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We highlight the latest news from Albert Heijn as it partners with Dutch retailer Hema to open two pilot stores together. The retailer has also launched a new initiative called “Young Farmer on the Floor”, which provides young farmers with a platform to sell their products.

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We round up the latest innovations from Ahold Delhaize as it invests in ecommerce, formats and ranges in the US and the Netherlands.

Ahold Delhaize USA rolls out same-day delivery…

Ahold Delhaize USA has partnered with start-up Deliv to provide customers with same-day delivery for online orders. The new service will initially be available at checkout to Giant Foods and Martin’s shoppers who order from Peapod. The retailer hopes to expand the service to other banners in the US soon.

JJ Fleeman, president of Peapod Digital labs and chief e-commerce office of Ahold Delhaize USA, said the service will help to “conquer the last mile… [and to] scale same-day delivery to the benefit of millions of local brand shoppers by 2020”.

…While Giant opens an ecommerce fulfilment hub

The banner is also set to open a new online pickup centre under a new brand, Giant Direct Powered by Peapod. The 3,530 sq. m centre, located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, will provide walk-up and drive-up collection for online orders. There will also be a room where customers can place orders from tablets as well as autonomous robots, which will offer support.

Giant Food stores’ ecommerce business was previously known as “Peapod by Giant”. The change and creation of a new facility reflects Ahold Delhaize’s new go-to-market strategy for its ecommerce operations. It also marks the first dark-store conversion, helping to widen the brand’s delivery reach.

Source: Ahold Delhaize

Netherlands: Albert Heijn grows lettuce on water…

Meanwhile in the Netherlands, Albert Heijn has started selling six types of lettuce that have been grown on water. These include, Butter Lettuce, Red and Green Oak Leaf Lettuce, Frisee, Lollo Rossa and Batavia. According to the retailer, the “taste, nutritional values ??and shelf life of these lettuce varieties are comparable to those from the open ground”.

The retailer explained that the growing and transport of lettuce takes place within the Netherlands throughout the year. “Only in winter does a small percentage of lettuce come from Spain, for example, which saves a lot of transport costs and emissions”. Hydroponically grown plants therefore have a smaller sustainable footprint than traditionally grown plants.

Source: Albert Heijn

Other retailers, including Colruyt and Coop Sverige, are also trialling more sustainable methods of plant cultivation.

The move follows Albert Heijn’s earlier trial of a fixture which let shoppers harvest their own lettuce. The retailer worked with lettuce suppliers and Dutch company Hrbs to supply its store in Gelderlandplein, Amsterdam. The aim was “to bring the world of fruit and vegetables as close to the ordinary person as possible”.

…While it tests fresh food vending machine

Following successful tests of its 24/7 Meal Wall in its headquarters, Albert Heijn has begun testing a fresh food vending machine in other locations. This offers a variety of ready to eat, ready to heat and cooking at home meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner needs. If the next phase is successful, the retailer hopes to rollout the solution to hospitals and companies over the next few years.

Source: Christiaan Vette, LinkedIn

…And launches the Wasteful Kitchen in Gelderlandplein, Amsterdam

In other news, Albert Heijn is trialling “Wasteful Kitchen” in its XL store in Gelderlandplein, Amsterdam. The store often acts as a test bed for new initiatives, with the latest activity seeing it create fresh juices, soups and meals using the store’s waste, while also selling frozen bread that may otherwise have been wasted too.

Source: Christiaan Vette, LinkedIn

…And opens applications for Product Pitch 2019

Separately, Albert Heijn has announced that applications are open for its annual product innovation initiative, Product Pitch. The programme aims to “stimulate young entrepreneurship and to discover innovative products”. This campaign sees start-ups compete to win a place on AH’s shelves, as well as money to activate their product and coaching to grow their business.

Abel's Deli, Kaas in 't Bakkie and Knakwortel are among the brands that have previously entered the competition and have then been sold in the retailer’s stores. Applications are open until 15 March 2019 and the product pitches will take place on 4 April 2019.

Source: Albert Heijn

To keep up to date with the latest news from Ahold Delhaize and other international retailers, sign up for IGD’s free Retail Analysis international newsletter.

We look at three online developments from Albert Heijn, Jumbo City and Picnic.

Albert Heijn to open fifth online fulfilment centre…

Albert Heijn will open its fifth online fulfilment centre in Amsterdam, later this year. It will support the growth of its online store,, especially in terms of home delivery. The centre will be able to process 40,000 orders every week.

