Netherlands: news in review

Date : 16 October 2017

We round up the latest news from the Netherlands. This focuses on online and digital developments, new private label ranges, changes at the top and a charitable promotion.

Albert Heijn adds Siri capability with voice-enabled shopping lists

 Albert Heijn shoppers can now create and edit voice-enabled shopping lists through the Siri and the retailer’s app. A press release from Albert Heijn highlighted that its customers could use Siri to:

  • ‘put products on the Appie shopping list
  • indicate the desired number of products
  • list products on the list
  • Ask what's on their shopping list’

Sample voice commands suggest:

  • ‘Put 3 apples and 4 bananas on my list in Appie'
  • 'Add 300 grams chopped to my list Appie'
  • 'Check out my list of apples in Appie'
  • 'What did I have on my list in Appie’

Shoppers also don’t have to open Albert Heijn’s app first, rather they can press the ‘home button on their iPhone or iPad’ and start Siri.

Other retailers are already using voice enabled technology to make the customer experience easier and more convenient. For insight on how Walmart is innovating in this area, IGD Retail Analysis subscribers can click here.

Jumbo launches ‘Veggie Chef’ private label range

In other news, Jumbo has introduced a new private label ‘Veggie Chef’ range of prepared food products as it looks to cater to vegetarians, vegans and flexitarians. The retailer’s vegetarian range of 86 products, includes 21 vegetarian and 19 vegan options.

Meat consumption has dropped

A press release from Jumbo cited that ‘the annual Vegamonitor of Nature and Environment shows that meat consumption drops: over four in ten Dutch eat less meat than five years ago and as much as 67 percent of the Dutch are flexitarian and eat no meat or fish at least one day a week. Half would eat more meat replacers if there were a more extensive offer. Also, they not only want to provide more variety in meals, but also contribute to a better environment and animal welfare and to consciously deal with their health. In addition, more than half of the Dutch feel that eating less meat is the norm’.

Linked ‘Veggie Monday’ campaign

In line with consumer trends and to inspire shoppers to try eating less meat, Jumbo is introducing an associated ‘Veggie Monday’ promotional campaign, where it provides recipe inspiration in-store and on Instagram.

Such initiatives have gained traction in recent years, with the hashtag 'meatfreemonday' trending on social media at this time.

PLUS’ CEO to depart in mid-2018…

Meanwhile, PLUS’ CEO, Jan Brouwer is to step down in mid-2018, following a four year tenure. He succeeded Jan Ferwerda in January 2014. Since this time, the retailer has introduced new store concepts and same day delivery.

…As PLUS takes next step in sustainable deliveries

Elsewhere, as it opens its 200th click and collect point, PLUS is also broadening its sustainable delivery options. The retailer is partnering with Urban Arrow and Stint Cargo to test a new way of delivering products in a sustainable way. This will be trialled for the retailer’s standard online service, as well as though PLUS Express, which offers same day deliver. Initially the trial will be available through five stores in IJsselstein, Abcoude, Almere, Delft and Haaksbergen.

Commenting on the development, Tamara Smith-Zonneveld, Online / e-commerce Manager said, ‘The Stint Cargo drive you up and is a quiet vehicle. The bicycle and the stint are both deployable in car-free zones and a driver’s license is not required. That offers many benefits’.

Hoogvliet expands delivery reach

In related news, Hoogvliet is now delivering online grocery orders in Zoetermeer, as it looks to broaden its delivery reach. Shoppers can now order groceries via the retailer’s website or app for collection at the local Hoogvliet supermarket. The retailer already offers around 10,000 products, with delivery available six days a week.

Picnic trials Sunday deliveries

Meanwhile, Picnic has started trialling Sunday delivery in Utrecht East. If this is successful, it is likely that Picnic will extend this to other cities. Michiel Muller, co-founder of Picnic said, ‘Our customers are so happy with free delivery at the lowest price, we are expanding our service rapidly’.

Dirk van den Broek in fifth annual Pink Ribbon campaign

In other news, Dirk van den Broek has begun raising money for Pink Ribbon, which funds breast cancer related research. The retailer has run the campaign for the last five years. The campaign, which runs until 3rd December, provides customers with the choice of giving a deposit to breast cancer research. This follows research that found that 1 in 7 women in the Netherlands are diagnosed with breast cancer.