The industry is looking forward to experiencing the unique energy of an in-person show. Judith Kolenburg shares details with guest Jan van Lier, PLMA’s International Trade Show Director.
Watch video here.



Wouter Lefevere, Aldi NL’s Managing Director of Category Management, reveals the cornerstones of Aldi’s strategy for the future and how suppliers are involved.
Watch video here.



PLMA E-Scanner – October 2021

October, 2021
Carrefour offers express delivery with ‘personal shopper’

The latest move of Carrefour in ecommerce is the trial of a new service called “OK Market!”. The service, initially available in Paris and Lyon, is offered via a dedicated app and works like a personal shopper. It promises a three-hour delivery time. The service, the first of its kind in France, has already proven successful in a number of other countries in which the Carrefour Group operates, like Romania, Argentina, and Belgium.

Customers have a choice of about 20,000 items, including cut-to-order products like fresh bread, butchery products, cooked meats, fish, cheese, delicatessen products. Items ordered via the app are selected and picked by an order preparer who communicates with the customer directly via an in-app chat on preferences and substitutions in case items are of out of stock.

Carrefour’s new service was launched just a few weeks after the retailer took a stake in quick grocery delivery startup Cajoo.

Picnic has big plans for Germany

Dutch pure online supermarket Picnic has announced it wants to achieve a market leader position in Germany. Currently, Rewe holds the top position in grocery ecommerce in the country. Picnic recently increased its capital considerably with the help of investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust. In addition, partner Edeka has invested around 300 million euros in the company.

Picnic’s co-founder Joris Beckers said the company doubled its sales in 2020 to 470 million euro and plans to double its sales again this year to 1 billion euros. For the next five years, he foresees a fivefold increase to 5 billion euros.

In Picnic’s home country, The Netherlands, the company’s delivery service is already available to over half of the population. That’s the goal for Germany, too. While the company is now operating only in the mid-west of Germany, it is actively looking to expand to the north and south in the coming year.

UK postpones Brexit border checks to 2022

Just days before the new rules were going to be enforced, the UK government has again postponed Brexit border checks on EU food and beverages. The delay comes in response to supply chain problems in the country and would give businesses more time to prepare for the new import regime.

The decision means the need for pre-notification of agri-food imports to the UK that was due to take effect from October won't be introduced until 1 January — three months later. Health certification for food products and physical checks on goods at border control posts will be even further delayed, until 1 July 2022.

The food and drinks sector has reacted on the announcement with mixed feelings. Many companies had already invested significant time and money in preparing for the 1 October date. While there are certainly logistic challenges, the second delay adds to current uncertainties for the industry.

British exports to the EU have already been subject to full checks since the UK’s transition period ended, on 1 January of this year.

Quick delivery companies in funding talks

German delivery company Delivery Hero is planning to invest in quick delivery start-up Gorillas as part of a new investment round estimated at $ 1 billion. Gorillas started in Berlin last year and now operates in 6 countries.

This summer, the start-up had been negotiating an investment with US firm Doordash, but talks broke down last month. Doordash, the US’s largest food delivery business, has instead now agreed to invest $400 million in Gorillas’ rival Flink.

Many other quick delivery start-ups have secured funding in the past months. Their services have gained traction over the past year as people spent more time shopping at home during the pandemic. However, few experts believe that more than two or three companies will survive in the coming year.

Delhaize starts ‘Healthy Membership Program’

Supermarket chain Delhaize has launched a subscription programme for companies to promote a more balanced diet among their employees and at the same time optimize their purchasing power.

The new concept is called Healthy Membership Program and allows employees of participating companies and organizations to get a 20% discount on products with Nutri-Score A and B in all Delhaize stores in Belgium. The concept is accessible through the retailer’s loyalty card and was tested successfully among a selection of companies. The analysis of the pilot showed that participants bought substantially more Nutri-Score A and B products when they received a discount.

The programme is free of taxes and social security contributions and therefore very attractive for companies and organizations and their employees.

Tesco debuts refillable products

In its determination to tackle plastic waste, retailer Tesco has launched in-store dedicated fixtures offering a range of consumer goods in durable, waste-free packaging designed to be returned, industrially cleaned and reused. Across ten stores, over 80 products, almost half of which are Tesco own label, will be offered including food and beverages, beauty, personal care and household cleaning items.

Customers can visit the aisle and put products in their baskets as usual. They don’t need to bring their own containers or refill packs themselves because the products are prefilled in reusable containers. A refundable deposit starting at 20p is paid on each reusable product at checkout, which is refunded via an app when the customer returns the packaging to a collection point in the store.

Depending on the success of the trial, the refillables feature will be extended to more stores and more products. The environmental impact of switching just three items of the weekly shop “could be enormous” the supermarket said. The company partners with global reusable packaging platform Loop for the project. Loop has also worked with Carrefour, Kroger, Walgreens, Aeon and Woolworths.

Pilot plant for cultured meat

Three companies -- Givaudan, Bühler and Migros -- have formed a new entity, The Cultured Food Innovation Hub in Switzerland, which will aim to accelerate the development and market penetration of cellular agriculture products. Givaudan is a global flavour and fragrance producer, Bühler is a plant equipment manufacturer and Migros is the largest retailer in Switzerland.

Cellular agriculture for cultured meat provides the means for the farming of animal products without raising animals. Animal cells are used as a starting point, and then technologies such as fermentation are employed for the cultivation of meat products. The result is meat that is identical in structure and in taste to its animal counterpart with vastly reduced environmental impact and no mass farming or slaughter.

The company will start operations next year and will also provide facilities and knowledge to accelerate other companies on their cultured meat, cultured fish and seafood, and precision fermentation projects.

