Ahold Delhaize: five innovations to watch

Date : 08 February 2018

We share the latest developments at Ahold Delhaize in the USA and the Netherlands. In the USA, Food Lion has rolled out its Shop & Earn MVP Customer Rewards loyalty programme. Peapod has also broadened its range of meal kits with key brand partnerships. Meanwhile in the Netherlands, Albert Heijn is opening its first cashless supermarket, has announced the creation of a new soap opera and is supporting start-up suppliers in-store.

1. USA: Food Lion rolls out Shop & Earn MVP Customer Rewards...

Following successful trials in 2017, Food Lion has introduced its Shop & Earn MVP Customer Rewards loyalty programme across the 10 states in the US where it has a presence.

The rewards programme offers personalized promotions, with new offers available monthly, while users can track their rewards online or via an app.

To celebrate the launch, 'Food Lion Feeds is partnering with Feeding America to donate one meal to local food banks for each Shop & Earn activation, up to 1 million meals, throughout February'.

Commenting on the launch, Deborah Sabo, Senior Vice President of Marketing said, 'Shop & Earn is a unique loyalty program that puts our customers in charge of their savings ... The more our customers shop, the more they will save. Offers are targeted to customers based on their specific purchases, fuelling a program with nearly endless savings opportunities'.

Image source: Food Lion

2. ...As Peapod broadens meal kits extending  key brand partnerships

Ahold Delhaize’s Peapod online platform is widening its meal kit offer, partnering with Campbell Soup, Kraft Heinz and Barilla. New menu lines will include:

  • Miso Sriracha Salmon in partnership by Campbell’s Soup
  • Harvest chicken alfredo baked ziti by Kraft Heinz
  • Ready Pasta Gemelli with chicken and broccoli by Barilla

Meal kits at Peapod grew by 104% in 2017, while Peapod already partners with other branded manufacturers such as Uncle Ben’s an Conagra Brands.

3. Netherlands: Albert Heijn to open first cashless supermarket in Amsterdam, roll out to 80 stores...

Albert Heijn plans to open its first cashless supermarket in Amsterdam, while converting 80 stores to the new concept in the short term.

The retailer has been testing this concept since December 2016 in its head office store, although shoppers still have the option to use self-checkouts.

IGD recently visited the Netherlands, where we saw the 'tap to go' technology in action. Retail Analysis subscribers can read more about our exclusive take on the innovation, how it works and the implications here.

4. ...As it announces new soap opera

In other news, Albert Heijn is to launch its own soap opera, Supersoap, which will be shown on the retailer's own social media channel, Appie Today. Commenting on the development, Monique Bergers, editor-in-chief of Appie Today said, 'We want to show that the supermarket is a reflection of society'.

The show is expected to launch in one month's time, with storylines based on true stories. As such, the Appie Today team has interviewed a large number of Albert Heijn employees as part of the process. Store colleagues will act as extras in the show, with professional actors playing the lead roles.

5. ...And supports start-up suppliers in-store

Albert Heijn is trialling allocating dedicated space for start-up suppliers at its Gelderlandplein store, the largest supermarket in Amsterdam.

Companies that are participating include, Tea By Me, a supplier of tea plants and another supplier that bakes bread with vegetables. The bread manufacturer offers ‘Super Green’ bread, baked with broccoli and spinach and is working on a vegetable-based breadstick for soup. The manufacturer already works with Dutch foodservice operators including Stach and Bagels & Beans, as well as at festivals and is producing 5,000 – 6,000 rolls daily.

Commenting on the announcement, Marit van Egmond, Commercial Director ad Albert Heijn said, ‘With this test, we want to introduce our customers to small, innovative food start-ups …We are always looking for new distinctive products for our customers, as we already do with our annual Product Pitch, where we encourage young entrepreneurship to come up with new products, which is a great addition to this. try things out and work with small innovative companies'.

Image source: Albert Heijn

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