Netherlands: Albert Heijn, Picnic & Jumbo

Date : 28 March 2017

We review the latest developments from the Netherlands, with a focus on Albert Heijn, Picnic and Jumbo. This includes a focus on store formats, private label, online and promotions.

Albert Heijn updates on pilot with BP…

Albert Heijn launched its first AH to go stores in partnership with BP in the second half of 2016. This now includes six stores, with the majority in Randstad, with one in Deventer. Meanwhile, the retailer also offers forecourt stores in conjunction with Shell in Germany. There are no plans to extend these partnerships further at this stage, as the retailer plans to test the pilot until the end of this year at the earliest.

As part of a review, Jan-Willem Dockheer, general manager of Albert Heijn to go in the Netherlands and Germany recognised the format’s adaptability, ‘whether we’re in a train station, at a university or in a busy shopping street’. He also recognised that shoppers are responding well to a familiar brand, while the stores offer an extensive range of snacks and energy drinks. In addition to this, AH to go hopes to inspire people to make healthy choices by offering a wider range.

…As it extends gluten-free range

In other news, Albert Heijn is growing its private label range of gluten free products, under the ‘free from gluten’ label. The range will include 25 products, including ‘bread and baking mixes, pastas, cookies and crackers’.

…And wins Good Food 2017 award

On a related note, Albert Heijn’s courgette spaghetti, cauliflower rice and broccoli rice products have won the Good Food 2017 award. Commenting on the award, Michelle Belt, Category Manager said, ‘We continuously improve our products and have in the past year introduced a lot of new healthy products. Vegetable consumption in the Netherlands is lagging behind. Therefore, we have reflected together with our supplier Vezet on how the Netherlands can eat more vegetables and we have developed new products … In the coming year we will continue to surprise our customers with new healthy, fresh produce’.

Albert Heijn explores B2B opportunities...

In other news, Albert Heijn is considering B2B opportunities. Spokesperson Anoesjka Aspeslagh said, 'In collaboration with some of our partners and suppliers we have, partly at the request of a number of (potential) customers the intention to expand the B2B specific range'. This is set to include 'bulk packaging, packaged meats in small portions, a wider range of coffee machines for professional [use] and specific cleaning products'.

...As tests beta website

Meanwhile, is testing a beta version of its website, with a range of new features. The retailer has invited select customers to trial the site and provide feedback. Potential new features include ‘a 360-degree view of the physical store of Rivièra Maison’, as a means to bring ‘together offline and online shopping in a special way’,

Picnic secures investment & expands to The Hague

In other online grocery news, pure play retailer Picnic has secured an investment of €100m in its expansion in the Netherlands. The investment is likely to focus on new distribution centres and delivery vehicles. Picnic’s current online delivery reach focuses mainly on the Utrecht region, although it began a nationwide roll out earlier this year and has now expanded its service to The Hague. Picnic expects to achieve revenue of around €100m this year.

Jumbo opens two remodelled stores…

Elsewhere in the country, Jumbo is opening two stores in Gameren and Hellevoetsluis that have been renovated and expanded in line with the retailer’s latest thinking.

Colette Cloosterman van Eerd, director of Innovation and Formula Jumbo Supermarkets said, ‘Our new stores have a wider range of fresh products which are central. [They] will serve fresh sushi and … fresh pizzas.

The store in Hellevoetsluis will also offer a collection point, where shoppers can collect grocery orders placed on or through the retailer’s dedicated app.

…As it runs fifth King's Day breakfast campaign

As part of the celebrations for King’s Day, which commemorates King Willem Alexander’s birthday in Holland, Jumbo is providing 1.2 million breakfasts to school children across the country.

Colette Cloosertman van Eerd said, ‘The King Games is an annual event where we not only offer breakfast, but also inform children in an accessible way about the importance of a healthy start to the day’.