Philip Padberg, the new general manager of, commented, “Over the past few years, Albert Heijn has made home delivery easier by, among other things, track & trace, the national rollout of the delivery bundle in combination with free delivery at and a lower minimum order amount on Wednesday’s and Thursday’s. We are continuing [in 2019] with the renewal of our ecommerce services”. Albert Heijn also has fulfilment centres in Almere, Eindhoven, Rotterdam and De Meern.

Source: Albert Heijn

…As Giant opens first online pickup centre under new brand

Meanwhile, within the wider Ahold Delhaize organisation, its US business, Giant Food Stores is set to open a new online pickup centre under a new brand, Giant Direct Powered by Peapod. The 3,530 sq m centre, located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, will provide walk-up and drive-up collection for online orders.

Giant Food stores’ ecommerce business was previously known as ‘Peapod by Giant’. The change and creation of a new facility reflects Ahold Delhaize’s new go-to-market strategy for its ecommerce operations. It also marks the first dark-store conversion, helping to widen the brand’s delivery reach.

Giant Food Stores’s president, Nicholas Bertram, commented, “We are excited to make Lancaster the home of our newest innovation with the launch of our new Giant Direct, Powered by Peapod, ecommerce hub. Not only is the ecommerce hub a completely new concept for us and a first of its kind in our area, it’s the product of a fruitful collaboration… to give the Lancaster community the shopping experience they want and need”.

Jumbo City to offer deliveries in 45 minutes

Elsewhere in the Netherlands, Jumbo has partnered with local delivery start-up FoodDrop to provide its customers with home delivery in 45 minutes. Orders are placed online, prepared in-store and then delivered by FoodDrop on bikes for a cost of €2.95. Customers can choose from a limited assortment from the Jumbo City Groningen store. The range does not include crates of beer and prices are generally higher than in stores because of the fast delivery.

The service is initially available to customers living in a 2.5km radius of the Jumbo City Groningen store. It will be tested for an unknown period before being rolled out to the Groningen FoodMarkt and other Jumbo branches.

Source: Jumbo

Picnic to offer nationwide delivery on Sundays

Picnic has started to offer home delivery on Sundays. After a successful pilot in Ede, Utrecht and Veenendaal, Picnic extended the test to Almere, Delft, Leiden, The Hague and Zoetermeer. It has announced it will roll out the service nationwide in three weeks.

Picnic’s co-founder, Michiel Muller, commented, “The popularity of Sunday delivery is overwhelming. We have therefore decided to deliver groceries on Sundays in all 70 places where we are currently active. The weekend is the time to sit down with a shopping list to get what you need for the coming week. If you order before 10pm on Saturday, your order will be delivered on Sunday”.

To keep up to date with the latest news from the Netherlands, sign up to IGD’s free Retail Analysis international newsletter.

Jumbo is planning to evolve its Belgian and Dutch product range to help its entry into Belgium in Q4 2019, Distrifood reports. In the Netherlands, Jumbo is partnering with Too Good To Go, an app fighting food waste. SPAR Belgium has also announced it has introduced the Nutri-Score labelling system to its private label products.

An assortment for the Belgian market

Jumbo is expected to open several supermarkets in Belgium in Q4 2019. It is in the process of creating an assortment specifically for the Belgian market. Whilst it needs to adapt its Dutch products to fit the market, both Dutch and Belgian stores can potentially benefit from sharing ranges. 

Ahold Delhaize, owner of Albert Heijn, also sees the opportunity to export private label ranges between banners and countries, without adapting branding to provide more new products in-store.

A waste fighting pilot in the Netherlands

Meanwhile, in partnership with the Too Good To Go app, Jumbo will run a pilot in 13 stores for a month (12 locations in Amsterdam and one in Groningen). Through the app users will see a “Magic Box” offered in-store; each store decides how their box is put together. Users choose a box then collect it in-store at an agreed time slot. The box contains edible food that is usually thrown out at the end of the day. Users only find out exactly what is in their box once they have picked it up. The price is always one third of the actual value. 

Source: Too Good To Go

Jumbo said it wants to actively contribute to reducing food waste. If this pilot is successful, the scheme may be rolled out nationally.

Helping shoppers make healthier choices

SPAR Belgium has introduced the Nutri-score labelling system to several of its products. It is aiming to apply it to its entire private label range by 2020. This will see it adapt approximately 100 products a month. The system, promoted by the  Belgium government, uses letters and colours to categorise how healthy foods are.

Shoppers can use the SmartWithFood app to view more detailed nutritional and allergen information. The app can also recommend similar products to the one scanned, but with a higher nutritional score.

Stefan Goethaert, General Manager of Colruyt Group Fine Food said that “It’s very important for us to keep informing our customers in a clear and transparent way. This process requires a step-by-step approach. We are working in the areas of animal welfare, contributing to our communities, environment and health”.

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