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Germany-based cooperative Edeka said group sales increased 3.2% to €53.6bn. The performance was driven by the organisation’s independent retailers, which saw sales improve by 4.9%.

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Germany-based Edeka has announced it will add greenhouses in some of its stores. The step will enable it to offer shoppers fresh, locally-grown herbs and salads.

Edeka to use Infarm solution

Edeka said it had added Infarm’s greenhouses at stores in Edeka Loddenheide and Edeka Gievenbeck, which are both in Münster. Discussing Infarm’s greenhouses, the store owner of Edeka Loddenheide said: “You can hardly buy your products more local. The special thing is that the customer can watch the herbs being grown.

Solution adds to theatre

We have been tracking solutions like that from Infarm for several years. In 2016 Infarm added a greenhouse in a Metro Cash & Carry in Berlin, while Albert Heijn added a growing wall in its Purmerend store and Colruyt has tested in-store vertical farming cultivation. Edeka said the greenhouses do not use pesticides, while the closed ecosystem enables it to limit negative inputs like heat, cold or lack of water, which means they are grown in a more consistent way.

The solutions help the retailers build their brands within the health and local areas, while by involving third parties many can roll them out comparatively quickly.

As Edeka and Rewe announce initiatives in their home market, we round up news from the retailers.

Edeka to expand organic focus

As shopper interest in organic products grows, Edeka has rumoured to be investigating opportunities to launch a format specifically aimed at such ranges. Trade publication Lebensmittel Zeitung said Edeka would use the Naturkind brand for both standalone stores and shop-in-shop outlets in some of the retailer’s hypermarkets. The concept would stock both the Edeka Bio private label range and branded alternatives. To support its growing focus on organic, Edeka could expand its private label range with up to 440 seasonal items.

Rewe trials faster checkouts…

Rewe, at a store in Cologne-Rodenkirchen, is testing a self-scanning solution to enable shoppers to scan their own products. The technology will allow shoppers to either use specific scanning devices, while in future the technology could be extended to their smartphones. To benefit from the service, shoppers will have to download the Smart Shopping app and register with their Payback account details.

…As it invests in prices…

Following the publication of its 2018 results, Rewe’s chief executive Lionel Souque said that the retailer will remain price competitive in the market. Souque was quoted as saying: “We track the prices of Aldi and Lidl every day and adjust our prices accordingly. We will not allow Aldi price leadership in branded goods.

…And its Billa operations in Bulgaria

Rewe is set to invest more than BGN34m (US$19.6m) in its Billa operations in Bulgaria in 2019. It said the money would be spent on opening at least two new stores in Paradise Center and The Mall shopping centres in Sofia and updating some of its existing 124 sites. The announcement comes after the retailer discussed its 2018 results, when it said sales rose 5.9% in Bulgaria in 2018.

Want to find more insight on the German market? Subscribers can read our country presentation that explores the key trends in and the growth strategies of the leading retailers in the country.

Leading UK based food-to-go specialist Pret has announced its biggest menu change in its 33 year history, with 20 new recipes and a rising focus on flexitarian diets.

Stretching appeal across growth segments and day parts

One goal behind the new menu is the idea that the range will meet all day parts, reflecting changes we’re seeing in consumption patterns and areas of opportunity for the food-to-go market. Much of the new range is focused towards flexitarians and includes eight vegan and five vegetarian options.

New lines to meet new missions

Available from Tuesday 9 April, we’ll be in-store next week to share our thoughts. The new menu promises to pick up on key trends such as free-from (with the introduction of open sandwiches with gluten-free bread), and increasingly flexible consumption patterns. For Pret, salads pots in particular are a key example of this: two thirds of these are already eaten outside lunchtime. With this new range Pret aims to provide more choice through breakfast, mid-morning, lunch and mid-afternoon. Filling snacks and smaller meals are two concepts Pret has been keen to emphasise in the new range - we look forward to seeing how this will be brought to life in-store.

Maintaining Pret’s proud innovation tradition

While the classic Pret offer will still remain, the new offer showcases an increased focus on choice, colour, and flavour. And what is interesting is just how many of our food-to-go trends the new Pret menu items touch upon. Clearly, consumers’ growing interest in leading healthier lifestyles is rising, and the continuing growth of flexitarian diets feeds into this opportunity. At the same time, changing consumption patterns, and moves away from the traditional three meals per day, continue. Pret has long been seen as leader when it comes to food-to-go innovation. With this new range it will seek to strengthen this position.


This guide to Germany includes a summary of the country’s economic outlook, an overview of the grocery retail market, insight on the country’s leading retailers and the short-term developments that will drive the market.

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