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Food to Go - June 2018

Charlie Kerlin Charlie Kerlin

Grant Thornton support further expansion for Fane Valley Group

Grant Thornton were delighted to support Fane Valley on its recent acquisition of the agricultural distribution business, Joseph Morton, during May this year. The deal is one of a series of recent acquisitions for the Fane Valley Group which has further increased the diversification of its activities. In Mortons, the Fane Valley Group has secured a strong brand which has been infamous in the agriculture sector since 1856.

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Foodie trends highlighted at Balmoral showcase speech

Professor Grainne Allen, Head of Product Development and M&S, provided great insight on emerging food trends at the showcase Ulster Bank lunch at the Balmoral Show this year. A native of Northern Ireland, Grainne congratulated a number of current M&S suppliers from Northern Ireland who have been at the forefront of Innovation in the sector. The trends, which we will see more of, include:

  • “Brinner” – the disruption of the “standard” meal times
  • Brand Bypass – online platforms impacting when and how products are purchased
  • SmartTech – prediction of 50% of households using smart technology by 2022
  • Veganism – small but growing segment of the market

UK and Ireland food and beverage companies have traditionally been a rich source of innovation, which has ensured their sustainable growth.

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Retailer mega-deal will have an impact on supplier base in Northern Ireland

In late April the potential £51bn merger of Sainsbury and Asda was announced. This is fresh on the back of the Tesco Booker deal. It has been clear that Asda in particular, has been impacted by the rise of the discounters whilst Sainsbury’s have been under pressure from the likes of Tesco in relation to its food and drinks pricing. The deal is expected to deliver £500m of buyers synergies with a keen focus on suppliers – currently there is significant overlap of suppliers covering approximately 100 businesses. In such an environment it is hard to see anything other than the lowest cost supplier being preferred. Many of our local companies have had established supply relationships with both entities and have some levels of dependence. Impacted companies should be reviewing the impact of their own business from the potential of this significant change.

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