The New Product Expo is where hundreds of new and innovative products are presented. News anchor Judith Kolenburg gives us a sneak peek at some of this year's trends. Watch video here.

 


Christian Verschueren, Director General of EuroCommerce comments on the state of the industry and his successor’s role in implementing a new multi-year strategy at the organisation.
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PLMA E-Scanner – November 2021

November, 2021
A-brands announce price hikes, revenue growth. PL could benefit

Big A-brand manufacturers like Unilever, Kimberley-Clark, Procter & Gamble, Danone and Nestlé are raising prices due to the sharp increase in raw material, energy and shipping costs. In order to maintain margins, the giants have chosen to pass on the price increase to retailers. As a result, the multinationals could report revenue plusses in their financial results of 2021 YTD.

Supermarkets are faced with a dilemma. Are they going to pass on the price increase to their customers on whom inflation is just dawning? Or will they absorb all or part of the increase and continue with lower margins? Food retailers in Europe have high fixed costs and wafer-thin margins of 1-3%, which gives the companies little room to play. Non-listed retailers like discounters Lidl and Aldi and cooperatives in various countries may have more leeway. The general expectation is that there will be price increases of A-brands in supermarkets. IRI forecasts this will drive more consumers to retailers’ own brands with a better price quality ratio.

U.S. equity group acquires Morrisons

U.S. private equity group Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has taken over Morrisons, Britain’s fourth largest grocer. The chain’s shareholders voted in favour of CD&R’s £7.1 bn takeover offer during the general meeting at the end of October.

CD&R had been in a monthslong bidding war for the retailer with fellow American investor Fortress Investment Group. The City’s Takeover Panel, which governs M&A deals in the UK, stepped in and arranged a one-day auction to decide a winner. CD&R came out on top with a 1 pence higher bid per share.

Sir Terry Leahy, senior advisor at CD&R and former chief executive of Tesco, is set to become chairman of the board of the newly private group Morrisons.

Wide-ranging plastic packaging ban for fruit & vegetables set in France

In a bid to reduce plastic waste, France will ban plastic packaging for nearly all fruit and vegetables beginning in January 2022. Implementing a February 2020 law, the government released a list of about 30 fruits and vegetables that have to be sold without plastic packaging. The list includes zucchinis, eggplants, tomatoes, and cucumbers, as well as apples, oranges and pears.

France’s government estimates 37% of all fruits and vegetables sold in the country have plastic packaging and it expects the measure will eliminate more than 1 billion plastic packaged items per year.

Cut fruits and a limited number of delicate fruits and vegetables -- such as peaches and red fruits -- can still be sold with plastic packaging but that will be phased out by end June 2026.

Rossmann joins purchasing cooperation RTG

German retailer Rossmann is the first drugstore chain to become a member of the grocery retail organisation RTG Retail Trade Group. The group bundles the purchasing for merchandise, technical needs, eCommerce technologies and supply chain management of its members, among other tasks.

Rossmann is the tenth retailer to join the cooperation. Other members are German retail companies Real, Metro Germany, Globus, Bartels-Langness, Bünting, Netto ApS, Tegut, Klaas & Kock and Georg Jos. Cheese. RTG’s sales are estimated at 27 billion euros; after Rossmann joins, sales will grow to 33 billion euros.

Like other drugstore chains in Germany, Rossmann offers a steadily growing range of food products, including an extensive selection of organic items under its own brand EnerBio. The retailer expects to benefit from RTG’s joint purchasing and know-how, especially in groceries, in which it sees a lot of market potential. It has asked Germany’s Federal Cartel Office to assess the move under the antitrust law.

Retailers turning to till-free stores

Intermarché is testing a smart shopping basket in one of its Relais stores in Paris. The basket was developed by French start-up Mo-Ka. When customers place items in the basket, cameras integrated in the handle automatically capture their image. The product is then identified by recognition algorithms thanks to a system combining image processing and artificial intelligence. Servers in the store communicate with the baskets through Wi-Fi and convert the images into a list of items. At the end of the shopping trip, customers can either automatically pay through Mo-Ka’s app or use the regular self-service or manual checkout.

In London, Tesco opened a checkout-free store called Tesco GetGo. The technology has been developed in partnership with Trigo. Customers access the store by scanning a QR code in the Tesco app. In the store, a series of cameras and weight-sensors track the shoppers’ movements and purchases. No basket or cart is needed, the customer can bag his items while shopping and simply walk out of the store when he is done. Within minutes, the receipt will pop up in the app and payment is deducted from the associated account.

German grocers Rewe, Aldi and Portuguese Sonae are among a number of other retailers that have opened scanning-free and cashier-free stores lately. While most are still in a test phase, it is clear that providing a frictionless shopping experience is high on the agenda of leading retailers across Europe.

Marionnaud launches customable private label cosmetic

French cosmetics and perfumery specialist retailer Marionnaud has launched a private label offering called Skin Shades in selected stores in Italy. In order to respond to consumers’ demand for personalised products, the retailer teamed up with technology company Trigenex. The latter developed AI technology which analyzes customers’ skin type via a small lipstick-sized scanner run on parts of their face and neck. In combination with personal preferences with regard to coverage, moisture level, texture and finish, the system develops a personalised foundation formulation within seconds. Then, a compact blending machine in the stores, which has all the individual ingredients, creates the final product from scratch in less than four minutes.

In addition to the benefits of quickly providing an individual and unique product for its customers, the system also reduces waste, energy consumption and carbon footprint during shipments. Marionnaud plans to roll out Skin Shades to its stores in France later this year and to other markets in 2022.

