PLMA E-Scanner – October 2019

October, 2019
Casino and Tesco may sell stores

Two of Europe’s biggest retailers may be looking to sell some of their stores, according to published reports. Casino is said to be looking to sell its Leader Price stores in France to Aldi. Leader Price operates around 700 stores, including a good number of franchisees. The banner achieved a turnover of 2.5 bn euros in 2018. Analysts say the acquisition would help Aldi come closer in size to Lidl, which has a market share of around six percent in the country.

Casino has already sold off 2.1bn euros worth of assets, and recently announced plans to sell another 2bn euros in assets, as it looks to lower its heavy debt burden.

There also are reports that Tesco is considering selling its Polish operations. With around 350 stores, Poland is Tesco’s largest central European business. It has struggled amid intensifying competition, especially in general merchandise, and a reduction in store-opening hours.

Discounters add smaller stores

Aldi and Lidl are opening more small stores to expand in urban areas. Aldi could open more than 50 of its new Local format stores in London, the discounter’s UK & Ireland CEO Giles Hurley said. The stores are around 6,000 sq. ft., less than half the size of a typical Aldi. Bigger pack sizes have been sacrificed to make a slimmed-down range of about 1,500 products better suited to the absence of a car park. Food to go and ready meals are prominently positioned in bays at the front of the store.  

Lidl has launched a metropolitan concept in Frankfurt. The 1,800 sqm store is spread over two floors and could be a prototype for similar locations. Lidl pointed out that there will be more than one store concept in the future.

Aldi unifies organic brands

Aldi Süd and Nord are unifying their brands for organic products. At the German Patent and Trademark Office both Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd have registered the trademark “Gut Bio”. The brand name was so far only used by Aldi Nord. However, the registered logo now combines the existing organic logo of Aldi Süd with the existing Gut Bio logo.

The changeover to the new brand concerns around 700 organic products, which are both part of the standard range and also offered as test, seasonal or promotional items. The discounter wants to gradually unify the bulk of its own brands by next year. Aldi started this over a year ago.

UK retailers revamp brands

Two of the UK’s leading grocers are revamping their private label programmes. Sainsbury’s is dropping its Basics brand and added 120 products under 12 tertiary brands to replace the entry-level range.

Waitrose has overhauled its premium No.1 own label range with redesigned packaging and the launch of over 200 lines. Now called ‘Waitrose & Partners No.1’, the range now includes Burrata Sourdough Pizza; Coconut, Passion Fruit & White Chocolate Layer Cakes, and Mexican Yucatan Honey. For the first time, the range will also include a variety of wines, ciders and spirits.

Carrefour expands in Italy

Carrefour is expanding in central and southern Italy. Carrefour Italia has signed two master franchising agreements with Apulia Distribuzione and Etruria Retail that facilitates the consolidation of the Carrefour Market and Carrefour Express networks in the Calabria, Basilicata and Puglia regions, as well as strengthens its presence in the Tuscany and Umbria regions. By the start of next year, 546 stores will be added to the 1,085 that comprise the current sales network of Carrefour Italia.

Private label gains in Spain

New sales data shows that private label is gaining market share in Spain. IRI reports that   retailer brands are growing in value at a faster rate than manufacturer brands.  Private label sales recently climbed 4.6%, while manufacturer brands were up only 1.8%. July 2019 closed with a growth of + 3.3% in value in the year-to-date, due to the growth in demand (+ 2.8%), according to the IRI consumption barometer data.

IRI also reports that online grocery sales are climbing rapidly in the country.  Online sales are posting gains of nearly 20%.  Large store formats are showing sales gains of more than 5%, while drugstores are growing by around 3%.

Price gaps widen in the Netherlands

A study by the Consumers Association in the Netherlands finds that the price gap between private label and A-brands is increasing. It says that private label products have barely risen in price this year, while prices for many A-brands have risen sharply. As a result, A-brands are now 40% more expensive than equivalent retailer brands.

For the research, the Consumers' Association compared the prices of ninety A-brand products and private label products at 15 supermarket retailers. For the A-branded shopping cart 177 euros had to be paid, the cart with private label products cost 105 euros.

