Walmart-owned Flipkart to invest in grocery, last mile delivery after raising US$3.6B in latest funding round

INDIA — Flipkart, a rapidly expanding e-commerce giant backed by Walmart, has raised US$3.6 billion in the latest funding round led by Canada Pension Plan Investment.   GIC, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and Walmart also participated as lead investors in the funding round, doubling the Indian online retailer’s valuation to US$37.6 billion in less than three years.  Flipkart says that the new funding round will be used to expand operations and invest further in the company’s grocery, fashion, and last-mile delivery programs.  Like Amazon, Flipkart began by selling books but diversified rapidly into selling smartphones, clothing, and…

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South Africa faces negative economic impact as unrest rock country

SOUTH AFRICA – South African retailers have been left counting losses after sporadic incidents of protests in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, have resulted in widespread looting and disrupted the supply chain, raising concerns of a potential shortage of basic consumer goods in SA. The loss to retailers, including the cost of damage to property and delivery vehicles, runs into millions of rand, the Consumer Goods Council of SA (CGCSA) has indicated. The CGCSA has condemned the unfortunate incidents of unrest saying such acts of wanton criminality have no place in democratic…

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Parle Agro shakes up India’s dairy market with launch of flavoured milk items under ‘Smoodh’ brand

INDIA – Parle Agro, a homegrown beverages firm, has made a foray into India’s dairy segment with the launch of flavored milk products under the ‘Smoodh’ brand.  The flavored milk products are packaged in 85ml packs are available in two choices, chocolate milk, and toffee caramel. Retailing at a recommended price of Rs10, the new product aiming to target consumers across all age groups, the company said in a statement.  Parle Agro says the diversification is backed by in-depth research on the potential of flavored milk in India.  Research published by FNB news revealed that flavored milk products which accounted for 43 percent…

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CCBA promotes former Coca-Cola Kwanza CEO Andrew Musingo to be its Chief Integration Officer

SOUTH AFRICA – The Coca-Cola Beverages Africa has appointed Andrew Musingo as the new Chief Integration Officer, effective 01 August 2021. Andrew has been promoted to the new role after completing his task as the Chief Executive Officer at the Tanzanian subsidiary of CCBA, Coca-Cola Kwanza. He handed over his previous leadership role to Unguu Sulay, who became the new Managing Director of Coca-Cola Kwanza from 28th June 2021. Unguu took over the helm of the company from Plasco Limited where he was the Chief Financial Officer. In his new…

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Upcycling ingredients maker Comet Bio raises US$22m to expand manufacturing capabilities

UK – Comet Bio, a UK-based upcycled food ingredients maker, has raised US$22 million in a Series C funding round led by Effingham-based private equity management fund Open Prairie.  Other investors including Louis Dreyfus Co., BDC Capital, and Sofinnova Partners participated in the round aimed at expanding Comet Bio’s manufacturing capabilities.  Comet Bio uses its patented upcycling technology to produce ingredients from crops’ residue left in the field, including straw, leaves and shells, and food leftovers.  One of the company’s upcycled ingredients, Arrabina has been clinically proven to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.  The product, sourced…

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IFAD bridges SMEs, small-scale producers financing gap through newly launched Private Sector Financing Programme

NIGERIA – The UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has issued a US$5 million financing to a Nigerian social impact enterprise, Babban Gona, to support small-scale rice and maize producers in the country. Babban Gona, with a strong background in successfully moving small-scale farmers from subsistence to a more market-orientated model, seeks to offer a comprehensive package of training, quality inputs, and marketing services to 377,000 farmers with the financing. Babban Gona will also store and sell the harvest on behalf of its farmers when prices are higher. They…

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Kenya’s county government mitigates post-harvest losses with launch of fruit processing plant

KENYA – Kitui County in Eastern Kenya has kick-started operations at the newly build Ksh. 20 million (US$185,000) fruit processing plant located at the Kitui Agricultural Training Centre. The processing facility, with a production capacity of 5 tons per hour, is aimed to add value to fresh produces such as tomatoes and mangoes which are highly perishable, reports Kenya News Agency. While commissioning the factory, Kitui County Governor Charity Ngilu, indicated that the huge losses the farmers in the region have been encountering over the years, will be a thing…

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Conagra Brands lowers full year profit expectations amid rising inflation in the US

US – Conagra Brands, a US-based packaged foods company, is feeling the pinch of the recent inflation levels in the US and has warned that higher raw material and ingredient costs would take a bigger bite out of its profit this year than previously estimated.  The U.S. is currently facing what financial experts refer to as a “transition inflation” that has seen consumer prices increase by the most percentage in 13 years.  According to Reuters, COVID-19 vaccinations, low-interest rates, and nearly US$6 trillion in government relief since the pandemic started last year are fueling demand for everything from cars…

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Domino’s largest African franchisee Eat’N’Go boasts of having over 150 stores in the region

NIGERIA – Eat’N’Go limited, Nigeria’s fastest growing Quick Service Restaurant and master franchisee for Domino’s Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery, and Pinkberry Gourmet Frozen Yoghurt, has marked a significant milestone of attaining 150 stores in the West African country. This follows the recent openings of nine Domino’s Pizza and Cold Stone Creamery outlets in various locations in Nigeria: Nyanya Abuja, Challenge Ibadan, Choba in Port Harcourt, Admiralty Lekki, Jakande Lekki, and Aromire Ikeja. The rise of branch counts in the country, brings Eat’N’Go’s store number in Africa to 156, taking the…

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Aspire Bakeries to expand US baking plant to meet rising demand for Otis Spunkmeyer cookies

US — Aspire Bakeries, formerly Aryzta North America, is expanding its baking plant in the United States to meet the increasing demand for its Otis Spunkmeyer cookies.  Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough is sold to foodservice, retail, and convenience operators in frozen packs and baked fresh on-site.  The expansion will see a new the addition of a new frozen cookie dough line at the Aspire Bakery in Newark, California.  “Our Newark bakery is expanding following a surge in demand for our delicious Otis Spunkmeyer cookies,” said Laura Shannon, chief operations officer of Aspire Bakeries.  In…

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