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News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

Samsung Maintains US Market Share of 28.5%, Mostly Unscathed by Note 7 Issues LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Feb 8, 2017) - The latest smartphone OS sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that in the fourth quarter of 2016, iOS continued year-on-year growth across all tracked regions except Urban China. Android gained in most markets, except the US, Great Britain, and Australia. "Although Android still has a larger ecosystem, Apple was the top brand in the US and Great Britain for the final quarter of 2016," said Lauren Guenveur, Consumer Insight Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. "In EU5, Samsung was first, with Huawei second. In Urban China, Apple was not able to recapture first place, as Huawei continued to hold that spot." In the US, iOS accounted for 44.4% of smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from 39.1% in the same period of 2015. Android took 54.4% of sales, down 4.7 percentage points from 4Q 2015. "iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were the top sellers for the holiday period, netting their highest share since their release in mid-September, and representing 28% of smartphones sold in the fourth quarter," Guenveur added. "Despite the expected fallout from Samsung's problems with the Galaxy Note 7, the company maintained a share of 28.5%, down only 0.9 percentage points from one year earlier. Samsung's Galaxy S7 flagship device, announced at Mobile World Congress 2016, was the third best-selling phone in the fourth quarter. Samsung's decision to not announce the Galaxy S8 at Mobile World Congress 2017 is not expected to have a large impact on sales, as rumors circulate that the launch will be close to the traditional April date that customers have come to anticipate." Android accounted for 50.6% of smartphone sales in Great Britain in the fourth quarter of 2016 vs. iOS at 47.6%. This marked a slight decline for Android from 51.9% in the same period the previous year, while iOS grew nine percentage points. "Apple achieved its highest loyalty ever in Britain, with 96% of those Apple owners who replaced their phones buying another iPhone," reported Dominic Sunnebo, Business Unit Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe. "More than 50% of iPhone 7 buyers were upgrading from iPhone 6 as the brand's lifecycle continues to hover around 24 months. Beyond Apple and Samsung's combined 73% share of smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2016, the market remained fragmented. Brands like OnePlus, Alcatel, and Google experienced an increase from the prior year, while big names like Sony, LG, and HTC declined." Android accounted for 80.7% of Q4 smartphone sales in Urban China, an increase of 9.3 percentage points year-over-year. iOS made up 19.1% of smartphone sales, down from 27.1% in the same period a year earlier. "iPhone 7 remained the top-selling model in the Chinese market in the last quarter of 2016 at 6.8%. However, its share was smaller than last year's iPhone 6s, which represented 10.5% of sales in the fourth quarter of 2015," said Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia. "Looking at the broader market, there was a shift in popularity. The Top 10 list of smartphone models sold in Urban China in 2015 consisted of just three manufacturers Apple, Huawei, and Xiaomi. In 2016, a fourth vendor was added to that list -- Oppo." Smartphone sales were down overall in the last quarter of 2016 compared to the final quarter of 2015, Guenveur pointed out. "Considering iPhone 7's top-seller status, the absence of a round headphone jack was not a big issue for consumers -- and the fallout from the Galaxy Note 7 battery problems was not a significant factor either. As smartphones become commodities, there are fewer compelling reasons to frequently buy a new one, even when holiday discounts are plentiful. Technology continuously moves forward, and while smartphones remain at the center of many new technologies like VR, connected home, and IoT, they are no longer the most exciting devices in the household," she concluded. Note: The Kantar Worldpanel ComTech dataviz can be embedded into online articles for a visual representation of Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Smartphone OS market share data. Click here to copy the embed code. Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's smartphone OS market share data provides the media and businesses with access to the most up-to-date sales and market share figures for the major smartphone operating systems. This information is based on research extracted from the Kantar Worldpanel ComTech global consumer panel. ComTech is the largest continuous consumer research mobile phone tracking panel of its kind in the world, conducting over one million interviews per year in Europe alone. ComTech tracks mobile phone behavior -- including phone purchases, bills/airtime, source of purchase, and usage. It also delivers additional data to promote an understanding of the drivers of share changes, and consumer insight market dynamics. All consumer data in this release excludes enterprise sales. About Kantar Worldpanel Kantar Worldpanel is the global expert in shoppers' behaviour. Through continuous monitoring, advanced analytics and tailored solutions, Kantar Worldpanel inspires successful decisions by brand owners, retailers, market analysts and government organisations globally. With over 60 years' experience, a team of 3,500, and services covering 60 countries directly or through partners, Kantar Worldpanel turns purchase behaviour into competitive advantage in markets as diverse as FMCG, impulse products, fashion, baby, telecommunications and entertainment, among many others. For further information, please visit us at www.kantarworldpanel.com. Twitter: Google+: LinkedIn: RSS: Newsletter: Kantar is one of the world's leading data, insight and consultancy companies. Working together across the whole spectrum of research and consulting disciplines, its specialist brands, employing 30,000 people, provide inspirational insights and business strategies for clients in 100 countries. Kantar is part of WPP and its services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies. For further information, please visit us at www.kantar.com Twitter: Facebook: Google +: LinkedIn


