Food Innovation: Pleasure, Health and Ethics are Winners

French consultancy ProtéinesXTC has analyzed innovative products launched in the world in 2021. According to the study, the first axis of food innovation remains ‘Pleasure’, innovations with this claim represent 47.8% of the global innovations identified by the study in 2021, i.e. nearly one in two innovations.

The ‘Health’ attribute comes in second with over 30% of food innovations. Third important axis is ‘Ethics’, this attribute has been increasing continuously for 5 years and now represents 7.9% of innovations worldwide, with the highest share in Europe (one in ten).


State of Grocery Retail 2022

McKinsey and EuroCommerce have published a report on The State of Grocery Retail 2022.’ It’s based on interviews with 60 European grocery CEOs and a survey of more than 12,000 consumers across nine European countries.

It reveals that, in the short term, the impact of the invasion of Ukraine as well as inflation and energy costs are top of mind for CEOs, putting even stronger pressure on prices and operational efficiency, along with the wellbeing of employees.

Future trading will feature increased margin pressure on grocery retailers, the report warns, with the need to cater for broader consumer demands, growing price pressure and increasing multi-channel complexity.

Changes in consumer demand with regard to product attributes and purchase channel and more insights and perspectives that will likely shape European grocery retail in 2022 and beyond will be discussed by McKinsey at PLMA’s pre-trade show seminars on Monday 30 May.


The Importance of Product Packaging

Packaging serves as a brand ambassador, quickly communicating a company’s message and values. What are today’s design trends? To find out, PLMALive speaks with Melvin Fahl, Chief Strategy Officer at WIN Creating Images & WIN NEO. WIN is Germany’s biggest owner-run packaging agency, whose clients include Rewe Group, Penny, DM, Globus and Migros. Available in English only. Click here for video

Is Refill a New Trend in Retail?

In an attempt to reduce waste and packaging, several retailers in Europe are experimenting with in-store packaging free concepts. A wall or corner with bulk food dispensers is installed where consumers can fill a reusable bag or jar with the amount of product they wish.

Albert Heijn recently installed a special six-meter wall with dispensers with 70 products such as breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, spreads, tea and nuts. Eighty percent of the range is organic. Signs at the regular range indicate an option to buy the products without packaging.

In the United Kingdom, a group of supermarkets including M&S, Morrisons and Waitrose have joined the “Refill Coalition”, a trial to tackle single use plastic packaging. The coalition is to design a refill solution for products such as pasta, grains and personal care items. The solution is unique in that it also makes bulk products available for online orders, it will allow shoppers refill their own containers during home deliveries.

Aldi also offers customers household staples free of packaging. Customers can bring their own containers to the store, weigh the desired amount of product at the weighing station, and then fill their container.

The French government’s new Climate and Resilience Bill provides that by 2030, 20% of the floor surface of stores larger than 400 square meters must be adapted with refill systems.

Until now, the emphasis in reducing packaging waste has been on recycled packaging.  Now the focus is shifting to refillables, but there are logistical challenges. In-store refillable aisles take up a lot of space, it calls for an investment from retailers to install dispenser stations and the stations must be regularly filled and cleaned. The question is whether these models can be integrated seamlessly into the shopping experience and become a mass-market option.


Lidl Acquires Its Own Container Ships

In view of continuing disrupted supply chains, Lidl will use its own container ships for freight forwarding. It has bought one ship and chartered three others. The ships are to help reduce delays and temper transport costs. It has appointed an experienced shipping manager to head the new division.

Due to the covid, the Suez Canal blockage, and the war in Ukraine, foremost among today’s challenges for retailers is the reliable flow of products from source to shelf, product availability, continuity and on-time delivery. In addition, personnel shortages are pushing up labor costs.

With its own shipping capacity, Lidl looks to secure the supply chain and manage the increased volume of different production facilities more flexibly in the long term. It is not the first investment of the company outside of its core retail business. Lidl’s mother company Schwarz also owns waste management company Prezero, through which it controls the entire packaging recycling cycle. In addition, Schwarz bought a major stake in IT security provider XM Cyber, which protects the retailer’s IT systems.

