A visiting entreprenuer said his true passion is promoting business careers that have a social impact. Dr. Mark Albion, one of the co- founders of Net Impact, a non-profit business focused on global student leadership, delivered the keynote address for the Greater Good Lecture Series at the Mendoza College of Business Friday. After watching his mother battle cancer and overcome a fatal diagnosis, he said he decided to seek out what his real purpose in life was. Throughout her battle, he said his mother continued to run her socially responsible textile mill. “Her connection to her work and her impact was so phenomenal,” Albion said. “She knew why she was here — I didn’t yet know that.” Albion has written seven books, some of which made the New York Times bestseller list, was a professor at Harvard University and has founded multiple businesses. Throughout the lecture, Albion talked about what he considers a fundamental question of leadership. Business leaders should be asking themselves why are they here and what is their purpose as leaders, he said. Many people focus too much on what career they want rather than who they are and how they can use their passions to become a better business leader. In Albion’s book “True to Yourself,” he writes about how leaders are there to serve others. He said that to be a good leader, three characteristics are needed: competence, commitment and compassion. “A competent leader is an example of the values that you want to see your employees exhibit,” Albion said. “It does not mean knowing everything.” He said business leaders are still human beings and they need to have a commitment to the growth of their people, not just their business. A compassionate leader has to look beyond their company’s impact on the industry and look at the impact it has on the world. “You have to look beyond the borders of your own company and strive to do what is best for the world,” he said. Albion talked about MBAs struggling with monetary desires and how to involve their passions with a business plan. He said he wants people to develop a destiny plan. “Instead of being a conflicted achiever — that is, still trying to figure out who they are — you should be a passionate striver that has combined their passion with a business plan,” he said. Albion said figuring out who you are as a person and what you want to accomplish in life will create a better leader and businessperson. “The way you make your way in the world is just by being you,” he said.
To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters
This year, it expects the results to be even better, and has put in its biggest-ever order of turkeys as its most inclusive Christmas spread hit shelves this month. “Smells lovely,” said one consumer. “A little too doughy for me but a good standby.”The pitta received top-quartile scores across all key product characteristics. The panel felt Aldi had “stepped it up again” this yearJudges praised its “all encompassing” range including “crowd-pleasers” like its stuffing-loaded Yorkshire puddings, and “affordable decadence” such as the Tsar salmon fillet (at a fraction of the regular price in upmarket grocers).The panel felt Aldi had “stepped it up again” this year, with a quality range of free-from and vegan Christmas products, including flash-fried crispy, dairy-free pastry parcels, which cater for every dietary requirement family members might bring to the table.Judges also liked the discounter’s “intricately mapped out and well-timed” execution of its marketing campaign, which saw the return of the retailer’s much-loved Christmas mascot, Kevin the Carrot across TV, web and social media this week. The 2018 campaign, which judges found “consistent and well-tailored to a range of platforms”, certainly generated plenty of excitement from consumers and its TV ad was crowned Adwatch Christmas ad of the year.Overall, our judges felt Aldi’s consistent delivery of a Christmas spread at an unbeatable price put it miles ahead of its competitors in the category.Best retailer own-label development chefJon Jones – Marks & SpencerIt’s not easy to make a dairy-free stroganoff creamy, and it’s even harder to come up with cheese-free cheese sticks that ooze, but Marks & Spencer development chef Jon Jones makes it all look easy. The chef is “at the heart” of the breakthrough product development that’s been emerging from the retailer over the last three years and is responsible for its most ambitious own-label ranges yet – Plant Kitchen and Cook With. Almost half of reviewers considered this product to be an “exciting new idea”, and two-fifths believed it to be “better than what’s out there”.While the packaging looked “a little cheap” for some reviewers, the product was, overall, considered good value for money (rsp: £1.69 per 145g). “Delicious, amazing and different,” was the view of one consumer. Best own-label buyerGeorgia Gilman – Asda“Bland, boring and beige.” That’s how you might describe the frozen coated seafood category before Asda buyer Georgia Gilman started shaking it up.Since joining last October, Gilman has been able to implement a “bold and modern” vision that has delighted shoppers in the frozen aisle.To increase spend and add excitement, Gilman has introduced “youthful” twists to traditional lines like Truffle Mac & Cheese King Prawn Fishcakes and Panko Calamari (which secured a Grocer Own-Label Accreditation earlier this year).Judges said the range was “carefully curated” to capture the imagination of the younger and more affluent own-label shopper.Instead of relying on brands to drive product innovation, judges praised Gilman’s initiative to “put the spotlight on own-label” by drastically reshuffling the range, cutting brands and increasing the number of own-label SKUs by 12%. After experimenting with a range of options, from card trays to coloured plastic, the team decided on a fully recyclable combination of clear PET and card sleeves.Although replacing black plastic can often have negative impact on the desirability of a product, the lines have increased both in depth of distribution and in sales.Our judges felt the shared success was “testament to the power of collaboration” between suppliers and retailers and felt the huge impact made with one small change should serve as an “inspiration” to the industry. At £3.49 per 300g, value for money was high on testers’ lists for reasons to buy this product. “Superb succulent steak and good value for money,” said one. M&S has “exceeded customer expectations” of the plant-based categoryM&S says the range is set to deliver an enormous £50m in annualised sales and the level of customer penetration is better than any other own-label vegan range, and boasts a 1.5% household penetration rate compared with Tesco Wicked Kitchen’s 0.5%, which launched one year earlier.The retailer’s decision to launch with 60 lines was “bold” and delivered a huge impact that our judges agreed was “a perfect example of the boundary-pushing food development happening in the own-label industry right now. Three-quarters of reviewers felt this product was an “exciting new idea”, and around two-thirds suggested it was “better than what’s out there”. Brondon is described as Dunbia’s “best-loved chef”He has an impressive product launch list and his “flair and imagination” has brought new flavour combinations, including a Lamb Shoulder with Mint & Balsamic for Morrisons and Cherry Hoisin Duck Legs for Asda, to the meat and ready meal aisles.Judges praised Brondon’s ability to “bring something new to the table each time” as well as his record of careful relationship management: it takes “immense skill” to regularly pitch new products to retailers in fierce competition with one another. Category winnersFor the past 12 months, The Grocer has been testing the best own-label grocery innovation via its Own Label Accreditation Scheme. From the hundreds of accredited products, our panel of experts chose the best overall category winners.AmbientAldi Caramelised Red Onion Sweet ChutneyThis product impressed our testers with its “tangy” and “strong” taste, and was hailed for being “full of flavour”. Testers also loved the texture and the appearance. A few, though, felt the flavour was “too sweet”. DairyAldi Specially Selected Luxury Vanilla yogurtA “great vanilla flavour”, “good aroma” and “creamy texture” meant this product was loved by our panel, three quarters of whom rated it “better than what’s out there” after trial.There were two distinguishing features: the “superb” thick and creamy consistency and the “amazing” flavour. A huge 80% of testers said this product was “better than what’s out there”, and 78% said it was an “exciting new idea”. Best own-label supplier initiativeGreencoreClimate change activist Greta Thunberg said “no one is too small to make a difference” and it seems no range is too small either, as Greencore saved a whopping 19 tonnes of plastic from landfill by making one small change to its Co-op own-label sushi packagingGreencore “trawled the entire market” to find an alternative to the unrecyclable black plastic packaging it was using for its most popular sushi to go lines, in order to strike a balance between recyclability, shelf life and customer appeal. The iterative process involved Greencore and the Co-op working as one team to execute the project from the initial brainstorming sessions to vigorous product testing. Almost all reviewers rated taste and quality as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’. The product was also perceived as healthy, with reviewers saying it would make a handy midweek meal. “A good variety of vegetables,” said one tester. “It would be good with noodles as well and a good amount of chicken.”MeatAldi Specially Selected Flat Iron Steaks with Salt & Pepper SeasoningThe “tenderness and succulence” of these steaks won over our consumer panel, nearly 90% of whom awarded the product four or five stars. Nearly three quarters of reviewers considered the product “better than what’s out there”, and the majority liked the seasoning. Although for a few, the steak was “too chewy”. This product has the “wow” factor, and was considered by many as a great weekend treat or an option to share with family and friends.