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

Apple Finishes 2016 as Top Smartphone Brand in the US NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Feb 8, 2017) - In September 2016, as the world awaited the release of iPhone 7, the anticipated absence of a traditional earphone jack was all anyone was talking about, according to a blog post this week by Lauren Guenveur, Consumer Insight Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. The press warned that this could spell trouble for Apple, and theorized that no one would want a phone without a standard audio jack. "As often happens, buyers demonstrated that the pundits were wrong and Apple was right," Guenveur wrote. "Actual sales numbers for Q4 2016 showed iPhone 7 to be the best-selling phone in the US, Great Britain, Urban China, France, Germany, Japan, and Australia. This boosted Apple's market share higher than during the fourth quarter of 2015 when iPhone 6s was the flagship device." "In an attempt to beat iPhone 7/7 Plus to market, Samsung hurriedly released the Note 7, and it was soon plagued by two different battery issues that ultimately led to its complete recall. As it turned out, the Note 7 problems have not hurt Samsung badly at all. Samsung sales in the US stayed nearly the same year-over-year, and the company remained the second largest brand in the US, with 28.5% of smartphone sales in Q4 2016. The Galaxy S7, which was occasionally mistaken for the Note 7 in some FAA airline safety notices, was the third-best selling device on the market." However, Samsung did not come out completely unaffected, Guenveur added. "Loyalty to the brand in the USA in the fourth quarter was 62%, the lowest level since before the launch of the Galaxy S6 in the first quarter of 2015, when it was 58%," she reported. "The announcement of the Samsung S8 and whatever features it comes with it might be enough to bring these numbers back up, as the Note 7's past difficulties fade from the collective memory." Google achieved a 2% share of smartphone sales with its new Pixel and Pixel XL phones in Q4 2016. Pixel is outselling more established brands in the USA, including Alcatel, HTC, Huawei, and Microsoft. "With Apple and Samsung capturing a combined 73% of US sales, Pixel may not be the predicted iPhone or Samsung killer, but it is certainly giving other struggling Android brands a run for their money. With production of the Pixel 2 rumored to have begun, it will be interesting to watch how Google evolves the Pixel, and how they take on the big competitive 2017 releases, such as the Samsung S8, and whatever name Apple gives its next iPhone," Guenveur said. The full text of Lauren Guenveur's recent blog post can be found here: https://goo.gl/kXMUNF Kantar Worldpanel Comtech also reported today that in the fourth quarter of 2016, iOS continued year-on-year growth across all tracked regions except Urban China. Android gained in most markets, except the US, Great Britain, and Australia. In the US, iOS accounted for 44.4% of smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from 39.1% in the same period of 2015. Android took 54.4% of sales, down 4.7 percentage points from 4Q 2015. "Although Android still has a larger ecosystem, Apple was the top brand in the US and Great Britain for the final quarter of 2016," Lauren Guenveur said. "In EU5, Samsung was first, with Huawei second. In Urban China, Apple was not able to recapture first place, as Huawei continued to hold that spot." iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were the top sellers for the holiday period, netting their highest share since their release in mid-September, and representing 28% of smartphones sold in the fourth quarter. Samsung's decision not to announce the Galaxy S8 at Mobile World Congress 2017 is not expected to have a large impact on sales, as rumors circulate that the launch will be close to the traditional April date that customers have come to anticipate. Smartphone sales were down overall in the last quarter of 2016 compared to the final quarter of 2015, the Kantar report said, adding that as smartphones become commodities, there are fewer compelling reasons to frequently buy a new one even when promotions are plentiful. Note: The Kantar Worldpanel ComTech dataviz can be embedded into online articles for a visual representation of Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Smartphone OS market share data. Click here to copy the embed code. To view the complete global OS data and an optional PDF file, please visit: https://goo.gl/q7IyZM Kantar Worldpanel is the global expert in shoppers' behavior. Through continuous monitoring, advanced analytics, and tailored solutions, Kantar Worldpanel inspires successful decisions by brand owners, retailers, market analysts, and government organizations globally. For more information, please visit: www.kantarworldpanel.com For further information, please visit us at www.kantarworldpanel.com. Twitter: Google+: LinkedIn: RSS: Newsletter:


