Blog: Media Bites 11 May: Philip Morris, Brexit checks, Cost of living – The Grocer

Philip Morris International has struck a $16bn deal to buy Swedish Match, as the tobacco company makes its biggest bet yet on the market for cigarette alternatives. (The Financial Times £)

The appeal for Philip Morris is clear, writes The FT’s Lex column. It wants half of sales to come from smoke-free products by 2025 from about one-third today. Swedish Match’s number one US positions in chewing tobacco and nicotine pouches make it a tidy addition to an existing heated tobacco business. (The Financial Times £)

The UK government’s move to delay post-Brexit checks on imports of EU food products is an “accident waiting to happen”, farming, veterinary and meat industry groups have warned. (The Financial Times £)

The cost of living squeeze will leave 1.5 million households struggling to pay food and energy bills, according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. (The Times £)

Households are being urged to get their finances in the best shape possible amid increasing evidence of increased stress over the growing cost of living crisis – now said to be the main concern for people across the UK. (Sky News)

The chairman of Tesco has said there is an “overwhelming case” for a windfall tax on energy companies to help those suffering the most from the cost of living crisis, as some customers have started rationing the amount of food they buy at the supermarket. (The Guardian)

Some £6.8bn of wheat is sitting in Ukraine unable to be exported because the war has blocked off access to the sea, the president of the European Investment Bank has warned. (Sky News)

Rising protectionism is exacerbating chaos in global food markets brought on by the war in Ukraine, with governments clamping down on exports of staples including grains, cooking oil and pulses. (The Financial Times £)

Big high street pharmacy chains including Boots and Superdrug have run out of some hay fever medicines, with the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, blaming temporary supply issues. (The Guardian)

A decade has passed since McDonald’s pledged to stop buying pork from suppliers constraining pregnant pigs in small individual crates by the end of 2022… Jump forward to this year, when McDonald’s declares it is “on track to achieve our industry-leading goal to phase out” gestation stalls by the end of 2024, while it stands accused of engineering a subtle, but significant, shift in the goalposts. (The Times £)

An advertising campaign for Tesco Mobile which used the names of foods as substitutes for expletives has been banned. (The BBC)

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