Italy’s Private Brand “Awakening”

The Italian grocery market benefits from the strong relationship between Italian retailers and their suppliers. Benedetta Brioschi, Head of Food & Retail and Sustainability at the European House-Ambrosetti, one of the world’s leading private and independent think tanks, discusses private brand market share, online sales and growth categories. All this and more in this exclusive panel with host Edgar Elzerman. Click here for video.

PLMA’s “World of Private Label” Trade Show: Trends to Watch

The pandemic has led to new health and wellness product innovations. News anchor Judith Kolenburg examines what’s ahead in nonfoods, while Meryl Perrot provides insights on what to expect on the food side of the business. These and other trends will be showcased at PLMA’s in-person “World of Private Label” International Trade Show, 31 May - 1 June 2022 at the RAI Exhibition Centre in Amsterdam. Click here for video.

Asda to launch private label budget range

Asda is planning to launch an entirely new 300-strong budget range in the coming month. With the move, the retailer wants to reaffirm its price credentials and tackle quality perceptions. The new value range would be called ‘Just Essentials’ and will replace its current Smart Price range. Asda said it has designed the new range with consideration for customer concerns over the cost of living crisis. Food inflation in the UK jumped to a 30-year-high of 5.3%.

The retailer has speeded up its initial time schedule for the launch and is giving private label suppliers just four weeks to come up with product line-ups. Suppliers question whether it is possible to launch such a line with only a few weeks’ notice.

In addition to the new assortment, Asda has started a wider range review across all categories delisting thousands of items to further simplify and rejuvenate its range. The retailer has also set up a Nurture programme specifically aimed at small and medium enterprises, which gives dedicated shelf space and support to emerging suppliers. The initiative champions emerging brands and seeks to bring customers new products more often. Suppliers selected to join the programme will have access to data to help them improve their range, as well as a suite of online and end-to-end supply chain training and a dedicated team to support their growth. Customers are invited to give feedback on their favourites, with items that prove popular considered for a listing as part of the supermarket’s main range.

The retailer also plans to revamp store layouts and will extend the trial of its new loyalty card Asda Rewards across all its stores in the UK by this autumn.

Rapido delivery comes to Italy

Deliveroo has launched a new 10 minutes home delivery service called Hop in Italy. It has partnered with Carrefour for this service and the offer comprises over 1,500 products which includes the retailer’s own brands Carrefour, Carrefour Quality Supply Chain, Terre d'Italia and Carrefour Bio.

The service operates through dark stores and is initially offered in Milan. In the coming months, it will be extended to Rome and other Italian cities. Consumers will be able to check product availability in real time so that there will be no need for replacements.

Retailer Spar has also started fast delivery – in 35 minutes – in 14 Italian cities. The company offers the service in partnership with home delivery platform Glovo and it is available 7 days a week.

In addition, several specialist operators have started to offer a rapid grocery delivery service in Italy over the past twelve months, including Gorillas and Getir.

Intermarché takes over Mestdagh stores in Belgium

French retailer Intermarché has acquired all 87 Carrefour Market stores belonging to Carrefour’s largest Belgian franchiser Mestdagh group. Just a few weeks ago, Mestdagh had announced the end of its collaboration with Carrefour by the end of this year. Subject to approval by the competition authorities, Intermarché will own the Mestdagh’s stores and warehouses in Belgium as of 1 January 2023.

The move will create a significant retail player in the country, it will double Intermarché’s store network in Belgium to comprise 165 points of sale, the majority of which are located in the Walloon market. In 2021, Mestdagh had a turnover of € 694 million and Intermarché, present in the country since 1991, had a turnover of € 780 million in this market.

While the Flanders market is already in a fierce battle due to the arrival of Dutch chains Albert Heijn and Jumbo, a battle in Wallonia is now looming between the strengthened Intermarché and national supermarket chains. Clearly, the ambitious Intermarché wants to make Wallonia a growth market.