Five food-to-go innovations in Europe

Date : 20 December 2018

We look at how retailers across Europe are innovating in food-to-go, featuring developments from Carrefour, Albert Heijn and Axfood.

France: Carrefour opens fresh and meal solution-focused store

Carrefour has opened its first “laboratory store” in Paris. The new 371 sq. m "Halle de Clichy" store is partly based on the Carrefour City concept, although the retailer has given more space to fresh food.

It offers around 1,200 fresh products, 25% of which are organic and Carrefour Quality Line products. Meanwhile, shoppers can choose from a selection of freshly prepared hot and cold food-to-go products at the in-store restaurant. These are made from Carrefour Quality Chain or Reflets de France products. Ready meals and Quitoque meal boxes are also available.

The store has halved the typical range of pre-packaged food to make space for fresh food. Instead, the store offers a collection point, which lets shoppers choose from over 15,000 products on Carrefour's website, price matched to its hypermarkets. These can be delivered for free.


Source: Carrefour

Netherlands: Albert Heijn to go starts food-to-go delivery...

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, Albert Heijn to go has partnered with food delivery company Thuisbezorgd.nl to deliver products in Amsterdam. An assortment of Albert Heijn to go’s most popular products have been selected including, poké bowls, fresh sandwiches, juices and more. Its stores on Ferdinand Bolstraat and Waterlooplein will compile the orders, which are then delivered, free of charge, using electric bikes. The trial will be evaluated in two months.

Commenting on the collaboration, AH to go’s general manager Jan-Willem Dockheer, said, “The online ordering of a lunch or meal is becoming more and more common. Together with Thuisbezorgd.nl we can make even more customers happy with our delicious, fresh products”.

This follows a similar pilot that the retailer ran from a branch on Amsterdam Zuidas, which was subsequently discontinued.

…While reducing food waste with Too Good To Go

Albert Heijn to go has also joined the Too Good To Go platform to help reduce its food waste. In partnership with the app, Albert Heijn has introduced ‘Magic Boxes’. Each box contains products with approaching expiry dates, that are sold at a reduced rate.

Customers can purchase a box for €4 through the Too Good To Go app and collect from Albert Heijn to go stores. The contents of the boxes depend on what products are leftover that day but will have a value of €12. Other retailers across Europe, such as HEMA and Kvickly, have also partnered with Too Good to Go to reduce their food waste.


Source: Albert Heijn

...And turning fruit waste into "Juice of the Day"

In other news, Albert Heijn is also experimenting with its food waste by turning it into the “Juice of the Day”. Every morning the retailer will make fresh juice out of any unsold fruit from the day before. The juice will be sold for €1 and is available in its store in Gelderlandplein Square, Amsterdam.


Source: Christiaan Vette

Sweden: Axfood expands partnership with Urban Deli

Elsewhere in Europe, Axfood is expanding its partnership with Urban Deli and extending its ownership in Urban Deli from 50% to more than 90%. Axfood has been a minority owner of the combined restaurant, shop hall and store since its launch in 2009. The ownership was increased to 50% in 2014 after Urban Deli opened its Sveavägen location.

The Sveavägen store is a blend between a retailer, restaurant and rooftop bar, with a focus on food-to-go. Its modern design, cool look and feel and unique branding sets it apart from the competition.

Other stores include Little Urban Deli Central in Stockholm Central Station. This site offers freshly made salads to eat in or takeaway, as well as pre-packaged food-to-go products.


Source: IGD Research

As part of the extended partnership, a wider range of Urban Deli’s own products will be sold in Axfood's Hemköp stores in Stockholm.

Klas Balkow, president and CEO of Axfood, commented, “The sector convergence is a trend that is becoming increasingly clear. As part of our commitment to developing Axfood's different customer offerings, we are now expanding our collaboration with Urban Deli. At the same time, we also increase our investment in the concept to be cutting edge in new meal solutions”.

In related developments, in the Netherlands, Jumbo has also introduced more products in-store from the La Place foodservice brand that it acquired.

Looking for more insight on food-to-go? Explore our dedicated food-to-go channel page here.