In the second part of this report, we explore how retailers and manufacturers are offering greater choice, support and convenience to shoppers to encourage healthily lifestyles.

With nearly 50 stores, France-based day by day is taking packaging free retail to the next level. See what makes it different, how it helps shoppers reduce packaging and food waste and what inspiration retailers and suppliers can take from it.

We look in detail at health & wellness trend to identify the key strategies being adopted right now, look at the focus on plant-based menus, nutritional signposting, freshness and superfoods.  

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We recently visited Walmart’s Supercenter in Rogers, Arkansas. As one of its key locations for testing new initiatives, the store features the retailer’s pharmacy of the future concept.

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We round up the latest innovations from Ahold Delhaize as it invests in ecommerce, health-focused solutions and ranges in the US, Belgium and the Netherlands as it looks to drive its ‘Leading Together strategy’ across its operations.

Peapod partners with food writer for new solutions…

Ahold Delhaize’s US-based ecommerce operation Peapod has partnered with food writer Mark Bittman. Through the partnership Peapod will feature recipes from Bittman’s book ‘Dinner for Everyone’ and make several of them shoppable through the website. Shoppers will be able to purchase all the ingredients they need for the recipe through a click-to-cart solution. Finally, Peapod will also offer an exclusive meal kit option from Bittman’s cookbook that serves two or four people.

Commenting on the partnership, Peapod’s senior vice president of merchandising, Spencer Baird, said: “At Peapod we work to simplify grocery shopping, menu planning and meal time. The partnership with Mark and collaboration on the meal kit is another way we want to support making dinner time enjoyable and approachable for shoppers.”

…As Giant expands grocery pickup service

Meanwhile, as Ahold Delhaize looks to expand its online coverage, one of its banners, Giant Food Stores, is expanding its grocery pickup service to more stores in central Pennsylvania. The retailer said shoppers could purchase goods through either its website or Peapod, with orders collected at one of the Giant stores.

Albert Heijn to partner with Dutch football association…

Ahead of the women’s football World Cup in France, Albert Heijn and the Dutch football association (KNVB) have announced a three-year partnership deal that will run from September 2019 to December 2022.

There are three elements to the deal whereby Albert Heijn will partner:

  • With the Dutch women’s football team (OranjeLeeuwinnen)
  • With Orange fans
  • With the KNVB’s healthy food programme

The latter part of the deal will see KNVB and Albert Heijn jointly launch a pilot project to offer a selection of tasty and healthy food items in a selected number of canteens.

…As it prepares to roll out Nutri-Score food label

Separately, and following Delhaize’s adoption of the label, Albert Heijn has said it will introduce the Nutri-Score food label in the Netherlands. The retailer said it the initiative was aimed at helping ‘to make healthier eating an everyday reality for customers’. Albert Heijn said the use of Nutri-Score followed the successful trial at Delhaize and forms part of the retailer’s aims to have product nutritional navigation systems in place across all its markets by 2025.

Delhaize stores add collection points

Delhaize has announced that, as part of a trial, shoppers in Antwerp can collect orders made on at its stores. The service, which has been available in the Netherlands for a long time, will enable Delhaize to offer a service that meets shoppers’ non-grocery purchasing needs in a store where they are buying their groceries. Delhaize has said if the trial proves successful, the service will be expanded to all stores in the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium.

This week Waitrose launched a new packaging-free bring-your-own container trial, 'Waitrose Unpacked'. We visited the Botley Road, Oxford branch take a first look at the new concept.

Tackling unnecessary packaging across a wide range of categories

The trial will run for 11 weeks until 18th August. The retailer has removed hundreds of products out of their packaging and launched new in-store refill zones dispensing loose products.

The refill offer is available across a range of different categories including beers, wines and spirits, ambient and cleaning products. Shoppers can also fill their own containers with loose fresh produce.

The retailer claims this initiative has the potential to save thousands of tonnes of unnecessary plastic and packaging.

Source: IGD Research

Guiding shoppers through the changes

A combination of clear signage throughout the store, masterclasses explaining the concept, extra staff offering information and guiding shoppers through the weigh and pack process provide ease for shoppers.

Source: IGD Research

Providing a feedback forum

A feedback wall captures shoppers’ comments about the initiative. There’s also a seating area encourage shoppers to take time and share their thoughts on the new concept.

Source: IGD Research

Sustainable packaging solutions

The store offers a variety of sustainable packaging alternatives to plastic, such as plastic-free bags and strawberry punnets made from recyclable cardboard. Shoppers are also encouraged to loan or purchase containers to refill at the store.

Source: IGD Research

Added extras to surprise and delight

A vegetable prep kitchen is positioned towards the back of the store offering shoppers the chance to have their loose veg chopped. Samples across beers, wines, spirits and coffee work to surprise and delight shoppers.

Source: IGD Research

What we think

Like other retailers trialing packaging-reducing initiatives, Waitrose is taking a test and learn approach. Learnings from this store, including shopper feedback, will inform any future roll-out. The open comment boards are reminiscent of how Pret captured feedback on its first Veggie trial and will help foster a sense of community and collective ownership in developing new solutions amongst local shoppers.

Launching a broad range of different solutions across the store at one time has high impact. It shows a fuller scope of what a sustainable supermarket could look like. But it may also prove high maintenance, with staff required to replenish the dispensers and help shoppers navigate the new processes.

For subscribers wanting more insight on retailers looking to introduce similar solutions, see our new trends page covering the topic.

As Sonae announces expansion plans for two of its banners and Intermarché looks to drive improvements throughout its operations, we round up news from the market.

Sonae aiming to expand Meu Super banner…

Sonae has announced plans to open 40 Meu Super stores in the districts of Braga, Coimbra, Faro and Setúbal in 2019. If it reaches the target, it will mean Sonae has opened 40 stores under the banner for two years in a row. Sonae said the new stores would see it add a further 8,500 sq. m of selling area and generate an additional €18m in net sales.

…After announcing plans to grow Go Natural presence

Separately, Sonae’s director of the healthy nutrition area, Frederico Paiva, told Dinheiro Vivo, a business newspaper, it is aiming to double the number of Go Natural supermarkets it operates in Greater Lisbon and Greater Porto in 2019. In addition to the new stores Paiva said it was aiming to open a further seven restaurants under the brand. The pace of expansion will see Sonae operate 16 Go Natural supermarkets and 27 restaurants by the end of 2019.

Intermarché looking to improve shopper perception

In an interview with Jornal Economico Intermarché Portugal’s chief executive, Martinho Lopes, has said the retailer is aiming to provide shoppers with better value for money as it looks to drive improvements in 2019. To better enable this, Lopes said Intermarché would enable store owners to adapt their ranges and prices to help them meet local demand. A further aim during the year will be to expand its range of services, which have recently seen it launch an online store and a Drive service, and constantly improve its private label products.

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