Portugal: retailer updates and new innovations

Date : 16 November 2020

Lucy Bellotti

Retail Analyst

Sonae MC revealed it plans to tackle food waste, by launching the LIFEFood Cycle project, a digital management platform. Meanwhile, Pingo Doce prepares to launch Juliana, a new private label brand. Separately, Mercadona opened its 17th supermarket and claims it is set to reach a total of 20 stores by the end of 2020.   

Sonae MC continues to combat waste

Sonae MC plans to develop a digital platform called the LIFEFood Cycle to reduce food waste in stores. The project has been developed in collaboration with Phenix and the EU’s LIFE programme, which co-financed the project. The aim is to boost donations to charities and to sell products close to their sell by date at discounted prices.

Continente stores partner with local organisations to donate their food surpluses. In 2019, the retailer donated €12.3m of food to over 1,000 welfare and animal support organisations.

Other sustainable initiatives Continente introduced to reduce waste include:

  • ‘Zer0% Waste Boxes’ which sell, at a discounted rate, five kilograms worth of fruit and vegetables close to their sell by dates. The initiative is currently available in 29 stores, with plans to extend to its entire network
  • The retailer transforms the waste generated by apple and pear production into dehydrated fruit snacks
  • Continente has transformed surplus fruit into natural juices
  • Bagga and Continente partnered to tackle waste in bananas. Single bananas, which have been removed from a bunch, are sold in the Bagga Café

Pingo Doce to launch new private label brand

Jerónimo Martins-owned Pingo Doce is to launch a new private label called Juliana. The retailer claims the Juliana brand will represent one of the healthiest food standards and showcase the 'the traditions, knowledge and flavours of the Mediterranean Diet’.

Pingo Doce will launch the private label, by introducing eight different Portuguese inspired soups. The initiative is part of its strategy to promote healthy diets and cut down on the amount of sugar, salt, and fat in its private label products. The retailer claims it has removed 22 tonnes of fat, 33 tonnes of salt and 1,389 tonnes of sugar from its private label range since 2011.

Mercadona’s expansion ambitions

Mercadona opened its 17th store on 5 November 2020, in Paços de Ferreira. The supermarket follows Mercadona’s efficient store model and includes its ready-to-eat range.

Originally, Mercadona set a target of launching 10 new stores annually, but COVID-19 has delayed its plans. The retailer claims it will invest over €130m to open three further stores in 2020, in Porto, Aveiro and in Viana do Castelo.