In the Stores 

Carrefour is testing a subscription service that allows customers to enjoy a 15% reduction on more than 7,000 own brand products for a fee of €5.99 per month (or € 4.83 for card holders).

Sainsbury’s is relaunching its ‘super-fast home delivery’ service offering its shoppers same day deliveries from over 250 UK stores. At the same time Sainsbury’s Chop Chop one-hour delivery service is being expanded to a further 25 stores, bringing the total to 75 stores in around 25 cities.

Spar Austria has launched a no added sugar, organic food range of 200 products, developed to meet children’s nutritional needs.

Aldi is using a London concept store to pilot new checkout-free technology that will allow customers to pay for their shopping and leave without visiting a till.

Lidl is investing 1,5 billion euros in Spain. The discounter wants to strengthen its presence in the city centres and aims to open 150 supermarkets and four logistics platforms in the next four years.

Albert Heijn adds fourteen new products to its own brand Streeckgenoten. The products are produced locally, reducing the farm to fork distance to a minimum.

Continente has launched own brand wine in pouches. The packaging preserves the wine after opening, as the content always remains in vacuum as it is being served. In addition, the pouch has a tap to avoid waste.

Ocado Retail has introduced an own-brand household essentials range with more than 70 essentials products, including bin liners, foil, cling film, laundry detergent and cleaning sprays.

Ultra-fast grocery delivery player Jiffy has made available an own brand range of fresh produce, in what it believes is a first for the rapid convenience sector. The range features 35 products including punnets of blueberries, packaged kale and potatoes and twin packs of corn on the cob. More categories are to follow soon.

Aldi’s new Fairtrade certified chocolate bar with Tony’s Chocolonely is a UK supermarket first. The own-label Choceur Choco Changer is one hundred per cent responsibly sourced and has a transparent and traceable supply chain.

Conad has opened its first store dedicated to private label under the Sapori&Dintorni banner in Bologna. In addition, it has created a new ultra proximity format called “Urban.”

Auchan Retail Portugal introduced Pick&Go in Lisbon, a new online shopping pick-up service, directed especially at the urban consumer. Customers can purchase more than 40,000 items on the Auchan website from various categories including food, home, decoration, among others.

Marks & Spencer is closing 11 of its stores in France because of supply chain problems related to Brexit. It expects to close the stores by the end of this year.

Caprabo says it eliminates palm fat from all its own brand products and thus reinforces its commitment to a healthy and balanced eating model. Caprabo supermarkets will now offer 308 own-brand palm oil-free products.

Market Research 
Brand loyalty is decreasing

According to a study by GfK in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, 83 percent of consumers are changing their shopping behaviour and will continue to do so over the long term. The corona crisis has further strengthened the already prevailing trend towards lower brand loyalty. The brand choice of consumers is increasingly shaped by changing values. Values such as security and sustainability, but also trust, proximity and regionality move into focus, adds the study.

Brands serve less and less as an instrument for self-presentation. Environmental awareness as well as the social and societal responsibility of the company make more and more the difference in the purchase decision.

The GfK study provides another insight: The advancing digitization requires a completely changed customer journey. The path between "first seen" and "immediate purchase" is becoming shorter, as a result, companies may need to reconsider their communication strategy.

Belgians spent more on food

Last year, Belgian households spent one euro in five on food, according to a study by national statistics agency StatBel. On average, Belgians spent 5,600 euros per year on food, drinks and tobacco, this corresponds to a growth of 12%.

On category level, more was spent on vegetables (+26%), coffee (+23%), fish and shellfish (+15%), meat (+12%), fruit (+10%) and bread (+6%). It comes to no surprise that the extra expenses were compensated by less expenditure in the catering industry, which saw a decrease of fifty percent. Takeaway meals and home deliveries gained in importance last year.

Survey of private label in Greece reveals growth

According to a countrywide survey of Focus Bari/YouGov in Greece in July 2021, the number and variety of private label in Greek supermarkets has tremendously increased in the last twenty years.

94% of consumers surveyed regularly buy at least one private label product, almost a doubling of the 50 percent in 2000. When the economic crisis had started in Greece, this percentage had grown to 77 percent in 2010. Looking at product categories, from biscuits to frozen to personal care and paper products, all categories have increased in the last decade. There is a positive opinion among consumers about private label: 71 percent believe that private label products are value for money (vs 64% in 2010).

PLMA News 
PLMA’s “World of Private Label” International Trade Show, 14 and 15 December in Amsterdam

Preparations are well on their way for PLMA’s 2021 “World of Private Label” International Trade Show, to be held 14-15 December at the RAI Exhibition Centre in Amsterdam. More than 1,800 private label manufacturers have already registered and that means that PLMA is on schedule for welcoming nearly 2,000 exhibitors this year. Including 45 national and regional pavilions, food as well as non-food.

More than 600 of this year’s exhibitors did not participate in the 2019 “World of Private Label” so there will be plenty of ‘new’ to explore this December: new products, new trends, new ideas and new suppliers. A unique opportunity, after nearly 2½ years.

For more details on this year’s show, including on health & safety measures, click here.

PLMA’s Online Executive Education Programme 2021

PLMA's Executive Education Programme, presented in conjunction with Nyenrode Business Universiteit, will be held online on 26-27 October 2021. The programme is devoted to operational aspects, challenges, and opportunities of the private label industry.

Manufacturers and retailers will be provided with the opportunity to build their private label knowledge by attending lectures and interactive sessions on a variety of subjects. The curriculum covers what executives need to know about private label strategy, manufacturer-retailer relations, new product development, consumer trends, marketing and e-commerce, among other important issues.

To request more information, click here.

26-27 October 2021

PLMA’s Online Executive Education Programme

14-15 December 2021

PLMA’s “World of Private Label” International Trade Show