“It takes flatbreads to the next level,” enthused one tester. An impressive eight out of 10 consumers would purchase this product post-trial, hailing it as “good value” (rsp: 95p per 310g). Three quarters of those asked even said this chutney was “better than what is currently on the market”.Nearly six in 10 considered this to be a five-star product, and it received no one-star reviews. It set a new maximum score in the chutney category.BakeryMarks & Spencer Six Mediterranean Style PittasThese pittas went down very well with our consumer testers, who listed the “sweet, fluffy” centre and “soft, light” texture as outstanding attributes.A good-value offer, more than half of our reviewers said they would definitely buy this product again post-trial, and a whopping four out of five considered it better than what’s already on the market. Half of reviewers said they thought it was an “exciting new idea”. “Crunchy and flavourful, what I would expect from the crisps,” said one consumer. “Very nice flavour and taste.”The crisps also scored highly on packaging and value for money (rsp: 85p per 150g), with 71% of reviewers considering them “better than what’s out there”. Best own-label brandAldi Specially SelectedKnockout sales, exceptional value and standout innovation made Specially Selected a clear winner in this category.The premium own-label brand, which launched with 143 lines in 2005, became the first Aldi range to top £1bn in sales this year and now boasts more than 1,000 products. There were some reservations about the colour and texture, with some consumers saying they found them “a bit soft and pale”, but the majority of our panel loved them, with six out of 10 saying they were “better than what’s out there”.Nine out of 10 on our panel said they would buy the product, saying: “It’s what you expect from a good mince pie.” DessertAldi Specially Selected Crème BrûléeThis product proved very popular among our consumer panel, 83% of whom gave it a rating of at least four stars.Taste and texture were rated ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ by around nine in 10 reviewers, who appreciated the “very creamy” consistency and “authentic” vanilla flavour. “Really lovely and creamy, delicious,” said one tester. “I could eat both pots.” At £1 per four-pack, though, the value for money of this product was seen as good. One tester said: “A really nice bun at a very good price.” Retailing at 72p for a pack of six (20g each), the crisps were also considered great value for money, with many consumers saying they would buy them “at least fortnightly”.Ninety per cent of our panel rated the product four or five stars, with only 6% giving it a one-star rating. Food to GoAsda Supergreen & Quinoa SaladOur testers loved the combination of grains, beans and vegetables, as well as the “refreshing and zingy” addition of mint and chilli. “Lovely aroma, full of garlic and flavour,” said one tester. Deli & dipsLidl Moroccan Flavoured HoumousThis Moroccan houmous was “full of flavour” making it an ideal lunchtime snack or dip option when entertaining, according to our reviewers. Product delivery was good, with the spices providing an “extra kick” but not overpowering the flavour of the chickpeas, although for some it was “too sweet”. The texture was also thick and creamy. Biscuits & snacksAldi Gourmet Crackers with RosemaryOur panel loved the appearance of this product, as well as the “delicious rosemary flavour” which they felt was strong enough but “not overpowering”. One tester described the crackers as “very moreish”. However, another felt that although the taste was nice, they were “not crispy enough”. Iceland replaced the plastic bag from the Perfect Turkey Crown with a recyclable paper wrapThe redeveloped packaging solutions also cover the main event, as Iceland replaced the plastic bag from the Perfect Turkey Crown with a recyclable paper wrap, meaning the only remaining plastic is a plastic band seal. Our judges felt this initiative was a “genuinely new take” from a retailer “showing the capacity to alter the way supermarkets across the