News Article | May 22, 2017
Site: www.fooddive.com

Ever since Lidl announced it was coming to the United States in late 2015, the nation's grocers have been bracing for impact. Now with Lidl's first grand openings a few weeks away, it's just about showtime. With more than 10,000 stores in 27 countries, Lidl already is a global retail behemoth. Most of its offerings are store brand merchandise, and it uses those agreements to bring high quality at low prices. Its U.S. stores, according to executives, are going to be much the same as its European counterparts in that regard. Shelves will be filled with European chocolates, fresh produce, gourmet-curated wines and meat and fish bearing sustainability certifications. Stores also will have fresh bakeries producing breads and pastries throughout the day. And looking at the UK as an example, traditional grocers may definitely see some of their market share slipping. Since 2013, when Lidl and Aldi both started their push into the British market, their combined market share has grown more than 75%, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel. Aldi is now Britain's fifth-largest grocer, with about 7% of the market, while Lidl is the eighth largest, controlling 5%. Aldi, which has been a player in the U.S. since the 1970s, has already started retooling its model for Lidl's entrance with a $1.6 billion chain-wide renovation. Aldi's revamp will bring some of the aesthetics and selection that Lidl is known for to its stores, setting up a direct challenge. But despite its long history of U.S. grocery retail, Aldi has not dethroned the Krogers or Wal-Marts. Both Aldi and Lidl are known for a streamlined selection of goods — only one type of ketchup, just store-brand varieties of cereal. Larger groceries like Wal-Mart and Kroger, on the other hand, are known for a large selection of goods. This is something they can highlight in battles for shoppers. They also can work with major manufacturers to create exclusive products — something that Hostess has done with Deep Fried Twinkies at Wal-Mart and Hershey's and Mars products only sold at Wal-Mart and Target. Also, the hard discounters are not known for their online grocery presence. This is an area that is growing, with a Unata report finding about one in three U.S. shoppers is expected to order groceries online this year. According to a joint study from the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen, online grocery is predicted to bring in $100 billion a year by 2025. Many grocery retailers are working to build out their click-and-collect and grocery delivery options through their own initiatives or third-party firms like Instacart and Shipt. They  also should highlight these options. Lidl US execs said this week that they have no current plans to enter the e-grocery market.


