Top Health & Beauty Trends at PLMA's Trade Show

Health and beauty - the supermarket’s largest non-food department – is one of the featured categories at PLMA’s “World of Private Label Trade Show,” 23-24 May. Judith Kolenburg shares the latest private label sales data, as well as trends and new products. Also, Hans Kraak provides an update on the plant-based protein market and tackles nutritional quality concerns regarding the segment.

One-Fifth Growth in Plant-Based Food Recorded in Europe

Sales of plant-based foods in 13 European countries hit a record high of €5.7 billion last year, with a growth rate of 22 percent since 2020, according to a report by the Good Food Institute Europe (GFI Europe).

The GFI Europe report analyzed NielsenIQ data and found that plant-based meat sales grew to €2 billion in 2022, accounting for six percent of the pre-packaged meat market, while plant-based seafood and cheese categories saw double-digit growth.

The most developed category of plant-based foods was plant-based milk, which now accounts for 11 percent of the overall milk market. Although plant-based seafood was the fastest-growing category with unit sales expanding by over 300 percent between 2020 and 2022, it remains the least developed, with sales of just €43 million in 2022. The report also found that sales of plant-based yogurt grew by 16 percent between 2020 and 2022, while conventional yogurt sales decreased by four percent.

The analysis looked at sales data across Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the U.K.

Quick Deliverer Getir Publishes National Trends

Getir in Italy has taken stock of its 18 months presence in Italy. The best-selling categories are soft drinks and the fruit & veg segment, the top ten include bananas, courgettes, water, cherry tomatoes, kiwis, avocados and milk.

Getir's analyses shows that the evenings and weekends are the favorite times for consumers to place online orders. 46.5% of customers of the quick commerce app order groceries from Friday to Sunday. Timewise, there is a boom in deliveries scheduled between 5 and 9 pm, the slot chosen by half of consumers.

The NielsenIQ-GfK Merger is Postponed

NielsenIQ has notified the European Commission it would withdraw the current acquisition filing for German market research firm GfK, adding a new tie-up plan would be submitted "as soon as possible".

Supposedly, the tie-up was likely to face a full-scale EU antitrust investigation, with regulators demanding asset sales in return for clearing the deal. Because of the compressed time period to test any proposed remedies, the parties, in consultation with the Commission, determined that the best course of action is to refile for approval in the coming weeks.

NielsenIQ has operations in more than 90 markets, covering more than 90% of the world's population while GfK leads in market research on technology and durables in 67 countries.

Online Supermarket Picnic Launches 2000-SKU Private Label Range

Pure online grocer Picnic has officially launched its private label range, now comprising about 2000 SKUs. The first products entered the app-only supermarket three years ago and the range has steadily expanded and will continue to do so.

The design was to be bold, fun, not cheap looking, radiate quality, and be “instagrammable”. Since the products do not appear on the shelves, they were ‘designed for the home’. Picnic uses constant customer feedback to tweak products, recipes and packaging.

The retailer aims to double the number of private label products in the future. Drugstore, frozen, fresh and vegan products will be among the next categories. Picnic operates in the Netherlands, Germany and France and uses electric delivery vans, adapted to the requirements of inner-city traffic. 

Food Retailers Experience Big Decrease in Margins

A new report by McKinsey and Eurocommerce shows that because of cost inflation, lower volumes, and more price–sensitive customers, Europe’s food retailers saw the biggest drop in margins in five years.

Between 2019 and 2022, the average margin of European grocers decreased by three percentage points. The EBITDA margin decreased by one percentage point, while the EBIT margin stagnated. Adjusted for inflation, turnover dropped 7.1%, driven by intensified downtrading, consumers opted for cheaper products.

The analysts expect that consumer behaviour in 2023 will continue reflecting a cautious approach due to the knock-on effects of recent economic uncertainty. Retail volumes are likely to stay flat for the rest of 2023 due to the difficult economic climate. More than 53% of consumers plan to save more money on food.

Across Europe, consumer downtrading has led to substantial growth for private label. Compared with 2021, the value share of private label increased by 1.9 percentage points. However, only 0.8 percentage points of this increase can be explained by same store downtrading. The remaining part is caused by faster–than–average price increases for private label goods (0.8 percentage points) and above average growth of the discount channel, which has a higher private label share (0.3 percentage points). Pure online players grew faster than inflation in 2022 and some reached profitability.

