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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Just weeks after trialling a temporary meat free butchers, Sainsbury's is to open a pop-up alcohol free pub in London.

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Carrefour, Système U and Veolia, a waste management company, have announced they are to collaborate on research and innovation to reduce single-use plastics in packaging.

Companies to partner with (RE)SET

The three companies have said they will work with (RE)SET, which describes itself as a company specializing in circular economy innovation. to identify and develop new solutions. The collaboration with (RE)SET comes in addition to the work Carrefour, Système U and Veolia have already announced, in conjunction with private label manufacturers, to make packaging 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

(RE)SET to launch global challenge

(RE)SET has said it will launch a four month global challenge, which will run from July to October, which will call for projects for anyone inventing alternatives to single-use plastic packaging. It said its aim is to ‘offer sustainable solutions for agribusiness and distribution stakeholders… to reduce single-use plastics in packaging.

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.

Community health hub reducing customer friction

The new look and feel of the in-store pharmacy signals a major change is underway to anyone familiar with Walmart’s operations. It has been designed to be a community health hub and reduce customer friction. The sleek new colour scheme helps it stand out among Walmart’s other in-store services.

Source: IGD Research

New seating area

In front of the pharmacy, Walmart has added a new seating area. This waiting area has been designed to create a more comfortable experience, especially for customers requiring assistance.

Source: IGD Research

Customer check-in

One of the major new changes is a designated check-in area. This features a bright yellow counter where all customers must initially register. Four designated spots are available for further consultation with the pharmacy staff. The new check-in process has been developed to create a hassle-free experience.

Pharmacy automation

The pharmacy will also be a test location for new automation technology which will enable it to fill prescriptions quicker.

Out-of-hours collection locker

The store also features a locker which customers will be able to use to collect their prescriptions outside of the pharmacy’s trading hours.

Enhancing the pharmacy against growing online competition

The launch of this new test comes as drugstore operators in the US look to enhance their operations, partly to defend against growing online competition. Following the launch of three pilot HealthHUB stores in Houston earlier this year, CVS Health has announced plans to open up to 1,500 of these stores over the next three years. The aim is to create a convenient health care destination for consumers, blending existing pharmacy support programs and its MinuteClinic services with a new, broader offer. Walgreens is currently testing a pharmacy-only format and has partnered with Kroger on a new format which enables it to focus on showcasing its health and wellness expertise.

Food plus pharmacy

Pharmacy continues to represent a major opportunity for food retailers. It’s an important traffic driver and source of profitability. In Canada, two of the leading pharmacy operators, Shoppers Drug Mart and Jean Coutu, have been acquired by Loblaw and Metro respectively. Last year, US-based Albertsons aborted its planned acquisition of Rite Aid. This was mainly due to valuation issues rather than the strategic value of the deal. Given demographic trends and the growing interest in health and wellness among consumers, we expect to see increased blurring of food and pharmacy operations, particularly as retailers build offers around the concept of ‘eat yourself well’.

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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.

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