News Article | May 22, 2017
Site: www.fooddive.com

Ever since Lidl announced it was coming to the United States in late 2015, the nation's grocers have been bracing for impact. Now with Lidl's first grand openings a few weeks away, it's just about showtime. With more than 10,000 stores in 27 countries, Lidl already is a global retail behemoth. Most of its offerings are store brand merchandise, and it uses those agreements to bring high quality at low prices. Its U.S. stores, according to executives, are going to be much the same as its European counterparts in that regard. Shelves will be filled with European chocolates, fresh produce, gourmet-curated wines and meat and fish bearing sustainability certifications. Stores also will have fresh bakeries producing breads and pastries throughout the day. And looking at the UK as an example, traditional grocers may definitely see some of their market share slipping. Since 2013, when Lidl and Aldi both started their push into the British market, their combined market share has grown more than 75%, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel. Aldi is now Britain's fifth-largest grocer, with about 7% of the market, while Lidl is the eighth largest, controlling 5%. Aldi, which has been a player in the U.S. since the 1970s, has already started retooling its model for Lidl's entrance with a $1.6 billion chain-wide renovation. Aldi's revamp will bring some of the aesthetics and selection that Lidl is known for to its stores, setting up a direct challenge. But despite its long history of U.S. grocery retail, Aldi has not dethroned the Krogers or Wal-Marts. Both Aldi and Lidl are known for a streamlined selection of goods — only one type of ketchup, just store-brand varieties of cereal. Larger groceries like Wal-Mart and Kroger, on the other hand, are known for a large selection of goods. This is something they can highlight in battles for shoppers. They also can work with major manufacturers to create exclusive products — something that Hostess has done with Deep Fried Twinkies at Wal-Mart and Hershey's and Mars products only sold at Wal-Mart and Target. Also, the hard discounters are not known for their online grocery presence. This is an area that is growing, with a Unata report finding about one in three U.S. shoppers is expected to order groceries online this year. According to a joint study from the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen, online grocery is predicted to bring in $100 billion a year by 2025. Many grocery retailers are working to build out their click-and-collect and grocery delivery options through their own initiatives or third-party firms like Instacart and Shipt. They  also should highlight these options. Lidl US execs said this week that they have no current plans to enter the e-grocery market.


News Article | March 24, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Get the cheese sauce on. Supermarkets are slashing the price of cauliflower because a relatively warm start to the year has produced a glut of florets. Farmers say they have been producing 50% to 100% more crop than usual in recent weeks. A new harvest of produce from Lincolnshire is about to come on the market, adding to stocks already coming from Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and Suffolk. Morrisons is to cut cauliflower prices to 75p early next week, after Tesco cut its prices from £1 to 79p this week. Asda cut its price to 70p on Thursday, compared with the 95p it was charging in late February. The glut comes after shortages of courgettes, spinach, lettuce and other leafy vegetables earlier this year when snow and wet weather in southern Spain held up harvests. Iceberg lettuces soared in price by nearly 70% as some supermarkets shipped them in from the US. Sources said supermarkets were struggling to clear cauliflower stocks despite a 12% rise in the number sold in the three months to the end of February compared with the same period the previous year, according to the market research firm Kantar Worldpanel. The extra sales have been driven by cheaper prices and by a trend to serve cauliflower as a low-carb alternative. The fashion for clean eating has sparked demand for cauli rice and cauli couscous – basically cauliflower blasted in a food processor – and for cauliflowers to be roasted whole or cut into “steaks”. The warm spring has also put British-grown asparagus on shelves earlier than usual. The first spears of the season have already gone on sale at Marks & Spencer. British asparagus is usually not in season until late April or early May but good weather combined with new early varieties and growing methods have helped produce an early crop. Richard Mowbray, commercial director of the vegetable grower TH Clements and vice-chairman of the Brassica Growers Association, said the cauliflower glut had been building up since November. Colder weather then delayed crops that should have been harvested earlier but have become ready to cut at the same time as later plantings. The weather has a big impact on the growth of cauliflower, which must be harvested within a short time frame – as little as a week – making it tricky to control stocks. “We’ve had a glut for three or four weeks now. The colder weather this week should slow it down, but we’ve got maybe another week or so,” Mowbray said. Tesco said it was buying 220,000 more cauliflowers from its producers this month – on top of the 400,000 it usually stocks – to help tackle the cauliflower mountain. Greville Richards, managing director of Southern England Farms based in Cornwall, said he had ploughed 40 to 50 acres of the 2,000 acres of cauliflowers he grows back into fields as supply had outstripped demand. But he has also been exporting cauliflower to northern Europe, including Denmark, and had sold more cauliflower than usual in the UK in January as crops expected to be supplied from Spain had been held back by poor weather there. Richards said it had been tricky dealing with the overstocks but he was “financially pleased” with his growing season. “We did win business when Spain was out of action and the lower exchange rates have helped exports,” he said. Mowbray said he had also ploughed in some of his cauliflower crop and had frozen some but had been able to export nearly a fifth of his recent crop to Europe, mainly Scandinavia, as the fall in the value of the pound had made British produce more attractive.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.foodanddrinktechnology.com

