COVID-19 latest news from around the world

20 May 2021
As Target delivered another blockbuster quarter, with sales up over 20%, we look at how improving shopper confidence and mobility is driving its growth. First quarter key numbers Total revenue increased 23.4% to $24.2bn Operating income increased 407% to $2.4bn Comparable sales up 22.9%, with comparable store sales growth of 18.0% and comparable digital sales growth of 50% ...
18 May 2021
Food-to-go, one of the categories hardest hit by changes in shopper behaviour during the pandemic, has become a key battleground for retailer sales growth.  Retailers are facing tough comparatives against the peak sales of April and May last year and are looking for categories that can boost sales to offset those that will lose ground as hospitality reopens. With people already moving around m...
07 May 2021
Walmart is collaborating with Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and Higher Ground Productions to launch a new interactive experience that aims to show kids that healthy food can be fun. Inspiring families to cook fresh healthy foods The interactive culinary adventure experience, The Hidden World of Waffles + Mochi, is based on the characters from the Netflix show, Waffles + Mochi. I...
04 May 2021
India’s second wave of COVID-19 infections continue to worsen, with no signs of slowing down.  The country’s overwhelmed healthcare system faces a shortage of hospital beds, oxygen, medicines and vaccines.  This has prompted another round of movement restrictions, with shorter operating hours even for grocery operators and other essential services.  And as more frontline workers report unwell, re...
30 April 2021
Following a strong first quarter, with consolidated net sales up 12.7%, Hershey has raised its outlook for the full financial year. Having initially forecast sales growth of 2-4%, it now expects growth of 4-6%. Source: IGD Research 1. New at-home behaviours are forming new traditions Families continue to embrace the at-home lifestyle, with its brands central to game and movie nights...
29 April 2021
Woolworths has released Q3 results with sales up 0.4% to AU$16,566m. However, the data shows two distinct trading periods during the quarter with sales heavily impacted in the last six weeks as the retailer starts to cycle COVID-19 trading from 2020. So what have we learnt? Growth ahead of Coles, but not on a two-year basis Although food and liquor sales declined sharply in the final six w...
29 April 2021
Shopping malls will reduce operating hours in 18 high-risk provinces. The context After a year of relatively minor outbreaks, Thailand is recording its biggest and fastest spread of COVID-19. The number of cases has increased to 61,699, doubling the number since the start of April. There are 178 fatalities. The Thai government has yet to start mass vaccinations. New hours will take effec...
28 April 2021
As retailers in Australia start to cycle tough comparative trading periods from last year, Coles has reported Q3 sales down 5.1% to AU$8,758m. We pull out our top learnings from the results release and what to expect in Q4. 1. Sales negative, but up 7.2% vs. 2019 and life getting back to normal The impact of COVID-19 was felt differently across the retailers supermarket, liquor and Express ...
27 April 2021
This year, with the government's reopening roadmap on track, the big question for retailers is “ what will be the impact of foodservice reopening? ” In our latest Eating In vs Dining Out report, in collaboration with foodservice consultant Peter Backman, we forecast the size of the UK food and drink market in 2021 and examine how retail and foodservice shares will evolve. The report a...
22 April 2021
We review Metro’s Q2 performance, including strong ecommerce sales, and the outlook as it starts to cycle the surge in demand at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Second quarter key numbers Total sales increased 5.1% to $4.2bn Food same-store sales up 5.5%, and up 10.1% for the first 10 weeks of the quarter Pharmacy same-store sales down 0.8% Ecommerce sales increase...
20 April 2021
Having delivered a strong first quarter, with net revenues up 5%, The Coca-Cola Company’s chairman and CEO, James Quincey, highlighted the continued uncertainty in the trading environment, driven by the different phases of the pandemic across different markets. Asynchronous recovery When the pandemic struck just over a year ago, most markets went into lockdown simultaneously. While the impa...
19 April 2021
We have recently published a new report looking at the growth prospects for major grocery markets across Asia over the next two years. We highlight some of the key findings and why Asia remains a major growth opportunity for FMCG businesses, particularly in the short term. 1. Asian markets are expected to recovery rapidly post-pandemic Most Asian grocery markets experienced accelerated grow...
19 April 2021
This weekend news broke that UK-based natural fast food operator Leon has been bought by EG Group in a deal worth between £80m and £100m.   As well as being hugely important for the companies involved, it also marks a step-change in the UK food-to-go market.   So let’s take a look at deal in more detail and examine why it is so significant for the market in general. A quick guide to Leon ...
12 April 2021
We assess four ways in which Coles has stepped up its investment in offering its shoppers enhanced value in recent weeks, why this activity will continue and what we can expect from Woolworths and other retailers in the coming months. 1. Bringing back 'Down Down' The retailers Down Down everyday low prices campiagn was a key part of the retailer's recovery under Ian McLeod's leadership and ...
09 April 2021
Conagra Brands delivered a strong third quarter performance with net sales up 8.5% to $2.8bn and net income up 37.8% to $281.4m. Although the outlook for COVID-19 is improving in many regions, including enhanced mobility, the company expects demand for food-at-home to remain elevated, underpinning future growth. Four years’ worth of incremental new buyers Given the unprecedented trialling o...
31 March 2021
Following a strong first quarter, with sales up 22% and operating income up 35% year-on-year, McCormick has increased its sales outlook to expected growth of 8-10%. The strong performance reflects its efforts to capitalise on four accelerating consumer trends which the company expects to persist beyond the pandemic. 1. A continued sustained consumer preference for cooking more at home, includi...
29 March 2021
With at-home demand remaining elevated and most retailers picking online orders from stores, the centre store is under pressure for the first time in many years. We look at how retailers are responding to this and what the longer term implications could be. Retailers and suppliers are generating positive returns as they implement omnichannel-focused initiatives. In our latest report for Retail...
25 March 2021
As General Mills reports a strong third quarter, with net sales up 8% to $4.5bn and operating profit up 27% to $827m, we look at how it plans to introduce a two-year growth metric to benchmark its performance as it annualises pandemic-driven growth. Better visibility into the underlying momentum of the business Looking ahead to Q4, General Mills will be competing against pandemic-driven gro...
16 March 2021
We look at how US food and drugstore retailers are playing a pivotal role in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the country as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program (FRPP). Vaccine distribution exceeds over 71m people With over 71m people having received at least one vaccine dose, representing over 20% of the population, the US has made significant progress with its distribu...
16 March 2021
This week leading UK food-to-go specialist Greggs released its annual results for 2020. Despite reporting its first loss in 36 years the tone is optimistic.  So how can Greggs' pandemic experience and plans for the future help predict what will happen to the food-to-go market in the months and years ahead? Some will exit the pandemic financially fitter than others Greggs has weathered the...