We round up the top stories that have caught our eye over the past four weeks.
- Pret’s new owners JAB
It was revealed at the end of May that Pret, the highly respected, London based food-to-go specialist, had been acquired by JAB Holdings, adding a new element to its already significant food-to-go stable. Its existing portfolio includes Sweden’s Espresso House, Krispy Kreme donuts and Panera Bread. Find out more about JAB here.
- Pret to open in Germany
Separately, this news came off the back of the announcement that Pret would open its first German store later this year, in Berlin’s main railway station. This comes off the back of recent openings in the Netherlands and Denmark, again focused on transit locations.
- Crussh to partner with Sodexo
Crussh has been highly active in partnering with a number of organisations, building on its existing partnership with fitness centre manager Everyone Active, expanding into travel locations through a new agreement with SSP and targeting 35 new locations in conjunction with Sodexo. It has also opened a store at Sainsbury's Pimlico supermarket, in London. Its fit food focused, healthier eating oriented positioning is making the food-to-go specialist an attractive partner.
- New Jumbo City format hits Amsterdam
Dutch retailer Jumbo is one we’ve watched closely recently, not least on account of its format innovation through its Foodmarkt concept and its recent acquisition of highly respected foodservice specialist La Place. It’s combining these elements together in its latest store formats, including, significantly, two smaller format, convenience oriented stores that have opened in Amsterdam as part of the expanding Jumbo City chain. Look out for our store visit report, coming soon to Retail Analysis.
- Waitrose unveils wider vegan and vegetarian push
In-store in the UK, Waitrose has been upping its focus on vegan and vegetarian ranges, with dedicated sections in-store for e4ach designed to make it easier for shoppers to navigate through the store and find vegan and vegetarian products. These have been launched at 130 stores, supported by a wide selection of new products – it has expanded its vegetarian and vegan range by 60%. Iceland, too, has been expanding its range.
- Benugo launches new vegan menu
Across a number of UK food-to-go specialists we’ve seen a stronger focus on showcasing vegetarian and vegan solutions, not least with Leon promoting its meatless meatballs in the early part of the year. Benugo is the latest specialist to bolster its range, with a range of new menu items, including a vegan reuben sandwich and a jackfruit salad bowl.
- Howard Schultz steps down from Starbucks
Howard Schultz, the key figure in transforming Starbucks to become the global coffee shop leader it is today, is to leave Starbucks at the end of June. While he stepped down from the CEO role in April 2017, with Kevin Johnson becoming CEO, Schultz retained the position of Executive Chairman, continuing to play a key role in the business.
- Deliveroo and Just Eat up their competitive game
Delivery platform Deliveroo announced that for the first time it will allow restaurants to sign up without having to commit to using the Deliveroo rider network. This puts it in direct competition with the biggest UK delivery platform Just Eat who recently announced that it is aiming to delivery more orders itself rather than leaving this to individual restaurants as it has done historically. With more and more consumers choosing the convenience of food delivery, the subject is a hot topic amongst food-to-go operators, restaurants and retailers. Some have been raising concerns that delivery platforms have too much control over customer data whilst others, like Rosa’s Thai, have successfully established their own delivery service. Both consumers and operators may benefit from the increased competitions as the two biggest players in the UK market go head-to-head.
- Fulham Market Hall opens
Food halls have been a trend gaining momentum across North America and Europe over the past 18 months, with trailblazers such as Lisbon’s Time Out Market and Amsterdam’s Foodhallen leading the way. While London may have been slightly behind the curve, it’s catching up fast, with three major openings from just one business alone in London this year. The first of these has just opened in Fulham, with others set to follow in Victoria and Oxford St later this year. Look out for our forthcoming guide to New York’s food halls, published shortly for subscribers on Retail Analysis.
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