According to Kantar Worldpanel, sales of frozen food in retail grew by 1.3% in value year on year (yoy) in the 52 weeks to 27 March 2017, with the sector now valued at £5.77 billion. Ice cream and frozen confectionery categories saw yoy value growth of 4% and 11% respectively, accompanied by respective yoy volume growth of 2.9% and 7.1%. These sub categories are now valued at £1.22bn and represent more than 21% of the total frozen food retail market. In part, frozen confectionery is being driven by increasing demand for frozen fruit which saw a sales growth of over 35%. This drive for healthy eating has also led to other sub categories seeing growth, with vegetables seeing value growth of 3.3% and volume growth of 3.3% yoy. This is driven by the growth in popularity of frozen sweet potato which saw sales increase by 119% in 2016. John Hyman, chief executive of British Frozen Food Federation, comments, “As consumers are increasingly concerned about healthy choices, many treat categories are struggling to see real growth, frozen seems to be bucking this trend and that’s partly down to how the category has positioned its sweet products. “By owning the occasional indulgence occasion through significant, premium NPD across the board, frozen confectionery and ice cream categories have managed to maintain their appeal to consumers still looking for life’s little luxuries. Similarly, this trend has enabled frozen to expand into new meal occasions and widen its appeal to new groups of consumers with a wide range of prepared fruit and vegetable options to offer healthier choices.”


News Article | July 31, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

Online spending on films, music and games in the UK has bounced back, thanks to Star Wars: The Force Awakens and consumers buying the back catalogues of David Bowie and Prince. More than a third of shoppers in the physical entertainment market bought a product with the online retailer Amazon in the 12 weeks to 3 June. This helped the company to achieve its highest ever share of spending on DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs and games outside the Christmas period, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Online sales of physical entertainment products stuttered during 2015 as the high street, led by HMV, made a fightback. Consumers, however, have turned back to Amazon and other online sites because of the size of their catalogue as they look for classic songs and albums by Prince and David Bowie, who both died this year. Prince sold more albums during the 12-week period than any artist apart from Adele. Sales of CDs more than six months old grew by 9% year on year, helped by Prince and Bowie. No music titles, however, made it into the top 30 entertainment products for the quarter. Following its box office success, the latest Star Wars movie was the bestselling title in the entertainment market, with 1.8 million shoppers picking up a copy of the DVD or Blu-ray. Tesco was the big winner, taking nearly a third of all spending on the product. Tesco’s overall sales fell 0.5% in the entertainment sector, meaning its market share dropped slightly to 15.2%. On the high street, HMV’s sales rose 2.3% year on year, increasing its market share from 14% to 16.3%. Amazon’s sales rose 0.5%, increasing its share of spending from 22.5% to 23%. Fiona Keenan, Kantar’s strategic insight director, said: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens has become the biggest Blu-ray film title since Avatar over six years ago and there are signs it has helped get people back into the market – encouraging, given the competition Blu-ray and DVDs face from digital streaming services such as Netflix. “Online spend across the industry has bounced back from declines over the past year and now accounts for over a third of spend – the highest it has been since this time in 2015. “Having the availability of a wide back catalogue means online retailers are extremely well placed to cater to changes in consumer demand, as exemplified by the recent surge in sales of Bowie and Prince albums following the death of both iconic artists earlier this year.”


