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Weekly Round-Up ... 29 August 2023

By Donna Ahern
Weekly Round-Up ... 29 August 2023

Across India's malls and high streets, the mood at fashion shops is sombre - foot traffic is down, sales are low and many brands are embarking on steeper-than-usual discounts for longer-than-usual periods of time, reports Reuters. The culprit? Sky-high food inflation after erratic monsoon rains damaged crops and disrupted supply chains. Prices for tomatoes have rocketed, at one point close to five times since June, while those for onions, another staple in Indian cooking, have risen 80% in some areas like New Delhi. Food inflation for July hit a staggering 11.5%, far more than 4.6% in June and marking a three-year high. As purse strings tighten, the pain felt by India's clothing and shoe retail sector - worth an estimated $62 billion in 2022 according to Euromonitor International - is fanning concerns about the health of consumer spending which had already been slowing even before the shocking rises in food prices.

US retailer Kroger plans to offer fresh produce from vertical farming company 80 Acres Farms to around 1,000 stores across the Midwest and Southeast, reports 80 Acres Farms has been supplying to Kroger since 2019 and currently serves more than 300 stores across Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, the company noted. Dan De La Rosa, Kroger's group vice president of fresh merchandising, said, "At Kroger, we believe everyone deserves access to fresh, delicious food. 80 Acres' unique approach and technology enables us to offer fresh, nutritious produce to our customers while advancing sustainable growing practices. "Together, we'll expand the reach of these long-lasting and great-tasting 80 Acres Farms items year-round."

Spirits group Semper idem Underberg AG has reported 3% growth in net sales to €145.2 million in its its financial year 2022/2023. The company outperformed the market for another year in a row as industry turnover of German spirits companies fell by 2% in 2022, according to data from Nielsen IQ. Adjusted EBITDA for the period amounted to €11.6 million despite adverse conditions due to inflationary pressure, including decreased consumption and cost increases in energy, raw materials and packaging materials, Underberg AG added. "In the past few months we have achieved significant increases in product availability and production," CFO Michael Söhlke said in a statement.


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