Food-to-go retail fusion in Europe: three new approaches

Date : 04 May 2017

As food-to-go rises further up the agenda, we report on developments from Carrefour in France and Italy, Sainsbury's in the UK and the Netherland's Jan Linders.

Carrefour: experimenting with new types of smaller formats

Carrefour has been testing new formats extensively in the past 18 months. Many of these show an increased consideration of how it can take better advantage of the food-to-go opportunity, but two recent moves stand out. 

The first of these is the launch of two new formats in Milan. Carrefour Express Eat & Shop is an evolution of the standard Carrefour Express proximity store, with a more direct focus on high quality food-to-go ranges.  Carrefour Urban Life goes even further, and is better described as a food space rather than a retail store, with an in-store pizzeria, cafe and bar complementing the core food-for-now and food-for-later focus, set amidst a highly enticing, high quality, in-store environment. 

The second move is in its domestic French market, where, after a period of testing, Carrefour has signalled a renewed dedicated focus on expanding its food-to-go dedicated Bon App format, in a context in which Carrefour and its key rivals are seeking to more strongly target the food-for-now space. 

Sainsbury's: using concessions to add new appeal

Sainsbury's continues to evolve its proposition to meet a wider range of shopper needs, to which the expansion of in-store Argos digital shop-in-shops has been testimony. But the slightly lower profile roll out of Sushi Gourmet concessions in selected larger stores has been another important strand of development, adding new reasons to visit stores and selling at very different price points to its core sushi range. This will be in 50 stores by the end of the year. It now appears that following a recent trial, it's looking to adopt similar thinking in other areas, with Patisserie Valerie cakes and patisserie being introduced in 12 stores, elevating appeal to higher price points. Both of these moves add as much to the broader appeal of the format as they do to food-to-go, but we see them nonetheless as significant in the food-to-go space, pointing to a clear direction of travel for the business that could open up opportunities for new food-to-go partnerships in future.    

Jan Linders: using fresh strengths to drive food-to-go footfall

Less heralded than the other two examples, the development of regional Dutch retailer Jan Linders is nonetheless worthy of attention. It stands out in its ability to effectively target a wider range of food-to-go missions, putting its "kitchen" feature prominently in flow in its latest stores to enable it to showcase its freshly prepared ranges more effectively, Initially the focus of this fell on sandwiches, but this has been extended into a wider range of food-for-now solutions, for example into ready to eat pizzas, where it has become a destination in its own right, particularly at weekends.

Three ways to grow your food-to-go capability 

1. Stay up to speed with our latest food-to-go research by signing up to our Food-to-go newsletter here.

2. Check out some of the highlights from our latest food-to-go research below:

Food-to-go in retail - six North American retailers to learn from

Food-to-go in retail: six retailers in Europe to learn from

Retail and food-to-go fusion in Ireland

3.  Experience the trends in action, by joining us on safari in Dublin next month and by booking your place at our Food-to-Go Conference - book by Friday May 7 to get your early bird discount.