Tesco launches plant-based brand

Tesco has launched a range of affordable, plant-based food items. Branded as Tesco Plant Chef, the range includes butternut cauliflower macaroni pasta, breaded soya goujons, battered fish-free fillets, and mushroom pizza. The retailer will also install dedicated plant-based and vegetarian zones in its stores to help customers find the products easily. Some of the items from the new range will also be placed in the meat aisle. Tesco also aims to add more plant-based food items to its Wicked Kitchen range.

Intermarché will remove 140 food additives

Intermarché had said it will remove 140 food additives by the end of 2020, changing 900 food recipes in the process. Shoppers can use a popular phone application to scan products and find out what additives are present in them. “Today’s consumer is ready to change their consumption habits and review their standards for products better for their health”, the retailer said. “Through this global quality improvement plan, we have worked to best meet their expectations and as quickly as possible.”

Migros uses blockchain

Migros is turning to blockchain to track its supply chain for food. In addition to offering transparency for shoppers, the Swiss retailer expects the new platform will enable more efficient product recalls and improved supply chain control. Blockchain also may lead to more efficient distribution and reduced food waste.

Fresh food suppliers already had the possibility to input traceability data through a GS1 standards-based API. Migros looks to extend these capabilities through a business-to-business mobile and web app with file upload functionality.

In the Stores 

Carrefour is introducing a beauty retail format under the Sources banner.  The first store opens this month in Paris.

IRI reports that private label is gaining market share in France.

Albert Heijn and Lidl are the most active supermarkets on social media in the Netherlands.

Morrisons in the UK has launched product labels asking customers to recycle or reuse packaging in store.

Ahold Delhaize is equipping all of its European stores with electronic shelf-edge labelling.

Sainsbury’s aims to reduce plastic packaging by 50% by 2025.

Kaufland has introduced the K Favourites brand with a range of around 160 mid-priced items.

Asda will be switching all its fresh ready meals to fully recyclable packaging.

Lidl is expanding the range of meat alternatives in its stores.

Iceland in the UK is introducing more than 550 new or improved frozen products to its private label range.

K Group will introduce the carbon footprint calculator that will show its K-Plussa customers the footprint of their food purchases from K Group’s grocery stores.

Albert Heijn is testing a 14 sqm store without checkout terminals at its headquarters in Zaandam.

Sainsbury’s has discontinued its first till-free store trial, admitting customers are not ready for it.

Aldi Italia has added two new lines of dairy products, Primis and Bonlà, to its private-label assortment.

Franprix will offer a selection of nonfood products from the Dutch variety discounter Hema.

Billa in Austria is removing micro plastics from its private label detergents.

Spar has launched Spar Natural, a range featuring health and wellness grocery products in Switzerland.

SuperValu is trialling a range of 65 environmentally friendly nonfood products around Ireland.

Aldi is introducing the Nutri-Score labelling packaging programme next year in Switzerland.

S-market in Finland holds its own ‘happy hour’ every day, where the retailer applies extra-large discounts to those food products nearly reaching their expiry dates.

Auchan has rebranded its Jumbo and Pão de Açúcar stores in Portugal under the Auchan banner.

James Hall & Co., the Spar wholesaler for the North of England, has launched an ethnic food-to-go range.

Ocado, the UK online retailer, reports sales growth in the latest quarter.

Market Research 
Shoppers search for sustainable products

A new report from Euromonitor finds that sustainability is gaining importance for shoppers.  The researcher reports that more than half (54%) of consumers believe they can make a difference in the world through their purchases. Climate change is one of the most important factors for consumers. Euromonitor found that 61% of consumers are concerned about climate change.

The term “recyclable” is the most trusted green label globally, followed by “locally sourced”, “natural eco-friendly” and “natural”.

PLMA News 
Chicago Private Label Trade Show to be held 17-19 November

More than 1,500 companies from 55 countries will be exhibiting their products at this year’s Chicago Private Label Trade Show.  The event, to be held 17-19 November, will feature 30 international pavilions. Exhibitors range from small and medium-size companies to well-known national brand makers who also supply private label.

Buyers from supermarkets, hypermarkets, drugstores, mass merchandisers, convenience stores, online retailers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, discounters, and military exchanges will be attending.

The Trade Show will be held at the Rosemont Convention Center, 10 minutes from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.  For more information about exhibiting at PLMA’s 2019 U.S Private Label Trade Show, please click here. For visitor information, please click here.

22-24 October

Executive Education Programme
Nyenrode Business Universiteit, Amsterdam

17-19 November

U.S. Private Label Trade Show