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This week in FMCG

As this week draws to a close, we look back on some of the top headlines in the FMCG sector. Read below what happened this week.

Woolworths revises underpayments estimate to $315 million

Supermarket giant Woolworths increased the staff underpayments by A$15 million, now reaching at least A$315 million. It also announced its half year results saying that despite a strong performance, it was “disappointed” to have let staff down in relation to underpayments. It said the case is “still subject to further analysis of prior periods and the Fair Work Ombudsman’s ongoing investigation”.

Coles to take Fiji Kava to mainstream market in Australia

Supermarket giant Coles is bringing the Australian-Fijian business, Fiji Kava, to the mainstream market in Australia in June. Fiji Kava produces natural ‘noble kava’ products for the alternative medicine market. The grocery will be the first retailer to sell the ‘Sleep’, ‘Mind’ and ‘Body’ ranges. Fiji Kava said it will scale up production over the next three months in time for its launch this year.

Unilever hires T2 boss as the next CEO

Unilever appointed T2 CEO Nicole Sparshott to lead the ANZ business after Clive Stiff retires at the end of next month. She will start in April, reporting to the FMCG giant’s global chief operating officer Nitin Paranjpe, and will also continue to lead the T2 business as global T2 CEO. Stiff is retiring after eight years as the big boss and 34 years in FMCG. He said it was a “privilege” to lead the business and is proud of what the team has achieved since 2012.

Lion, Kellogg’s among top workplaces for gender equality

FMCG giants Lion, Kellogg’s, Caltex, L’Oreal, Smith’s, Reckitt Benckiser and Allen’s were among the list of 2019-20 WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality in Australia. Lion was recognised for the third consecutive year as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality. Stuart Irvine, CEO, Lion Group, said that it is quite heartening to be recognised again and it “sends a strong message to prospective employees, and society more broadly about the emphasis Lion places on gender equality in the workplace”. While it’s the first time for Kellogg’s Australia to be recognised on the WGEA’s list.

PepsiCo to buy Chinese online snacks company

PepsiCo is to acquire one of China’s biggest online snacks companies, Hangzhou Haomusi Food Co. (Be & Cheery), for US$705 million. Be & Cheery creates products such as nuts, dried fruits, meat snacks, baked goods and confectionery. Ram Krishnan, CEO of PepsiCo Greater China, said that as the soft drinks maker explores growing into key markets around the world and further growth ‘in China, for China, with China’.

That’s it for this month. We’ll see you again on Monday morning!

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