Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Like your Burger well-done, really well-done?

Pic: Insidefmcg.com

According to Insidefmcg.com, supermarket giant Coles has released the new Coles Finest Charcoal Brioche Burger Buns. Those with sensitive palates may be relieved to learn that the buns were created using activated charcoal from coconut husks...

The result is a soft, rich buttery bun with a unique texture, colour and flavour.

BTW, if you really want to make dieting easier try googling 'charcoal buns' and select 'images'.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

A Food-To-Go Opportunity for Brands?

 Source: IGD, Gavin Rothwell
The 250 delegates at the IGD's recent food-to-go session had a first-hand opportunity to experience some of the creativity driving CAGRs of up to 8.4% in this sector over the next five years.

Whilst healthy eating was a key theme, it emerged that provided suppliers tailored to consumer need, there is an opportunity for appropriate branded suppliers to move beyond the 'butter portion' approach to food service. Instead, food-to go represents a growth opportunity for brands that can re-package to fit within the creative offerings being made by Coffee Specialists, FTG Specialists and other FTG routes to market.

If any of your colleagues need persuading, why not pass them a copy of the above slide (and check with IGD for additional research), and ask them to compare with the uncertainties of your current routes to market.

The Pound shop opportunity took us by surprise until brands realised that brand-packs could be viable in smaller sizes.

A pity to miss a similar opportunity with food-to-go..... 

Friday, 3 November 2017

Tesco Boss Gives Evidence At Fraud Trial

The trial of the three former Tesco executives accused of being involved in the retailer’s profit overstatement in 2014 continued yesterday, with the group’s current Chief Executive Dave Lewis taking the witness stand. (More)
  • The key issue is that newly appointed Lewis acted comprehensively with appropriate haste to correct the situation…
  • …and as long as this point is accepted by the consumer-shopper, the harm in their eyes will be minimised.
  • With the benefit to suppliers that trade investment has been put into the national spotlight, and is being booked accordingly, by all…

Thursday, 2 November 2017

CMA Delays Revealing Provisional Decision On Tesco’s Proposed Takeover Of Booker

Having originally said it would publish details by the end of October, the CMA yesterday altered its administrative timetable to say the provisional findings would be available ‘early/mid November’. (More)
  • Continued uncertainty means suppliers to Booker revert to short-term mode in terms of dealings with Booker…
  • …and the rest of the wholesale sector.
  • Whilst at the same time anticipating further consolidation in UK wholesale.
  • i.e. reducing the possibility of prices and terms discrepancies…
  • But if the deal goes ahead, be prepared to offer Tesco-Booker terms to all wholesalers.

The unintended consequences of an unprecedented merger:
  • This issue is not about increased Tesco buying power (Booker would add 10% to Tesco purchases)
  • The real issue is that Booker will be able to avail of Tesco buying terms, resulting in unmatchable competition for wholesalers not so privileged…
  • Time for suppliers to conduct what-ifs on supplying all wholesalers on Tesco terms?
  • Or watching Tesco-Booker grow at the expense of other wholesalers - same difference?
  • Or other wholesalers being taken over by other mults? - almost same difference?

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Ground down by the price of your £2.50 high street cappuccino?

 pic: Brian Moore
Given that the humble £2.50 cappuccino has fallen out of favour, coffee connoisseurs demand more than a standard caffeine fix to help them through the day, at a price!

The Daily Mail lists sources like The Connaught in Mayfair (£7.50 for any cup of coffee) and Claridge’s (up to £20 for a filter coffee for two people), apart from the ultimate deep-pocket source like The Wellesley hotel in Knightsbridge serving Wild Kopi Luwak coffee, at £45 a cup (More).

But the real issue has to be the contrast between High Street coffee at £2.50 a cup compared with home filtered at 9p a cup.

In other words, far from seeing up market varieties as a threat, a DIY approach might be more dangerous…

In fact, with street coffee priced at upwards of £2.50 a cup, I have reverted to grinding and filtering best quality French coffee beans, purchased from Waitrose at £2.60 per 227g bag. Each bag yields 5 x 6 cups, effectively costing me 9p a cup. If I could buy wholesale, the price would be no more than £2/bag...

OK, the ambience is worth something, but 30x 'domestic rates'?

In fact, when you think about it, apart from the bill, most people's memory of a great restaurant meal is coloured by the final course, a cup of coffee. Yet, even at these mark-ups, some restaurants risk diner alienation by skimping on the coffee, thereby triggering the 'tell a friend' mechanism' whereby, if you please a customer, they tell one friend, disappoint them and they tell ten, electronically.

Monday, 30 October 2017

CMA Set To Reveal Provisional Decision On Tesco’s Proposed Takeover Of Booker

The regulator began its in-depth probe into the deal back in July, with it collecting views from across the wholesale and convenience sectors into what impact the tie-up will have on Booker’s competitors and independent shopkeepers. (More)
  • The issue remains that if a deal goes ahead, a key wholesaler will have the advantage of buying on Tesco terms...
  • ...and closing Tesco branches will not affect that competitive edge…
An insight for NAMs from NamNews

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Shrink-flating the London Symphony Orchestra, an FMCG parallel?

As part of the cut-backs in funding for the Arts, a government official attended a recent performance and reported a follows:

Schubert’s No.8 in B Minor

To the Chairman, The London Symphony Orchestra

After attending a recent performance of this work, we make the following recommendations:
  1. We note that the twelve first violins were playing identical notes, as were the second violins. Three violins in each section, suitably amplified, would seem to us to be adequate.
  2. Much unnecessary labour is involved in the number of demisemiquavers in this work. We suggest that many of these could be rounded up to the nearest semiquaver, thus saving practice time for the individual player and rehearsal time for the entire ensemble. This simplification would also make more use of trainee and less-skilled players with only marginal loss of precision.
  3. We could find no productivity value in string passages being repeated by the horns; all tutti repeats could also be eliminated without any reduction in efficiency.
  4. In so labour-intensive an undertaking as a symphony, we regard the long oboe tacet passages to be extremely wasteful. What notes this instrument is required to play, could, subject to a satisfactory demarcation conference with the Musicians’ Union, be shared out equitably with the other instruments.

If the above recommendations are implemented, the piece under consideration could be played through in less than half an hour, with concomitant savings in lighting, heating and overtime, wear and tear on the instruments and hall rental fees. Also had the composer been aware of modern cost-effective procedures, he might well have finished this work…

Just like cutting back the contents of our best brand and thinking our most regular consumers won't notice...

And almost as bad as not caring if they do...!

Friday, 27 October 2017

GSK Eyeing Consumer Healthcare Units Of Pfizer And Merck

Alongside a third-quarter trading update on October 25th, the Chief Executive of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) admitted that the British group could be interested in acquiring the consumer healthcare arms of US rival Pfizer and Germany’s Merck. (More)
  • Given GSK current market cap of £70bn, acquisition of Pfizer’s consumer division (£11bn) and Merck division (£3bn) would be significant acquisitions…
  • ....Resulting in the acquired brands being driven hard…
Therefore no harm in competitors conducting what-ifs re the possible changes, just-in-case…