Week on a Plate

The week digested: Tesco to cut 1,800 jobs in bakery overhaul and Lidl launches packaging made from ocean bound plastic

Catch up on the food news from 24-28 February, including the departure of Uber Eats boss Jason Droege and Walmart planning to sell its majority stake in Asda

28 February 2020
bakerydeliverypoultrysupermarkets

Tesco culls 1,800 bakery jobs

Tesco has announced plans to cut approximately 1,800 jobs from its in-store bakeries, with baking set to be almost eliminated at 58 stores and scaled back in 201 others. The supermarket said the decision was made in response to more shoppers opting to buy bagels and wraps rather than loaves of bread.

 

Uber Eats boss to leave

Uber Eats boss Jason Droege has announced he will step down from his role having launched the Eats business in December 2015. Droege will be replaced by long-time Uber exec Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, who was previously vice president of Uber’s ride-hailing business outside North America.

 

Lidl launches packaging made from ocean bound plastic

Lidl has become the UK’s first supermarket to launch packaging made from “ocean bound” plastic collected from beaches in South East Asia. According to Lidl, the initiative, which will be rolled out from 30 March across fresh fish products, will initially prevent more than 60 tonnes of plastic being introduce to the ocean per year.

image credit: Getty Images

 

Amazon launches first cashier-less grocery store

Online retail giant Amazon has opened its first full-sized, cashier-less grocery store where customers check in via a smartphone app. The Amazon Go Grocery opened in Seattle on Tuesday and at 10,000 sq ft, it is approximately five times bigger than the existing Amazon Go corner shop-style locations.

 

Tesco opens first cashless store

Meanwhile, Tesco has opened its first cashless store in central London, offering payment methods including contactless cards, debit and credit cards, Apple Pay and Tesco Pay+. The High Holborn store has 14 till points, only two of which are staffed.

 

Walmart looks to sell majority stake in Asda

Asda-owner Walmart is looking to sell a majority stake in the UK supermarket chain following the collapse of a deal to merge Asda with Sainsbury’s last year. Walmart said it was talking to a “small number of interested parties” and that it would likely contain a stake in Asda if the plan moved forward.

 

The Restaurant Group to close dozens of Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito sites

The Restaurant Group has announced plans to close up to 90 Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito sites by the end of 2021 and that it will temporarily suspend its dividend. The closures had initially been expected to be made over a six-year period, with like-for-like sales in its leisure business falling 2.8% in 2019. However, sales at Wagamama increased more than 8.5%.

 

Reckitt Benckiser hit with £5bn charge from Mead Johnson deal

Consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser has been hit with a £5bn writedown from its acquisition of baby formula maker Mead Johnson. The FTSE 100 firm bought Mead Johnson for $18bn in 2017, with the impairment following a review by Laxman Narasimhan who became CEO last September.

 

Ocado chairman sells £1.7m worth of shares

Ocado chairman Lord Rose of Monewden has cashed in 150,000 shares in the online grocer worth approximately £1.7m, less than a year after scooping £7.4m from selling two batches of shares. The 70-year-old Conservative peer became chairman of the company in 2013.

 

Greggs launches vegan hot cross buns

Greggs has launched vegan-friendly hot cross buns in time for Easter, as the bakery chain continues to expand its vegan product range. The hot cross buns, which include no milk or butter, will be available for a limited time only and come after Greggs recently unveiled a vegan version of its classic glazed doughnut.

 

Chlorinated chicken battle rages on

The row over post-Brexit food standards continues to rumble after the UK’s National Farmers’ Union (NFU) hit back at suggestions the government will allow low-standard farm product in trade talks with the US. “We must not tie the hands of British farmers to the highest rung of the standards ladder while waving through food imports which may not even reach the bottom rung,” Minette Batters, president of the NFU, said. In other Brexit news, large farms will face subsidy cuts of up to 25% under the government’s plans for overhauling billions of pounds of financial support for agriculture.

 

Average adult spends just an hour cooking and prepping food

The average modern adult spends half as much time cooking as their parents’ generation, largely due to convenience and microwave cooking. According to a poll conducted by Kenwood, today’s adults spend an average of 61 minutes cooking and preparing their three meals a day, as well as any snacks. A lack of time was considered the biggest barrier.

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