UK package their festive ranges”.At a time when the global climate emergency is at the top of the public consciousness, Iceland’s “clever decision” to put the spotlight on Christmas, a season “synonymous with excess”, to promote its increasingly green credentials, made it a deserving winner. Best own-label marketing campaignPlant Kitchen – Marks & SpencerChickpeas and aubergines might seem hard to market but our judges thought M&S nailed it with the “impactful and mouth-watering” campaign for its new vegan own-label range, Plant Kitchen.The socially-led campaign reached over 35.8m people and is said to have driven nearly 1.5m unique customers through the doors.Our judges said M&S had “thought of everything” to make the biggest impact possible including sport tie-ups, sponsored recipes and even a dinner playlist on Spotify. “Very tender and tasty. Crackling nice and crunchy. A good size joint,” said one tester.The joint would be ideal for occasions like Christmas, customers decided, with 60% saying they would buy it after the trial. However, three quarters of reviewers agreed this cheese is “better than what’s out there”, and a quarter thought it was an “exciting new idea”.At £2 per 200g, this cheese was considered “great value”. Eighty-seven per cent of our panel awarded the product a four or five-star rating, with none giving it one star. The visible flecks of vanilla were further evidence of its quality. Whilst the minority were unconvinced, saying the product was “too sweet”, half of our reviewers were “definite” buyers, keen to add this to their weekly shop, with the price (rsp: 42p per 15pg) allowing for regular use. The packaging was also well-liked by reviewers, who felt that, although the bottle was “heavy”, this “adds to the high-quality feel”. With a price tag of £9.99 for 500ml, value was also a plus for consumers, who said it tasted “premium” for such a “reasonable” price.Seven out of 10 testers awarded this product five stars. “A well-balanced, refreshing and easy to drink liquor,” said one consumer reviewer. Jones rolls out over 150 new products a year and “leads in his field” when it comes to producing restaurant-quality own-label food and drink. Jones works “hand in hand” with suppliers to ensure he gets access to brand new ingredients and his “passion and engagement” means he’s in constant demand to hold seminars and tutorials for fans inside and outside the retailer.What impressed judges most was Jones’s ability to tackle complex food problem solving with creative flair, which has allowed him to deliver some of the most exciting product launches ever seen in own-label. This key combination of skills, and an impressive product roster, made Jones a clear winner in this category.Best own-label retailer initiativeIceland Reduced Plastic ChristmasChristmas always brings out the best in own-label innovation, and that doesn’t just mean ever-more extravagant party pieces.Iceland’s Reduced Plastic Christmas initiative saw the discounter drastically reduce the amount of plastic packaging from 16 key festive lines including stuffing balls, mini pies and a selection of party food, allowing shoppers to slash the amount of plastic generated by their Christmas dinner. The socially-led campaign reached over 35.8m peopleJudges also liked the application of existing marketing tools, like its celebrity panel videos, to the new campaign, which bagged it over 65.4 million impressions on social media and 15.6 million video views. M&S also brought its signature “this isn’t just” food photography, which would “appeal to the masses” as well as generating excitement amongst vegans and flexitarians.M&S also scored points for its “unmissable” in-store communications and stand-out merchandising, which “brought the campaign to life” in a way that competitors had been unable to achieve with their own-label vegan ranges. Although a few found the flavour of the mint and garlic “overpowering”, more than half (60%) agreed the product was “better than what’s out there”, and many said it was an ideal healthy option for food on the go.This innovative product offered a winning combination of “quality, convenience and health”, leading 81% of testers to award it a four or five-star rating. “It tastes like homemade without the effort,” said one reviewer. Free-fromAsda Free From Hoisin Stir Fry SauceThis “high quality” product impressed our consumers, two-thirds of whom considered it “better than what’s out there”. Festive meat & fishAldi Specially Selected Maple and Bourbon Gammon Joint“A stunning centrepiece for a special family meal,” was how our consumer tester described this gammon joint from Aldi. The meat was “succulent”, the crackling “crunchy” and the glaze “sweet”, though the bourbon flavour was considered too weak by