The Biggest News In FMCG - Vertex's Weekly News Roundup

September 17, 2021

In this week's FMCG news roundup, Unilever look to implement a 4-day working week, Cafe Nero bravely reject a takeover bid from Issa Brother and ASDA help feed children during these troubled times. Enjoy!

Asda cafes will be offering free meals to children

Asda is helping hard-up families during the pandemic by offering children to eat for free in their cafes throughout December.

All 216 of the supermarket giants' cafes are taking part and will provide children under the age of 16 with a meal free of charge when accompanied by an adult.

There is no minimum spend requirements or restrictions on the number of children in a family that can take advantage of the offer. The free meals scheme is part of Asda's Christmas kindness campaign, which aims to support local communities during the crisis.

In earlier news this month, Asda announced it would be providing an additional 1 million meals to support local food banks and charities over the festive period through its Fight Hunger Create Change partnership which supports both the Trussell Trust and FareShare.

Unilever look to implement 4-day weeks

Consumer goods giants Unilever, plans to test a four-day working week in New Zealand, giving staff a chance to slash their hours by 20% without hurting their pay.

The Dove soap, Marmite and Lipton tea owner told the news it was exploring what the results could mean for Unilever ˜on a broader scale in the future'.

The trial comes as the pandemic has shaken up traditional work practices.

Since the pandemic struck this year, many firms have introduced remote working and more flexible hours, arrangements they say are likely to linger even after concerns about the virus.

Caffe Nero rejects bid from billionaire Issa brothers

In other news, Caffe Nero have rejected a takeover bid from the billionaire brothers behind EG Group, as the struggling cafe chain insisted it would continue with a separate restructuring process.

It was on Monday that Caffe Nero revealed that the last-minute offer had been rejected because Mohsin and Zuber Issa, who are also in the process of buying Asda, had not engaged with the company and did not understand its financial situation “ or so it was said.

Under the EG Group proposal, EG would have paid in full the rent owed to Caffe¨ Nero's landlords in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Like other hospitality firms, the chain has been hammered by the forced closure of the business during the first Covid-19 lockdown and the conversion to a takeaway-only business in parts of the UK through the autumn.

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