Regarding channels, discounters gained 1.4 percent in market share in Europe relative to 2021. This was largely driven by a combination of aggressive footprint growth in recent years, recovery from the pandemic–related sales dip, price inflation faster than market average and an increase in price sensitivity in the market. Discounters grew at the expense of all other channels: traditional trade declined by 0.8 percentage points, hypermarkets by 0.2, online by 0.3, and supermarkets
by 0.1.

This is the third time McKinsey and EuroCommerce have launched a joint State of Grocery Retail report, which includes a survey of more than 12,000 consumers and almost 50 grocery executives and thought leaders.

Albert Heijn Testing Higher 'True Price'

Dutch retail leader Albert Heijn is conducting a test with the true price on coffee in three of its To Go stores. Customers can choose whether they pay the regular price or the ‘fair’ price. The surcharge of the ‘fair’ price goes to the Rainforest Alliance.

With the true price, the retailer wants to provide insight into the real social and environmental costs of the product range. The company True Price calculated the amount of the surcharge for Albert Heijn, based on a method developed by Wageningen University. The surcharge, among other things, compensates for environmental damage caused by the production of coffee and dairy products, such as CO2 emissions, the use of water and raw materials. It also guarantees farmers and their employees a living income.

Coffee at true price at Albert Heijn can be up to 36 cents more expensive, this is the case for Latte. The surcharge is lowest for (black coffee) espresso, at 8 cents. After two test months, the company will evaluate and decide whether the project will be continued and rolled out across more stores.

The retailer is also targeting the highly regarded B Corp certification, which it wants to achieve this year. It would be a first for a Dutch grocery retailer.
7-Eleven to Expand to Western Europe

Iconic convenience store chain 7-Eleven is preparing to expand into new parts of Europe and seeking franchisees in up to 10 countries. The chain, which operates over 83,000 stores in 19 countries worldwide, is known for its round-the-clock opening hours. It is considered the inventor of the convenience retail sector 96 years ago. The company was founded in Dallas, US, and is now owned by Japanese firm Seven & I Holdings.

The retailer is initially targeting Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Turkey, and the UK. Austria and Switzerland could also be considered, according to reports. The Benelux countries are not included in the plans. In Europe, 7-Eleven already has stores in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The CEO of 7-Eleven international said the company wants to become the one-stop-shop where people can quickly and conveniently get quality food and beverages despite their busy lives. The need for high-quality convenience food is also great in Europe. That’s why the European market is now a leading expansion area for the 7-Eleven brand.

7-Eleven isn’t the only convenience chain with its sights set on European expansion. Circle K’s parent company Alimentation Couche-Tard recently announced the acquisition of over 2,000 sites in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
PLMA Prepares for Annual 'World of Private Label' Show

On May 23-24, the global private brand industry will once again meet at PLMA’s “World of Private Label” International Trade Show at the RAI Exhibition Centre, in Amsterdam.

Products on display will include dozens of foods as well as non-food categories and will be presented by more than 2,500 exhibiting companies including 50 national and regional pavilions.

To help attendees find the products they are looking for from a field of 2,500 exhibitors, features such as Show Navigator will be available to help during the show. On PLMA’s website, prospective attendees can explore the products exhibitors might want to see.

By clicking here, you can see more information on what types of products they can find at the show.

A popular section of the show is the New Product Expo, which displays the latest innovations submitted by exhibitors. In addition, PLMA’s Idea Supermarket features own label products from around the globe. The displayed products show innovations in package design and trends retailers have been following with releases of new product lines.

PLMA also offers a special seminar program prior to the show on May 22. Admission to the seminars is complimentary to all registered visitors and exhibitors in possession of a valid "World of Private Label" entrance badge.

The seminars will be presented in the Forum room at the RAI Exhibition Centre and Walmart’s Senior Vice President Food Sourcing Arjan Both will be the keynote speaker and tell attendees lessons that can be learned from Walmart. Other seminars will include a look at the latest private label trends in Europe and how FMCG shopper behavior is changing and how it can help businesses.

Some 25,000 professionals from more than 120 countries are expected to participate in Amsterdam. Exhibitors will be joined by retailers, wholesalers, importers, and others, to examine products, strengthen partnerships, identify innovation in business practices and plan for profitable store brand growth.

For more information, click here.

Emerging Regulations for Sustainable Packaging

Governments and businesses have made sustainable packaging a priority. Target dates are being set on both the national and EU level. Judith Kolenburg reports on the impact of the EU legislation’s revision on Packaging and Packaging Waste. Kolenburg also highlights some of the retailer and manufacturer initiatives to reduce packaging waste. Plus, Joop Elderhorst provides an update on the cooking at home trend, which was spurred during the pandemic. His report explains how retailers are responding to the challenge. Click here for video.