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•  FMI-The Food Industry Association announced its FMItech Pitch Competition to showcase food retail technology start-up solutions. After contestants provide a three-minute video that is reviewed by the FMItech at Midwinter Advisory Council, six top-scoring start-up companies will vie for first place at the … FMI Midwinter Executive Conference, highlighting their solutions to industry leaders and an expert panel of judges."

FMI says that "start-ups will share their expertise in areas such as process automation and robotics; AI-targeted loyalty and shopper behavior monitoring; digital receipts; and coupons, all to assist retailers in achieving business outcomes and meet consumer expectations."

•  From the New York Times this morning:

"There are signs that inflation in Europe is getting worse. Data released on Wednesday showed that overall consumer prices rose at a rapid pace in September from a year earlier, climbing nearly 11 percent in the European Union and 10.1 percent in Britain. The cost of food jumped nearly 16 percent in the European Union and more than 14 percent in Britain, while energy prices surged around 40 percent across both places.

"As inflation continues to flare, few matters are causing more concern than the cost of a basic loaf. Prices for the most essential food staple have never been higher, and are now up nearly 19 percent from a year ago, the fastest rise on record, according to Eurostat, Europe’s statistics agency.

"Russia’s war in Ukraine has been a major factor behind the increase, Eurostat said, by roiling energy markets and driving up prices for grains, oilseeds and fertilizers."

•  Also from the New York Times:

"Nestlé and Procter & Gamble, two of the world’s largest consumer-facing companies, continued to raise prices last quarter, generating higher sales even as shoppers, squeezed by inflation, cut back on the amount of cereal, yogurt, detergent and other goods they bought, the companies reported on Wednesday. Executives also said that the prices would remain high in the coming quarters.

"Nestlé, the Swiss conglomerate whose brands include Kit Kat and San Pellegrino water, raised prices by 9.5 percent in the third quarter versus the same period last year, up from a 7.7 percent increase in the previous quarter. The effect of accelerating prices was reflected in a small decline in the volume of goods sold in its latest quarter, the first fall in years."