News Article | February 18, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Zuppa di Pesce, 28-day matured steaks, asparagus spears, and a £35 bottle of champagne to wash it down. This may not sound like your typical shopping basket from Iceland, but the UK’s homegrown cut-price chain is experiencing a revival in sales after taking a tip from Germany’s Aldi and Lidl by offering luxury foods that broaden its appeal. After about two years “in the wilderness”, in the words of founder Malcolm Walker, during which sales and profits dipped, Iceland is celebrating its 47th year in business with a surprise revival. Iceland has just been named as the UK’s best online supermarket by 7,000 shoppers polled by consumer group Which? for the second year running. They also rated its stores ahead of much larger chains Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda. The chain increased sales by 8.6% in the three months to the end of January, taking its market share to 2.3%, the highest level since 2001, according to market analysts Kantar Worldpanel. Walker says sales at established stores are rising again after investment in better quality products and some smart advertising campaigns, which are finally helping to shrug off Iceland’s links to Kerry Katona and doner kebab pizzas. “Many companies, if they see a drop in profits, cut costs. We did the opposite and spent money,” says Walker. Backing from Brait, the investment vehicle of acquisitive South African entrepreneur Christo Wiese, which upped its stake in Iceland to 57% from about 20% in late 2015, has helped support the revival. Walker says he brought in new management across all areas of the business, including former Morrisons and Waitrose head chef Neil Nugent who he set up as head of product development with a £3m development kitchen. “It was a bit of a Portakabin before,” says Walker. Ideas have also been imported from The Food Warehouse, a sister chain run by Walker’s son Richard, which is also providing another avenue of growth. It currently has 34 stores, which are larger than Iceland shops and sit on retail parks rather than high streets. There are plans for between 25 and 30 more over the next few years. In Iceland, you can still buy shepherds pie, a cheesy bean and sausage stew or McCain oven chips for £1. But there are also frozen scallops, whole Dover Sole and tuna steaks, as well as Slimming World ready meals, Pizza Express ice-cream and pizzas, and frozen berries for juicing. The chain now has 50 luxury food lines compared with a handful a year ago. The change in menu is tempting in more shoppers while existing customers are spending more. What’s more, nearly 19% of the chain’s punters now hail from the middle class AB demographic, according to Kantar Worldpanel, compared with 16.1% in 2015. Shoppers are buying more fresh and chilled foods, as well as frozen fish and ready meals. Bryan Roberts, a retail analyst at TCC Global, says Iceland has found a way to fight back against stiff competition by Aldi, Lidl and the bigger supermarkets, which had all expanded their ranges of frozen foods. “Historically Iceland has failed to communicate its benefits, using uninspiring celebrities. Arguably they were just preaching to the converted. But its recent advertising has been more aspirational and has demonstrated its often unacknowledged breadth of range in fresh and ambient as well as frozen foods,” Roberts says. Walker also admits Iceland’s website was “a bit Fisher-Price”, or basic, when it first launched three years ago, but online sales are now increasing by as much as 50% year on year. That’s partly thanks to low delivery charges, but those polled by Which? also praised the quality of its fresh products and its friendly, helpful drivers. The next stage of Iceland’s development can be found in Clapham, a well-to-do suburb of south London, where Iceland has been experimenting with a hipsterish store designed to attract shoppers from the Little Waitrose next door. There are smart vertical freezers with sloped doors which show off products more effectively, double the amount of fresh fruit and veg moved to the front of the store and a much bigger wine and beer section. With lots of colourful pictures of food on walls and pillars, it feels more like a small supermarket than a typical Iceland, which can often seem bleak and dated. Regular shoppers filling their baskets on Friday morning say they find it much easier to move around and spot what they want. One says she’s not yet been tempted by the octopus or clams but adds: “Ooh, it’s not too posh for me.” Sales have doubled since the Clapham store’s refit in October, while only about 10% of the range is different to a regular Iceland, mostly imported from Food Warehouse. The group is now planning six more makeovers similar to Clapham elsewhere in London, including stores in Fulham, Worcester Park, Streatham and East Finchley, and will be roadtesting most of the elements at a refit of its Chester store, close to Iceland’s head office, from next week. About 50 more of Iceland’s 882 UK stores are already lined up for a makeover within the next year if the first six perform well. Walker says: “The middle classes wouldn’t have been seen dead in [the Clapham store] before but they’ve said ‘this looks quite smart’ and when they go in they’re blown away by the products and prices.”


