Morrisons Wants to Be the Grocer of Choice for British Millennials

(Bloomberg) -- With a recipe-box service that will debut this week, Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc has set its sights on becoming the grocer of choice for British millennials.

Eat Fresh, a subscription business that will send boxes of ingredients and recipes to customers who sign up for them, aims to attract a crowd of diners who’ve signed up to similar offerings such as Unilever’s Dollar Shave Club, Chief Executive Officer David Potts said on a call with reporters.

“We have to watch trends in the market, and become more relevant to more consumers,” Potts said.

Morrison studied the operations of competing meal-kit outfits before setting up Eat Fresh, he said. In the U.K., the company will go up against Berlin-based HelloFresh as well as Oddbox, which delivers misshaped fruit and vegetables to homes and businesses on a weekly basis.

Unilever, the owner of Dove soap, acquired Dollar Shave Club, a subscription-based seller of razor blades and male grooming items, in July 2016.

Morrison shares were down 0.5 percent at 8:51 a.m. in London trading. The grocer’s earnings rose in the first half of the year after warm summer weather, the royal wedding and the World Cup soccer championship spurred sales. It will pay a special dividend to shareholders, its second this year, bringing the total interim payout to 3.85 pence per share.

First-half revenue of 8.8 billion pounds ($11.5 billion) met analyst estimates; the forecast momentum remains supportive of a buy rating, Jefferies said in a note to investors.

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