some.Seven out of 10 reviewers said they thought this product was “better than what’s out there”, and 84% rated it at least four stars. Despite some testers reporting that the product left a “weird aftertaste”, overall, the taste was rated highly, with 91% of reviewers ranking it ‘excellent’ or ‘good’.Overall, 83% of reviewers awarded this product four or five stars. CheeseAsda Extra Special Vintage Red Fox Leicester CheeseA “tasty cheese with real bite” was how this product was described by testers, who loved the “good flavour and nice texture”.Some consumers didn’t like the ”very crumbly” texture, nor the fact you can “taste and feel the salt bits inside”. Best own-label rangePlant Kitchen – Marks & SpencerMarks & Spencer “blew competitors out of the water” when it launched Plant Kitchen in January, according to our judges.The range delivers a wealth of innovation across several categories and meal occasions, including a selection of nut milks, flavourful food to go like its Rainbow Sushi Wrap and convincing meat alternatives including a No Beef Burger.Its ‘vegan junk food’ caught the attention of the judges, who said it “exceeded customer expectations” of the plant-based category, and products like its Dirty Fries and Cauliflower Popcorn would “stop shoppers in their tracks”. Although some reviewers found the batter “a little too thick”, the majority liked the texture. Nearly three-quarters considered the product an “exciting new idea”, with many saying it would be great for a special occasion or party treat as a starter or finger food. Ready Meals & ready to cookAsda Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry KitSetting a new category maximum, this chilled stir-fry kit impressed our consumers with its “amazing flavours”, “quick and easy” preparation method and a “competitive” price (rsp: £2.89 for 535g).This kit produced a meal that was “well-seasoned” but “not too spicy”, giving it mainstream appeal. There was also plenty of “succulent, tender” chicken. A huge 84% of reviewers rated this product at least four stars, and 62% said they thought it was “better than what’s out there”.“Wow, the flavour just brings the Christmas out in me,” said one tester. “A good mix of ingredients. Not too strong.” With a “smooth” consistency, “authentic” spices and “a good sweetness level”, the sauce offered the additional benefit of being gluten free. “Really enjoyed this,” said a reviewer. “The taste is not too overpowering and I think it’s nicer than the original sauce. I would definitely recommend to my coeliac mother-in-law.”With an rsp of 35p for 120g, value for money for this product was considered good, making it a quick and easy way to liven up a midweek stir-fry. CrispsLidl Sour Cream & Onion Lentil CurlsWith their high lentil and rice flour content, these crisps were considered a healthy option, and were highly rated for innovation, by reviewers.Nine out of 10 rated the quality as either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’, and many reviewers enjoyed the “light”, “crunchy” texture and “subtle” flavour of the product. SeasonalIceland Luxury Hot Cross BunsA well-established and familiar product, these hot cross buns were highly rated and attracted many positive comments from testers, 78% of whom gave them a rating of four or five stars.They praised the “full flavour” and “nice, soft” texture of these buns which were “lightly spiced” and “a good size”. However, some criticised the packaging for its lack of recyclability, and only a third of consumers said they felt this product was “better than what’s out there”. ChilledAldi German Salami and Smoked Cheese SelectionWith its “meaty, not too spicy” flavour, this product was well-liked by our consumer panel. Taste was a particular plus, with many testers approving of the “lovely mix” of meats and cheeses, both in terms of the flavour combination and because it “saves buying two or three packets”. Festive ShowcaseA new feature of The Grocer’s Own-Label Accreditation Scheme this year was the facility to test seasonal and short-run lines, so we’ve highlighted the pick of the bunch from the festive showcaseFestive cake & puddingAldi Specially Selected Caramel Vodka Christmas PuddingThis “moist and well-flavoured” pudding scored well across the board, with half of our reviewers awarding it five stars.Although some testers found the pudding “stodgy and too strong”, the price tag of £6.99 per 750g was well-received, scoring well on value for money. Get accreditedIn a time when the lone voice of a disgruntled and unhappy customer can tweet out negative product comment to thousands of shoppers, disrupting months and sometimes years of good work by development teams, suppliers and PR, it’s never been more important to invest in objective and