News Article | September 29, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

Sales at HMV went backwards last year as it retreated from the challenging video games market, and Britons’ move away from physical CD, films and games collections continued. HMV turned over £325m in the year to 2 January compared with £366m in 2015, a figure that was bolstered by the inclusion of an extra week’s trading. Despite the decline, HMV chair, Paul McGowan, described the figures as “encouraging”, pointing to market-share gains made in physical music and film sales. “We are very pleased to be approaching our fourth anniversary since we acquired HMV and these encouraging results mirror the exciting year we have witnessed,” said McGowan. McGowan said overall sales had been “in line with budget”, with the decrease down to a 53-week trading period in 2015 as well as the decision to reduce shelf space devoted to video games. The toughness of the games market has been well documented by specialist Game Digital, which has issued a profit warning every Christmas – which in common with HMV is its most lucrative time of year – since returning to the stock exchange in 2014. HMV was bought out of administration by restructuring firm Hilco in 2013. The entertainment chain, established in 1921, had been felled by the financial squeeze created by high debt levels and falling sales. Hilco’s £50m buyout salvaged just over half the HMV chain which now trades from around 120 stores. McGowan, also chief executive of Hilco, said HMV increased its share of the physical music market from 26.7% in 2014 to 27.7% in 2015. Its share of the DVD market also increased from 20.1% to 21.2%. Vinyl sales at established stores surged more than 50% as Britons rekindle their relationship with their record players, HMV said. More recently Hilco was involved in the BHS store closure programme. According to Kantar Worldpanel, the market for physical music, video and games declined by 8.3% to £2.1bn in 2015. The most recent quarterly figures for the entertainment market show it continuing to contract at a similar rate, down 8.1% in the 12 weeks to 3 July. The accounts filed at Companies House show HMV Retail made a pre-tax loss of £8.8m after expenses that included £10.3m of payments to sister companies. Top line operating operating profits were £11.7m, down from £15.2m in the previous year. Among the biggest related party transactions is a £7m payment to Hilco company Goodmans Capital Investments, comprising a £6m loan repayment as well as £1.1m of interest. HMV relaunched online last June and McGowan said the site was enjoying strong growth, pulling in around 1m visitors per month. It has also started selling products such as speakers and turntables online, with the latter enabling it to cash in on the resurgence of vinyl. According to the most recent figures from Kantar Worldpanel, HMV increased its share of the physical entertainment market by 2.3 percentage points to 16.3% in the three months to 3 July compared with the same period a year ago. However, its share was down on the previous quarter’s high of 16.9% as Britons jumped online to buy Star Wars: The Force Awakens and shop the back catalogues of the late David Bowie and Prince.


