We round up the latest news from the retailer in Europe and North America as it acquires the FoodFirst Network and offers transparency in egg sourcing in the Netherlands. Meanwhile in Belgium, Delhaize has introduced cashless shopping at its Fresh Atelier food-to-go concept, while in the US it is rolling out an AI-powered supply chain.
1. Albert Heijn acquires FoodFirst Network…
Albert Heijn has acquired the FoodFirst Network, ‘an online lifestyle platform where payment subscribers receive advice and tips in the field of nutrition, exercise, sleep and relaxation’. A press release from the retailer noted that 'the cooperation naturally also offers opportunities for special promotions for Albert Heijn customers and the 100,000 employees of Albert Heijn'.
Marit van Egmond, CEO of Albert Heijn said, ‘We want to be the supermarket that helps customers with a healthier lifestyle. For example, with the introduction of many healthy products such as recently pureed soups, with transparent information about ingredients such as sugar and fat, the introduction of a nutritional value dashboard and of course also with recipes on our various platforms’.
For more insight on how retailers and brands are inspiring shoppers to lead healthier lives, IGD Retail Analysis subscribers can access our new insight presentation, ‘Global health and wellbeing’.
Source: IGD Research
2. … As it delivers transparency in egg sourcing
In other news, Albert Heijn has made the supply chain of eggs more transparent. This applies to eggs with at least one 'Beter Leven Keurmerk' (Better Life Quality) star. This designation ‘means that the chickens can roam freely, get fresh air and sit together with fewer hens’.
How does it work?
Customers can use the unique codes on eggs to find out when the egg was laid, as well as insight on ‘poultry farming, the chickens and their stable’. Additionally they can learn about which packing stations and distribution centres the eggs have travelled through.
Source: Albert Heijn
Who has Albert Heijn partnered with to make this happen?
The retailer has collaborated with:
In related news, last year, Albert Heijn partnered with Refresco on orange juice sourcing in a similar way.
Reflecting a wider trend across Europe and beyond
Other European retailers are continuing to invest in transparency and traceability. For instance, M&S offers an interactive sourcing map, which gives customers insight on the supply chain of select fresh food and drink categories.
Blockchain is just one type of technology that retailers are using in this space. For more insight and case studies on the subject, Retail Analysis subscribers can access our exclusive insight presentation, 'Blockchain'.
Source: IGD Research
3. Delhaize Belgium introduces cashless shopping at Fresh Atelier...
Meanwhile in neighbouring Belgium, Delhaize’s Fresh Atelier food-to-go concept has launched a new scan and pay app, ‘YesWeScan’.
How does the app work?
Source: Delhaize, YouTube
- Customers download the app, register and then scan a QR code at the entrance of Fresh Atelier to begin shopping
- Items can then be added to digital shopping baskets in items in one of two ways. Either by using NFC technology linking their smartphone with the corresponding electronic shelf label or by using the app to scan barcodes on products
- Payment is confirmed by pressing ‘pay’, with this functionality integrated into the app. Once payment is confirmed, the app generates a QR code, which can then be scanned to exit the store. Receipts are then shared via e-mail
So what do we think?
Such apps help to streamline the customer journey, making it more efficient, convenient and environmentally friendly, having eliminated the need for paper receipts too. This innovation also demonstrates how collaborating with Albert Heijn is feeding through.
Elsewhere in the market, last year, SPAR Belgium, operated by Retail Partners Colruyt Group introduced its own cashless ‘Scan.Pay.Go’ app, which we've seen in-store too.
Looking for more insight on the new Fresh Atelier food-to-go concept? IGD Retail Analysis subscribers can access our exclusive store visit report here.
Source: IGD Research
4. ...As Ahold Delhaize US rolls out AI-powered supply chain
In North America, Ahold Delhaize is rolling out artificial intelligence to overhaul the way its US businesses order food from suppliers.
Initial focus on short life
The technology, developed by Reflex Systems will be used in Food Lion, Stop & Shop, Giant Food and Giant/Martin’s stores. The AI is designed to improve how buyers predict and aggregate demand across large numbers of stores. Initially, the roll out will focus on short shelf life products, but the technology will be used more widely in time, with the retailer planning to extend its use to longer life products later in the year.
A phased roll out
Chris Lewis, executive vice president of supply chain at Retail Business Services LLC, said the solution provides 'one logical view of inventory across the brands'. Following a pilot, a phased roll out of the solution will begin across the retailer's banners. It is expected to take three years to complete.
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