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Lesson Transcript

Kellie: Hello! I’m your host Kellie and welcome back to EnglishClass101.com.
Gina: Hi everyone, I’m Gina!
Kellie: This is Culture Class, Season 2, Lesson 22 - Top 5 Biggest Battles in Food.
Gina: In this lesson we will speak about some of the battles that are happening in the field of food.

Lesson focus

Kellie: Yes, so let’s jump straight in with number 5 – PG Tips versus Tetley.
Gina: It may be a stereotype, but the British public really does love tea. PG Tips and Tetley are two of the biggest and most well known tea companies in the country.
Kellie: When I think of PG Tips, I think of the monkeys from the advertisements.
Gina: [laughter] Those adverts were very famous, weren't they! PG Tips can be traced back to 1896 when Arthur Brooke opened his first tea shop. The brand PG Tips began in 1930.
Kellie: What about Tetley?
Gina: Tetley is even older and had its origins in 1822 when the Tetley brothers began selling tea from a pack horse. In 1953, Tetley became the first company in Britain to sell tea in tea bags.
Kellie: Tea bags are so popular now due to how easy they are.
Gina: Tetley started that! Tetley are also the second largest manufacturer and distributor of tea in the world and the largest tea company in the UK.
Kellie: And it all started with a pack horse.
Gina: Impressive isn’t it? PG Tips are the second biggest tea company in the UK, but as you said earlier they’re a household name due to their popular ad campaigns.
Kellie: Next we have two totally different types of drinks companies as at number 4 its Wetherspoons vs. Mitchell and Butlers.
Gina: Britain loves tea, and it also loves alcohol!
Kellie: That’s right! Wetherspoons is a name that has really spread and become visible over the last twenty years.
Gina: Yeah, it’s a pub chain that was formed in 1979 but it only really started branching out nationally in the 1990s. In 1993 it opened its fiftieth pub, in 1994 its hundredth pub and as of 2011 it had 800 pubs and is aiming to add to that tally.
Kellie: I like Wetherspoons pubs. They’re not the same as the local pubs as they’re usually really large pubs, but there’s no music, things are cheap and their food is decent.
Gina: That’s part of their charm! Mitchells and Butlers have a longer history and formed in 1898 when two companies merged. The new company then merged with Bass in 1961. By the 1980s the chain had 7,000 pubs across the UK and started to branch out into restaurants in the 1990s.
Kellie: So Mitchells and Butlers have been in the game longer and are more diverse, but it seems Wetherspoons are catching up.
Gina: Wetherspoons aims to add another 250 pubs in the next five years. You’re right in saying that Mitchells and Butlers are more diverse and they also operate stores that focus more on food than on alcohol, such as the Harvester and Toby Carvery chains.
Kellie: They are the two most prominent pub chains in Britain though, despite their differences.
Gina: That’s true.
Kellie: Okay, number 3 is something else that is close to the heart of the British public – biscuits and snack food! It’s United Biscuits versus Burton’s Biscuit Company.
Gina: United Biscuits formed in 1948 when McVitie and Price merged with MacFarlane Lang. It sells its products in over 100 countries and in 2006 was purchased by a consortium led by Blackstone Group and PAI Partners.
Kellie: How about Burton’s Biscuit Company?
Gina: That began in the mid 1800s.
Kellie: That long ago?
Gina: Yes. George Burton began baking biscuits and the company was eventually formed by his grandson in 1935. It’s not just biscuits they make though as they also manufacture crisps and cookies.
Kellie: Are biscuits big business?
Gina: To these two companies, yes! United Biscuits is the largest biscuit manufacturer in the UK and had a 2012 net income of £20.5 million.
Kellie: That’s a lot of biscuits!
Gina: Burton’s Biscuit Company is the second largest biscuit company in the UK.
Kellie: I love a nice biscuit with my cup of tea, and that brings us nicely to our number 2.
Gina: More tea?
Kellie: Not quite… we’re moving onto coffee shops. Number two is Costa Coffee vs Starbucks.
Gina: Costa Coffee was founded by two Italian brothers in Britain in 1971. At that time it was a wholesaler supplying roasted coffee to business and individuals. The first actual coffee shop was opened in London in 1978.
Kellie: Whitbread own Costa Coffee, don’t they?
Gina: Yes, they bought the company in 1995.
Kellie: Right. How about Starbucks? There seems to be a Starbucks on every corner these days.
Gina: Starbucks also started by selling coffee beans and not actual coffee, and it also started in 1971.
Kellie: That’s a spooky coincidence! 1971 was the year of coffee companies.
Gina: The first Starbucks stores were in Seattle and it began to branch out of that city in 1987 and moved into Canada as well as the rest of America. The first non-US branch was opened in Tokyo in 1996 and the first UK Starbucks in 1998 after buying out the Seattle Coffee Company.
Kellie: So how many stores does Starbucks have? Feels like thousands.
Gina: In the UK there are currently 806 stores.
Kellie: That’s a lot!
Gina: Not compared to Costa Coffee’s 1,375 and 2,500 express coffee machines!
Kellie: Is Costa Coffee more popular than Starbucks then?
Gina: In the UK, Costa Coffee is the leading coffee house. In the world, it’s Starbucks as the chain has a massive 20,891 stores worldwide.
Kellie: Wow. Our number one is undoubtedly the biggest food battle in the UK. It’s the battle of the big four – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.
Gina: Usually the fights we talk about are between two companies but the supermarket wars are definitely a four company battle. Between them, these four companies own 76.2% of the supermarket market.
Kellie: Let’s quickly talk about the supermarkets themselves. Tesco has a long history dating back to 1919, has stores in 14 countries and 2,500 stores in Britain.
Gina: Asda began in 1949 and in 1999 it was acquired by the American retail chain Walmart. Asda has 565 stores in Britain.
Kellie: Sainsbury’s is the oldest of the supermarkets as it began in 1869 as a single store in London. Now, it has 1,016 stores across the country.
Gina: And finally, Morrisons began in 1899 and specialised in provisions. It was mainly focused on the North of England but started coming south after buying the Safeway chain of supermarkets in 2004. Morrisons has 455 stores.
Kellie: So Tesco has the most stores by quite some margin. Does that make it the market leader?
Gina: In this case, yes. Tesco has a market share of 30.5%, ahead of Asda with 16.7%.
Kellie: The competition between the supermarkets can get pretty fierce. There are often price match campaigns going on and they sometimes directly compare product prices in their advertising.
Gina: Yeah, they often choose special offers that will give them an edge over the competitors. They’re all competing for our grocery money!
Kellie: Well, that’s all for this lesson.


Kellie: We hope you enjoyed it.
Gina: Be sure to check the lesson notes and see you next time for lesson 23!
Kellie: Bye!


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EnglishClass101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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Hello Listeners! Have you ever heard about any of these battles? 

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 03:18 PM
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Hello Ahmed,

Thanks for posting!



Team EnglishClass101.com

Saturday at 07:42 PM
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I like the opening music :smile: :thumbsup:

Thank you a lot