robust quantitative consumer feedback.The Grocer Own-Label Accreditation Scheme delivers independent consumer approval to support sales activity and a robust, objective analysis of product quality. Accreditation will independently verify product integrity and quality processing, fire up new business conversations and bring added trust to existing buyer relationships. To apply, visit: thegrocerownlabel.co.uk. The “crunchy” sugar topping gave the dessert a professional finish, and two-thirds of reviewers felt the product was “better than other brands”. Most testers considered the product good value for money (rsp: £1.49 per 200g). Judges said its luxury NPD “set the bar higher for own-label every year”A design facelift, which Aldi began in 2018, was a sign of Aldi’s “growing confidence” in the brand. It “no longer feels like a derivative of other own-label ranges in the market.”Judges said its luxury NPD “set the bar higher for own-label every year” and its ability to bring speciality products from small, British suppliers to the masses while delivering “unbelievable value” set it apart from other entrants.Aldi’s commitment to innovation and its huge investment in the range elevated its own-label offering from an industry “copycat” to an “innovator in its own right”.Best supplier own-label development chefAndrew Brondon – DunbiaDunbia’s group head development chef doesn’t have an easy job. Each day is a tightrope when you’re juggling the expectations and demands of several high profile retailers, including Sainsbury’s, Asda, Co-op, Lidl, Iceland and Morrisons, but Andrew Brondon does it with style. Described as Dunbia’s “best-loved chef”, Brondon has over 20 years of culinary experiences and uses a collaborative approach to bring over 100 new concepts to customers each year. Festive Mince PiesAldi Deep Filled Mince PiesThese “soft and crumbly” mince pies were praised by our consumer panel for their “thick, buttery and crumbly” pastry and “rich” combination of fruit with “plenty of flavour”.Reviewers considered them great value for money (85p per six-pack). SoupAldi Specially Selected Tomato & Lentil SoupOur consumer panel said this soup had a great texture, was “very tasty” and “full of flavour”. They also said the lentils and chunky vegetables were a “great choice of filling”. Retailing at £1.49 per 600g, the soup was thought to be good value for money, and would make a good midweek standby, “ideal for the cold winter months”. BeveragesAldi Passionfruit Gin LiqueurThis “refreshing” product won favour with our consumer testers, who loved its “fruity”, “smooth” taste and a “great under flavour of gin liquor”. One, though, felt it tasted a little too sweet, and “more like peach schnapps”. Festive Party foodAldi Specially Selected Hand Cooked Turkey and Stuffing Potato CrispsThese crisps scored three points higher than the current category maximum. It was their “good, strong flavour” that impressed reviewers, along with their crispy and crunchy texture.Half of testers said they would “definitely” buy this product, which they praised for being “very festive”. FrozenAldi Champagne Scallop GratinThis product proved a winner among our consumer judges, with seven out of 10 awarding it four or five stars.Reviewers considered the gratin itself “absolutely delicious”. Although a few said the flavour was a little “too cheesy”, many said the product would be ideal for a starter when entertaining. The price point (rsp: £3.49 per 200g) reflected the premium positioning of the dish, although it was still “too expensive” for some. “The flavour works well with crackers, breadsticks and even on crusty bread,” said one reviewer. “The flavour doesn’t overpower and goes well with lamb.”Half of testers felt this product was an “exciting new idea”, and more than half said it was “better than what’s out there”.FishIceland 10 Jumbo Wild Caught Red ShrimpThe “upmarket” packaging and “competitive” price (rsp:£6 per 10-pack) made this a popular product amongst our consumer panel. More than half (60%) gave it a five-star rating overall, hailing the “crisp” batter and “fresh and succulent” shrimp. Pizza & quicheAldi Flatbread – Chicken & MangoThese flatbreads were considered “new and different” in the pizza category by our testers, who liked the “crispy” base and “really nice mix of sweet and spicy”.Overall, three-quarters of our reviewers awarded the product four or five stars, with two-thirds saying they felt it was “better than what’s out there”. The packaging also proved popular, as did the price (rsp: £1.69 for 390g). Festive turkeyIceland Easy Carve Boneless Perfect Turkey Crown in Plastic-Free Packaging“Nice moist texture and good flavour” was how the majority of our consumer testers described this product. The crown was considered