News Article | February 24, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Even Paddington Bear, it seems, is having a hard time saving his beloved marmalade from an inexorable decline. As the spread’s greatest international ambassador, Paddington has long been an important part of marmalade’s branding process. But a survey has revealed that the once popular spread is now mainly the preserve of older generations, with about 60% of sales going to the over-65s and just 1% to those under 28. The overwhelming majority of purchases – 89% – were by empty-nesters and retirees, according to the survey of 30,000 UK households by consumer researchers Kantar Worldpanel. While images of the Peruvian bear, known for keeping an emergency stash of marmalade sandwiches under his red felt hat, feature on leading brand Robertson’s Golden Shred – after his brief defection to savoury spread Marmite – overall sales of the bittersweet citrus spread have fallen by 4.7% since 2013, while chocolate and peanut butter spread each increased by 56%. And yet there may be reason for hope among aficionados. Paddington still has a little impact: the release of his eponymous film in 2014 led to a slight lift, which may be replicated by its sequel, out this year. And while sales may be down, marmalade is enjoying a renaissance among artisan producers and even drinks distillers. The World’s Original Marmalade awards has received record entries and its taste is finding favour with vodka drinkers. If marmalade’s place in the pantheon really is at risk, it would mean the end of a long culinary tradition. Marmalade in Britain dates to at least the Tudors – Henry VIII received a box as a gift, though this was a quince-based hard paste. The name originates from marmelo, Portuguese for quince, while the Romans and Greeks enjoyed a forerunner, preserved quince in honey. The provenance of the chunky orange marmalade complete with peel we know today may originate in Scotland. There is an apocryphal story of a storm-damaged ship carrying Seville oranges seeking refuge in Dundee harbour where local merchant James Keiller bought the oranges cheaply, after which his wife, Janet, made a preserve and established a business. However it came about, the Keillers established the first marmalade plant. “The first jar of marmalade as we know it today, which is the pulp with the peel, was first made in Dundee in 1797 by the Keiller family,” said Martin Grant, managing director at Mackays, which makes original Dundee orange marmalade using traditional copper-bottomed open pans. Bucking the trend, Mackays – the third biggest brand in the UK and largest exported marmalade brand , selling to 93 markets globally – grew by 12% in the UK last year, said Grant. “Provenance and taste are key,” he said, arguing good quality marmalade, like fine wine or cheese, is appreciated best by the older, more sophisticated palate. Marmalade is not for children, despite Paddington, he said. “I think Paddington is a lovely, quizzical character, and he does a great job for marmalade, and we adore him. But I think if you’re too young and you taste marmalade – think how much sugar is eaten by the younger generation – it’s a bit of a shock to the system”. Britain’s love of marmalade began with the Victorians who saw it as a status symbol. Through colonial administrators, who packed it in their travel trunks, it reached all corners of the British empire. In the Victorian dinner party era bringing Seville oranges as a gift was the equivalent of posting Instagram pictures from desirable locations – “saying look how cool I am, I went to Seville and brought back these oranges,” according to James Chase, brand ambassador for Chase Distillery, maker of marmalade vodka. Started and run by his father, William Chase, at the family’s Herefordshire farm, the company’s marmalade vodka was inspired by his grandmother’s homemade marmalade. “We love to shake it up with ice, strain it into a martini glass, garnish it with orange peel – a breakfast martini,” said Chase, whose family company also founded Tyrrells English Crisps. Today it is one of their bestsellers and is found in some of the world’s top bars. “Marmalade has always had these trends,” said Chase. “One day it’s the talk of the fashion industry, like when Victoria Beckham was craving it during her pregnancy. The next it’s a stodgy old jam that’s been forgotten about. “But I think, made well, marmalade is such a British classic that it will always stand the test of time”. Jane Hasell-McCosh, who 12 years ago started the World’s Original Marmalade awards and festival at Dalemain, a Georgian mansion just outside Penrith in Cumbria, said sales and interest in artisan marmalade had increased year on-year. The awards started with 60 jars, “and now we are up to 3,000 this year”. Entrants come from all over the world. “We got a lot from Japan this year and it was fascinating how many different citrus fruits there are in Japan that I’d never heard of,” said McCosh. The awards ceremony is on 18 March. Her favourite category is a marmalade to be eaten with savoury food. “It still had to be dominantly citrus, but it could be eaten with fur, fish or fowl. It has been the most innovative and interesting category,” she said. No vinegar, she stressed, otherwise it’s not marmalade, it’s chutney. Marmalade has woven its way into the fabric of British life. A “marmalade dropper”, for instance, is a term used to describe a newspaper story guaranteed to shock or surprise readers over breakfast. “In the second world war, it is said, Winston Churchill insisted we must keep the marmalade orange boats coming,” said McCosh, “because, culturally, it would keep our morale up”. She believes her awards have helped contribute to a renaissance in artisan marmalade, and that the market for traditional, artisan spreads from small producers is on the up. As for the younger generation: “I’ve always thought marmalade is quite a sophisticated taste. It’s not sweet, it’s quite bitter, and children are very tempted by sweet things.” Having said that, more and more young people are entering the awards. “We have got grannies and granddaughters. People are sharing the making of marmalade between generations. I don’t accept it is dying. We are engulfed in marmalade this year.”

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