Netherlands: range, price cuts & new concepts

Date : 04 October 2017

We round up the latest news from the Netherlands, considering news from Albert Heijn, Jumbo, Aldi, Lidl, Coop Netherlands, Plus and Hema.

Albert Heijn showcases private label innovation…

Albert Heijn has run a dedicated AH on tour event to celebrate new private label products. The retailer invited food press, bloggers and vloggers to get a first look at its latest innovations.

Marit van Egmond, Director of Merchandising & Sourcing opened the event, where she referenced the 1,000 new products that the retailer introduces annually.

Focus on coffee, chocolate and drinks

Amongst other innovations, the retailer advised that the quality and packaging of its private label coffee brand, Perla, will be updated. The brand has a 50% market share in coffee, while in the future, Albert Heijn wants to make it an A brand.

Albert Heijn’s Delicata chocolate range will also be expanded with new flavours, including chocolate with chilli and chocolate seaweed. while packaging will be updated.

…Jumbo invests in 100 price cuts as rivals follow suit

Elsewhere in the market, on Friday Jumbo reduced the prices of around 100 products, including on own brand and branded products. The retailer’s website states, ‘At Jumbo we do everything we can to keep your daily shopping affordable … That is why we now come up with hundreds of daily products for a new low price … Products that you use daily and so you can really save’.

Competitors including Plus, Dekamarkt, Dirk and Vomar have also reportedly reduced prices. Alwin van der Velden of price comparison service, Superscanner.nl, said, ‘When we break down Plus's reductions, we see nineteen A brands with an average drop of 8%, similar to Jumbo and eighty home-label products with an average drop of 18%’.

Jumbo promotes sustainability

In Jumbo's wider business, it has been promoting the sustainability of its fresh fish range, stating that 95% of its own label products have the MSC or ASC certificate. Over the past two years, this has been a focus area for the retailer. It was also emphasised in-store last week for ‘Conscious Fish Week’.

Victor Simoncelli, Senior Commercial & Fisheries Manager of MSC said, ‘Because Jumbo chooses fish and seafood from independently certified and traceable sources, it rewards sustainable fishery and contributes to healthy fish stocks and ecosystems. Jumbo also helps her customers make a conscious choice for certified fish. The Conscious Fish Week also makes an important contribution’.

Aldi Nord looks to centralize A brand purchase

Elsewhere, Aldi Nord is aiming to centralize the purchase of A brands across markets and is in discussions with leading suppliers as part of this strategic shift. Lidl is already working in this way across many A brand products.

Lidl doubles organic assortment…

In other discount news, Lidl has doubled its organic range versus January 2016. Sanne Bogaarts, Corporate Responsibility Manager at Lidl Netherlands said, ‘Growth will continue, but we will not become a bio speciality store’.

…As Coop Netherlands promotes vegetarian food

On a related note, following a television campaign promoting vegetarian products, Coop Netherlands has broken its own sales records of meat products. The retailer works exclusively with one supplier in this area, Vivera.

Category Manager Wim van den Burg said, ‘A lot of people have made use of this opportunity. They have now experienced how good and delicious our products are. Hopefully they will choose a meat substitute again in the future’.

Plus partners with HelloFresh…

Meanwhile, Plus is partnering with HelloFresh, introducing the latter’s meal concept in five stores over a three month period. Shoppers will be able to choose from meat, fish and vegetarian options that change on a weekly basis for €9.95. Shoppers will be able to buy food for one meal, rather than a solution for three meals as is usually done by Hello Fresh.

Plus stores that will be participating include the Abcoude, IJsselstein, Schoonhoven, Rotterdam and Best.

Maartje Frederiks of Hello Fresh said, ‘We deliver more than 13 million meals worldwide every month; But there are of course also consumers who plan their dinner at the last minute or have an irregular rhythm. With this collaboration we make our dishes available to them’.

…While Hema pilots new food concept

Elsewhere in the Netherlands, Hema has opened a new food focused pilot store in Tilburg, southern Netherlands.

The store offers takeaway products, including smoothies, juices and drinks, as well as a restaurant, offering meal solutions for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Further rollouts are expected in Antwerp, Brussels, Veghel and Maassluis.