Netherlands: growth channels and healthy living

Date : 15 February 2018

We round up the latest news from the Netherlands with new appointments at Action and Jumbo. Meanwhile, Amsterdam remains in focus with Picnic starting deliveries and Jumbo opening new Jumbo City stores. In other news, Jumbo is promoting healthy eating, while the country prepares to run its first National Week Without Meat event.

Action streamlines management team, appointing new Commercial Director

Action has appointed Hajir Hajji as Commercial Director from 1st March. She has worked for the retailer for over twenty years and was previously responsible for store operations in Europe. Hajji will also be assuming the responsibilities of Buying & Merchandise Director, Simon Hathway and Marketing Director, René Rapko who are leaving the business.

This will see Bart Raeymaekers promoted to Director of Store Operations. He has worked for the retailer since 2012 in Belgium, the Netherlands and France.

As of 1st March, Action’s management team will consist of:

  • CEO: Sander van der Laan
  • CFO: Fredrik Lotz
  • Commercial Director: Hajir Hajji
  • Supply Chain Director: Joost Bous

These management changes are a key stepping stone in Action's strategic ambition to operate over 2,700 stores and achieve turnover of €10bn annually.

IGD was invited to visit Action's new concept store in Amsterdam where we were impressed with the refreshed décor and modernised look and feel.

Source: IGD Research

Jumbo's Commercial Director departs…

In related news, Jumbo’s Commercial Director, Ed van de Weerd is to leave the retailer on April 1st. He previously took up the position in April 2011, having worked for Ahold in a variety of commercial roles. He announced the move in a letter to suppliers and is to leave the retailer on 1st April. His future role remains unclear.

Picnic begins deliveries in Amsterdam in March

Elsewhere in the market, Picnic is to start delivering groceries in Amsterdam this March. The three districts of Rivierenbuurt, Watergraafsmeer and Nieuwe Pijp will go live first, while Picnic will launch in other districts later this year. Deliveries will be fulfilled through fifteen electric vans. Picnic currently services 30 Dutch cities, including the Rotterdam area.

Jumbo gets set to open two new Jumbo City stores in Amsterdam…

Also in Amsterdam, Jumbo is to open two Jumbo City stores n Ferdinand Bolstraat and Eerste Constantijn. At present, Jumbo operates three stores in Eindhoven, Den Bosch and Groningen. The retailer is planning to grow the format to operate a minimum of ten stores in the future.

IGD visited the first Jumbo City convenience store to launch recently, where we were impressed with the food-to-go offer, particularly the self-serve coffee display and food counters.

Source: IGD Research

 …As it launches healthy eating campaign aimed at families

Elsewhere within the Jumbo business, as part of its ambition to help ‘children enjoy healthy and varied food’, the retailer has introduced ‘The Journey of 5’ campaign. This follows consumer research that found that many Dutch people struggle to eat the suggested 250g of vegetables and two pieces of fruit daily.

The campaign will see a series of 32 displays with ‘two instruction cards each week with creative fruit and vegetable recipes for the whole family’. Jumbo is already investing in making fresh produce more affordable and adding innovative products including ‘stew mixes and vegetable juices or cauliflower pizza’.

On a recent trip to the Netherlands, we saw a variety of innovative ways that Dutch retailers are activating health and wellness in the country.

5th – 11th March – National Week Without Meat

Meanwhile, 53 Dutch retailers and suppliers will be supporting the country’s first National Week Without Meat initiative next month.

This will be supported with a dedicated website, as well as campaigns on social media, at train stations and on social media. Leading grocery retailers will also run dedicated activity. This will include the use of magazines, as well as in-store activity. It is expected that the event will run annually.

Source: National Week Without Meat website

The National Week Without Meat initiative was initiated by, Isabel Boerdam, a vegetarian food blogger who has said she’s been inspired by both Meatfree Monday in the UK as well as another '40 Days Without Meat’ campaign. ‘I think it is important, that it is an initiative with a clear focus on the main goal: to make it clear to consumers that vegetarian food does not have to be boring, tasteless or complicated … Moreover, we want to make them aware of the positive impact that less meat has. If an adult does not eat meat for one week, he saves 7 months of shower water and 111 kilometres of driving. I want to convey this message broadly. That is why I deliberately chose not to approach just a few big sponsors, but to ask various producers and formulas to support the campaign with an amount of 2,000 euros’.

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