a “good size” and “looked good as a centrepiece”. At £16 for 2.2kg, the product was also considered good value for money.The fact it was wrapped in plastic-free packaging was hugely appealing to reviewers. Six out of 10 testers said they would buy it, and more than three-quarters awarded it at least four stars. Meanwhile, two-fifths said they felt it was an “exciting new product”. Festive savouryAldi Specially Selected Cranberry, Sage and Onion Bread with French Dipping CamembertThis innovative sharing platter looked “impressive” and tasted “luxurious”, according to our panel, who said it would make an “ideal festive party food”. They said the herby bread tasted “fresh” and “light” (with the cranberries adding a festive touch), and was the perfect carrier for the “creamy” camembert. Our new awards aim to recognise excellence in the dynamic UK own label sector. We kick off with a special award for the Best Festive retailer, with other awards for buyers and development chefs, as well as the best own-label range, own-label brand and a host of marketing initiatives, before moving on to products,Best Festive RetailerAldiChristmas has come early for Aldi as its show-stopping festive range has bagged it The Grocer’s first-ever seasonal own-label accolade.Last year, the retailer celebrated its strongest Christmas performance ever with sales peaking at almost £1bn for the month of December and a record high of £300m in the week leading up to Christmas Eve. The discounter claims just under one million households switched to Aldi for their Christmas shop last year. Eighty per cent of testers said they felt it was “better than what’s out there”, and three quarters said it was an “exciting new idea”.“A super pudding, that has plenty of fruit and a good amount of alcohol,” said one.The box and bottle was a further plus, with consumers describing the packaging as “gorgeous”. Festive sweetAldi Specially Selected Brandy Infused MincemeatThis well-balanced product was chosen for accreditation because of its “perfect” level of sweetness, the fact that it is “packed full of juicy fruit”, sufficiently alcoholic, and great value for money (rsp: £1.39/411g).Many testers were so impressed by this product that they were inspired to make their own mince pies this year. Festive dessertAldi Specially Selected Christmas Ice Cream – Mince Pie & Brandy ButterThis “absolutely delicious” innovative ice cream product went down well with our customer panel, who described it as “delicious, amazing, different, Christmassy”. Only one tester considered it “too sweet and sickly”.The majority of testers said they felt the value for money was great (rsp: £2.49 for 480ml), and that they would definitely buy it in the run-up to Christmas. “This is absolutely gorgeous. The bread and camembert cheese really complement each other,” said one tester. “Definitely worth every penny (rsp: £3.99/800g).” A whopping 83% said they thought this product was an “exciting new idea”. Value for money was another plus for testers, who felt the 79p price tag was “very reasonable”.Almost all testers awarded the product either four or five stars, with none giving it one or two stars. “Can’t fault them,” said one tester. Gilman is communicative and “never out of the loop”Gilman’s packaging refresh had a “clean, strong and impactful” design which brought “vibrancy” to the frozen aisle while her focus on recyclability also scored her points.Judges felt it “spoke volumes” that Gilman was nominated by a supplier who said she was able to make “bold and informed decisions” to benefit the category while remaining “honest and fair”.Gilman is also communicative and “never out of the loop” which allows suppliers to “share her vision for the category” and “work as one team”.And most important are the impressive results. By attracting new shoppers and inspiring current ones, Gilman has grown the own-label frozen coated seafood category by 36% in the past 12 weeks, while reducing her SKU count by 40%.
UK bookmakers are breathing a huge sigh of relief, after Manchester City crashed out of the FA Cup at League One Wigan Athletic courtesy of Will Grigg, saving up to £25m in the process.The Northern Irishman struck as the tie approached the final ten minutes, putting to bed any hopes Pep Guardiola’s side had of securing an unprecedented and historic quadruple.Betway has estimated that factoring in the cost of City losing the game, their chance of winning a sixth FA Cup and all bets placed on City landing the four major trophies, a saving of approximately £1m has been made by themselves alone.That is despite a handful of lucky punters scooping four and five figure sums, after backing the Latics at 16/1 to defeat the Etihad based side once again.Betway’s Alan Alger, said: “Man City had been well-backed for the quadruple since October, with some punters on at as big as 700/1 all the way down to 14/1. In late February, with still no sign of the sky blue train stopping, we were staring down the barrel of a heavy six-figure pay-out on the quadruple so last night’s result came as a great relief.