified invoices requesting payment to third parties and forged supervisor’s approval for the payments. The amounts ranged from A$48,000 to A$413,139. Coles told Inside FMCG that irregularities were detected by its internal finance checks and they promptly obtained a freezing order from the Victorian Supreme Court.
Australian vitamins company Blackmores reported its annual profit plunged by 23.6 per cent to A$53 million due to stricter e-commerce laws in China. In January, China changed its e-commerce laws to ensure sustainable development and to protect consumer rights. Blackmores said in an ASX statement that the company “continue(s) to see an ongoing evolution in the way Chinese consumers access our products”.
Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market launched its market produce online with YourGrocer. Customers can now order fresh produce including meat, fish, vegetables and bread. The Melbourne online grocery start-up will do same day delivery on orders made before 11am. A number of greengrocers, butchers, fishmongers and delicatessens from the Queen Victoria Market partnered with YourGrocer. About 25 traders will join the platform in the next few months.
Chinese e-commerce company JD.com and Aussie dairy giant The a2 Milk Company strengthened their relationship, in the wake of China’s plans to have more local formula output and reduce reliance on imports. JD Worldwide said it will help a2 Milk sell more high-quality dairy products to the local market via online and offline. In June, the Chinese government revealed plans of surpassing 60 per cent self-sufficiency for baby formula and improve the quality of domestic brands.
Mars Food Australia is investing in six food start-ups with innovative projects from supporting good mental health to harvesting indigenous ingredients. Out of 224 applicants, only six were chosen for Mars’ inaugural Seeds of Change Accelerator program in collaboration with Food Innovation Australia Limited. It was designed to help fast-track the growth of new food start-ups. Skye Blackburn of Edible Bug Shop uses a “robotic technology specifically for use in insect farming and implemented processes to extract nutritional ingredients from insects”.
Have a good weekend. Inside FMCG will be back on Monday morning.