Convenience: revisiting sustainability and health

Date : 08 March 2021

Charles Chan

Senior Retail Analyst

Earlier this year, we outlined five global trends that will shape the convenience channel this year and beyond. Below are some case studies to show how sustainability and health are rising up the agenda.

Taiwan: increasing healthier options

Well-known Taiwanese brand I-Mei is promoting new products at FamilyMart, emphasising local origin, quality and no preservatives added. While FamilyMart has also launched a new ready-to-eat range that focuses on protein and fibre intake.

Source: FamilyMart Taiwan

7-Eleven has partnered Hanlai Gourmet, Yangxin Tea House and Master Hua to launch the ‘Tian sude shu’ series. The new range of nine SKUs focuses on fresh food for vegetarians, two of which (potato salad sandwiches [eggs and vegetables] and a warm salad that features eight kinds of wild vegetables) have been launched nationally. Other dishes available at select stores include black truffle and mushroom risotto and vegetable fried noodles.

Source: 7-Eleven Taiwan

UK: refill stations and packaging-free

LA Foods, a Nisa partner and operated by the Hussain family, recently opened a 280 sq m store in Edgware, London, featuring a zero-waste refill station. Currently, the refill carries nuts, grains, seeds, cereal and other foodstuffs. The family may adopt a similar approach for other lines such as cleaning products in the future.

Source: Nisa

Sweden: ‘living lab’ c-store that focus on sustainability

Reitan Convenience (Reitangruppen) is launching a new store concept called PBX. The first store will open in the new Albano area at Norra Djurgården in Stockholm later this year. PBX will function as a ‘living lab’ to test what is most sustainable in terms of both operations and supply chain.

Reitan Convenience operates 7-Eleven stores in Sweden (84), Norway (155) and Denmark (173). It is one of the first convenience retailers to use a ‘lab store’ to focus on sustainability. 7-Eleven (U.S) and Circle K (Canada, Norway and Lithuania), for example, have mainly used such a format to test digital initiatives.

U.S: energy transformation and electrification

7-Eleven has installed four electric vehicle (EV) fast chargers to a West Sacramento, California, convenience store in collaboration with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E). In the EV Fast Charge Program, PG&E pays for and manages construction of the electrical infrastructure. It plans to add EV charging stations at more 7-Eleven stores over the next few years.

In Houston, BP and Uber are working together to explore development and deployment of BP’s rapid electric vehicle charging hubs. The two companies aim to create a convenient network of EV charging available to the public, as well as help Uber drivers transition to electric vehicles.

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