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Wed 28th Oct 2020 - YO! to expand partnership with Co-op to 160 stores nationwide
YO! to expand partnership with Co-op to 160 stores nationwide: YO!, the Richard Hodgson-led global multi-brand, multi-channel Japanese food group, is to expand its partnership with retailer Co-op to supply YO! To Go products in 160 of its stores nationwide. The company said that the rollout follows a successful trial in Co-op’s London Moorgate store which launched in January 2020. The range will feature YO! To Go products including crispy salmon rolls, vegan sushi and chicken katsu bites. YO! said that the move demonstrated its growth into retail channels, specifically its expansion in the grab-and-go market, which includes YO! To Go pre-packaged sushi in 400 Sainsbury’s stores and 100 David Lloyd Leisure Centres. The group’s Taiko brand is also available in Waitrose. In addition, the company has 52 kiosks in Tesco stores and 30 kiosks under the Panku brand in Asda offering food for now and food for later. Earlier this month, Propel revealed that YO! had begun trialling a Indian street food concept called Kulaba Kitchen with Asda. The company is set to trial Kulaba Kitchen over the next couple of months in five stores. David Hampton, managing director of Retail at YO!, said: “Expanding our partnership with Co-op is another important milestone as we progress our multi-channel, multi brand strategy. Our mission is to increase the availability of high-quality, Japanese food across the UK and broadening our retail offer so that there are more ways consumers can try our food and products is a fundamental part of achieving this.” The YO! To Go range will be available in 160 Co-op stores from 28 October, with an initial 20% off promotion running until 18 November.

Heineken reports beer volume down by ‘high 20s’ in pub estate in Third Quarter: Heineken has reported beer volume returned to low single digit growth with double-digit growth in Heineken, Birra Moretti and Sol in its Third Quarter. Beer volume declined in the high twenties in the on-trade overall with a similar performance in its Star Pubs and Bars pub estate. Beer volume grew in the high-twenties in the off-trade, ahead of the market. Dolf van den Brink, chairman of the executive board and chief executive, said: “Our performance during the third-quarter continued to be impacted by the covid-19 crisis. As many lock-downs eased, our volumes improved sequentially compared to the last quarter. We outperformed the category across most of our key markets, with Heineken showcasing a stellar performance. We continued strict cost mitigation actions whilst balancing investments behind our brands and future growth opportunities. The situation remains highly volatile and uncertain. We expect rolling outbreaks of covid-19 to continue to meaningfully impact many of our markets in addition to rising recessionary pressures. As we navigate the crisis, we are deliberately shaping how to adapt and emerge stronger from the pandemic. I am proud of the relentless drive of our employees and the agility they continue to demonstrate, taking care of one another, our customers, suppliers and communities.” The company added: “To provide security to our employees, Heineken has committed to no structural lay-offs because of covid-19 during 2020. We continue to support our customers, suppliers and the communities most impacted by the pandemic. We continue to assist our customers with advice and tools, pay all our suppliers on time and reduce payment terms to some small suppliers. Additionally, we provide pandemic relief to support front-line medical facilities in the communities where we operate, including water, non-alcoholic beverages, hand sanitiser, and monetary contributions. The covid-19 crisis continued to affect all geographies during the third quarter. Beer volume declined organically by 1.9% in the third quarter, a sequential improvement relative to the previous quarter across all regions. The on-trade remained affected by restrictions to operate and some important markets like South Africa and parts of Mexico faced bans on the sale of alcoholic beverages. Our performance was ahead of the market in most of our key markets.”

Local restaurants launch free meal service for low income families: A group of independent west Kent hospitality businesses have banded together to support low-income families who are not benefitting from free school meals during the half-term break. Following the government’s recent decision not to extend meal vouchers in England over the holidays, local restaurants and suppliers are taking it upon themselves to help their communities. The reactionary initiative was launched by Sankey’s owner and operator Matthew Sankey in Tunbridge Wells, and has also recruited the assistance of other popular venues from surrounding areas, including Pembury, Tonbridge, Matfield, Kilndown, and Goudhurst. Among the participating eateries are The Small Holding, Verdigris, and Fuggles Beer Café, all of whom have signed up to prepare and distribute 350 meals for select locations. Sulston’s Kitchen, The Mount Edgcumbe, and the Camden Arms Hotel are likewise providing assistance, along with The Hopbine Inn, 65mm Coffee, and The Star and Eagle. “When the government announced that they would not be offering free meals throughout half-term, we all knew we had to do something ourselves,” said Sankey, proprietor of Sankey’s Seafood Kitchen & Bar, and The Old Fishmarket, both in Tunbridge Wells. “Together, we want to help feed children from lower income homes, and ease the financial burden on parents in this difficult period. Now is the time to come together, and rally around those who would otherwise go hungry.”

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