“As you’d expect, we took plenty of lumpy bets on City to overcome Wigan last night, and they were also very well-backed to win the FA Cup itself. Overall, we’ve been saved a loss in the region of £1 million, and many other firms will be feeling the same.“The magic of the FA Cup has sprinkled a bit of stardust on the bookmaking industry, that’s for sure. I think it’s safe to say that the bookies have saved somewhere between £10m-£25m thanks to Will Grigg and Wigan Athletic.”Betway now makes City’s rivals Manchester United the 9/4 favourites for the trophy, shortly ahead of Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at 11/4 and 4/1 respectively, with Sergio Aguero and co 9/2 to go on and end the season with the treble. EFL urges government to rethink gambling sponsorship ban July 3, 2020 Submit Top 50 clubs suffer €751m decline in brand value July 31, 2020 Related Articles StumbleUpon MansionBet adds Bristol City to sponsorship portfolio August 20, 2020 Share Share
AsianBGE launches live instant win channel with Pin Projekt June 24, 2020 Related Articles Pin Projekt enters South Africa with Hollywoodbets deal May 12, 2020 Submit Why reliability of service is an integral part of TVBET’s strategy August 6, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Share Live games provider Pin Projekt is still up and running despite the COVID-19 outbreak, as its proprietary drum machines can run with or without human intervention.Pin Projekt explained that while live dealers and live draw hostesses retain a key role in the business, it can rely on the automated technology to remain fully operational. Therefore, despite the impact the coronavirus has had on other studio-based gaming providers, live lottery and table games from Pin Projekt have still been streamed to operators including Wwin, PremierBet and 1xBet.The only difference has been a short break for the live dealers, which enabled the company to put in place measures to guarantee a safe working environment for them to return. Pin Projekt told SBC News that the dealers will be back in the Zagreb studio today since Croatia is not yet in lockdown, but that a return to the fully automated service would quickly be restored should their safety be compromised by a quicker spread of the virus.The company said that it took the decision over five years ago to develop every part of the system in-house to make it more resilient in the “most difficult of times” but admitted that it never expected, nor wanted, a world crisis to justify the approach.COO Vedran Katić said: “Live content is a very important niche in gaming and when you develop every part of the system in house it can make it resilient in the most difficult of times. Relying only on your own software and technology proves important not only in normal day to day business but also in times when things are unpredictable, such as today.“The unique combination of betting on live events, in our case, live draws has become a very sought for service. Our clients can always rely on us to offer a betting market including rich video streaming content. This is possible due to our proprietary drum machines which are fully automated and can run with or without the live dealers present. “Although we live in a world in which software appears to be running it, people are still crucial for almost any kind of business but we can also rely solely on our automated technology to keep a continuous operation running.”While online casino and a number other verticals such as virtual sports and esports have been pushed to the forefront of the industry’s response to COVID-19, live casino providers have been struggling to stay operational. Given that an estimated quarter of the world is on lockdown, and many other countries have enforced social distancing measures, this brings obvious challenges to those reliant on human input.CCO Ivan Grković admitted that while online sportsbook or casino operators have often been reluctant to embrace the concept, these companies might now “face the need” to integrate live streamed lottery or table games to offset revenue losses from other verticals.He added: “We have changed the niche of the industry by combining betting and lottery games with our proprietary drums to offer clients more than 2,000 draws every day. Our drums are unique and fully automated, which allows us to offer our product with all features, even when the competition relies on human intervention that can’t be delivered.”