Albert Heijn introduces Premium subscription programme

Dutch retail leader Albert Heijn has introduced a new omnichannel loyalty programme called My Albert Heijn Premium. For a fee of 12€ per year, customers get extra benefits in store and online. Participants receive a 10 percent discount on AH’s organic range, and they can select 10 instead of 5 personal Bonus Box offers per week on AH.nl. There is also a 10% discount on Albert Heijn's delivery bundles. According to the company, it is a first for the Dutch market and participants can save up to more than €100.

In the Stores 

Quick grocery deliverer Frichti has rolled out an own brand product line made up of 120 items under the name of Frichti Everyday. For more transparency, the company highlights the manufacturer of the product and the origin and manufacturing methods on each item.

Aldi Süd was awarded the EU quality mark Green Brand for its comprehensive sustainable strategy in Germany.

Superdrug has relaunched its own brand B Skin range. All items have been reformulated and got a new look to provide luxury skincare for affordable prices.

Covirán presents L’Amile Cosmetics, its new brand of high anti-aging cosmetics that will be marketed exclusively in the company's supermarkets.

Restaurant meal deliverer Deliveroo has introduced a fast grocery delivery service called Deliveroo Hop in the UK. It offers a range of 2,000 items and has partnered with Morrisons to serve as wholesaler for the dark store, providing branded and own-label goods, including from its The Best and Market Street ranges.

Tesco has developed a closed loop recycling solution in cooperation with sustainable food packaging manufacturer Faerch. The secondary plastic packaging used to transport and hold products on Tesco shelves will now be recycled back into new packaging.

Eroski has applied the animal welfare certificate to 100% of its own brand white meats. The last products to get the seal were turkey, rabbit and 100% of the chicken.

Albert Heijn has added 45 new tea flavors to its own brand range. Two thirds of the range consist of organic tea flavours, and three hemp variations and four new Moment herbal infusions were added.

Kaufland is the first grocer in Germany to add beef products with housing level 3 to its own brand range K-Wertschätze.

Jumbo is testing a delivery subscription called Bezorgeloos, or carefree delivery. For a fee of between 10€ to 12€ per month, customers can order all week long on all time slots without having to pay further ordering costs.

Lidl has augmented its cosmetic own brand line Cien with Cien Blue Light. The line consists of six products that protects the skin against blue light pollution from electronic devices. It includes eye contour, facial blisters, facial cream, neck and décolleté cream, cleansing foam and concentrated serum.

DIA has launched a new own brand VegeDia for vegetable drinks. The products are made exclusively with ingredients of natural origin, 100% suitable for vegan consumption and do not include added sugars or sweeteners, or artificial additives.

Frozen food specialist retailer Iceland has announced new own brand product lines that it claims are plastic-free or have a heavily reduced plastic content, resulting in a reduction in plastic of over 350 tonnes annually.

ICA Gruppen has received an award for its “Beyond Climate Neutrality” climate ambition. The retailer was recognized for its work to achieve climate neutrality in its own operations and its ambition to at the same time drive change for reduced climate impact both upstream in the supply chain as well as downstream among consumers.

Colruyt Group uses its own bread residues to grow mushrooms. The first mushrooms, grown on Bio-Planet’s bread waste, will be offered in the Cru markets in Overijse, Antwerp and Ghent from mid-October.

Market Research 
Grocery market forecast to grow

IGD forecasts the European grocery sector is set to see a 5% growth by 2026. After a modest annual growth rate of 1.1% per year between 2015 and 2019 and the pandemic driven peak of 4.7% in 2020, the analysts expect a normal steady growth in the years ahead.

All channels across Europe are estimated to experience increased sales, with hypermarket and supermarket market shares decreasing and discounter, convenience and online channels gaining shares.

Consumer confidence is still fragile and could easily revert in response to changing conditions in the coming five years, IGD warns.

Five favourite Italian retailers

Dunnhumby’s retail preference index in Italy for 2021 revealed that chains Esselunga, Conad, Coop, Eurospin and Lidl were consumers’ preferred supermarkets.

Esselunga won in four values -- product variety, shopping experience, quality and relationship with the customer. In price perception, it was third after discounters Eurospin and Lidl.

Given the growth of e-commerce, Dunnhumby found that customers want quick and easy shopping, which translates into a flawless website with an effective search function, and a fast and hassle-free checkout.

PLMA News 
Private Label Executive Education

PLMA’s annual Executive Education Programme, in conjunction with Nyenrode University, was held 26-27 October. Now in its 20th year, it continues to provide professional education to all players in the private label business. The curriculum is a blend of new and familiar topics, and teachers are drawn from university ranks as well as from all facets of industry. It was the second time the session was provided online.

The programme was attended by retailers and manufacturers from over 30 countries. It began with a session on how to develop a strong private label strategy, a simple objective but one that is a necessity for any retailer who seeks to build or enhance their own brand programme.

Another course gave students insights into the choices companies need to make in the level and direction of product innovation in order to turn their private labels into powerhouse brands. There was also a lively panel discussion among retailers and manufacturers on a wide range of today’s challenges -- including cost and price inflation and supply chain constraints -- and how a crisis can actually bring about the best innovations. The panel concluded that the strongest partnerships are the ones that evolve from transactional to cross-company collaborative relationships.

In addition, students learned about the challenges and opportunities brought about by the rise of e-commerce, which is bringing with it a host of new players, different marketing rules and new approaches to profit calculation.

A course on generational marketing revealed how consumers’ preferences and behavior are influenced by what they have experienced in their past. Tapping into that personal history is a key for any marketer in the grocery space. An interactive scenario planning workshop demonstrated how important long-term thinking is when dealing with uncertainties and preparing for the future.

Events 
23 & 24 February 2022
PLMA's Online Roundtable Conference
31 May & 1 June 2022
PLMA's “World of Private Label” International Trade Show
Amsterdam