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Relocation and sustainability: the future of food

Relocation and sustainability: the future of food © AECOC Congress
© AECOC Congress

 

At the 35th AECOC Congress of Mass Consumption in Valencia on 28th October, Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber highlighted the social and economic changes that COVID-19 will cause and the impact this will have on the food sector. Faber notes that the pandemic has caused “a profound crisis in our way of life, which forces us to change the way we approach our business, and from which we will not emerge if we do not rethink our relationship with nature and food will be a socially and politically relevant issue in the coming years.”

Regarding the consequences that this will have on the food sector, he stressed the importance of maintaining the joint work of the entire chain, which allowed guaranteeing the supply of the stores during confinement, and pointed to the two major trends that will mark the future of food: relocation and sustainability.

“At present, only six plants provide 75% of the caloric intake of humans, and the same happens with animals: the virus has shown that we will be stronger if we cluster the industry.” To face the change, Faber proposes to promote a production system that is more committed to proximity and that values ​​local diets and food products. “We need to reconnect with nature and be more sustainable by producing what the climate and soil of each place ask of us.”

Faber argues that this broader and more inclusive view of doing business in the food industry will not only be a sector initiative, but will be driven by consumers themselves. “Users ask brands for much more; they want to know who is behind the companies and how we accompany them in this health, economic and social crisis, so we must lead the way.”

Looking ahead, the CEO of Danone has ensured that “consumers are discovering new realities about food that are leading to an awareness that will not disappear.” Along the same lines of argument, he has advanced that “this crisis is going to last long enough to change our way of life.”

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AECOC to pay tribute to sector’s key role

AECOC to pay tribute to sector’s key role

 

On September 30 at the Valencia Conference Centre, AECOC will hold an act of recognition and tribute to the fruit and vegetable sector for its key role during the COVID-19 crisis.

The entire value chain of the sector demonstrated, even in the toughest moments of the crisis, its efficiency and professionalism, guaranteeing at all times the supply of fruit and vegetables to the whole of Spanish society and even to other countries, given its important exporting character. For this reason, the annual Congress of Fruits and Vegetables is transformed this year into an act of recognition to the value chain of the sector.

AECOC will bring together the main managers of the sector in a face-to-face event that, upon personal invitation, will be held with strict control measures for perfect compliance with the safety protocols set by the health authorities.

About AECOC

AECOC is the Association of Manufacturers and Distributors Companies, one of the largest business organisations in the country and the only one in which the industry and the distribution of mass consumption work together to develop good practices and technological standards that help companies to be more efficient and competitive, adding value to the consumer.

It encompasses both the largest companies and small and medium-sized companies and represents sectors as diverse as food and beverages, textiles, electronics, hardware and DIY, health and hospitality, among others. It has more than 30,000 associated companies whose joint turnover represents close to 20% of the national GDP.

 

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25th AECOC Commercial Strategy and Marketing Congress to analyse consumption in remainder of 2020

25th AECOC Commercial Strategy and Marketing Congress to analyse consumption in remainder of 2020

The 25th AECOC Congress on Commercial and Marketing Strategy will be held virtually between July 14 and 15. This year’s event will analyse the impact of COVID-19 as well as the transformations it has already generated and is expected to generate in mass consumption. Attendees will be presented with analysis of the economic outlook for the second half of the year for the consumer goods sector. Nielsen CEO in Spain and Portugal, Patricia Daimiel, will advance the consumption forecasts for the remainder of 2020 to obtain a complete picture of what impacts COVID-19 will have.

To complete the photograph of the impact on mass consumption, the AECOC Shopperview area will present the first results of its barometer dedicated to COVID-19. It will analyse the main changes in consumer behavior during and after confinement, identify the consolidated trends and predict how buyers will react to different future scenarios, such as possible new confinements in the event of outbreaks.

The programme on the first day will conclude with master-chef Ferran Adrià outlining his vision of the role innovation should play in the new normal.

Online commerce will be the focus of the second day, with an ‘E-commerce and omnichannel’ roundtable discussion and a presentation by IESE professor José Luis Nueno titled: ‘New opportunities from Direct to Consumer (DTC)’. In this intervention, Nueno will analyse the growth of the direct-to-consumer online commerce model, under which more than 6,000 companies operate in the world, thus eliminating intermediaries and creating flexible and externalised supply chain systems. According to the professor, the acceleration of e-commerce during the COVID-19 crisis will advance the DTC revolution.

About AECOC

AECOC is the Association of Manufacturers and Distributors Companies, one of the largest business organizations in the country and the only one in which the industry and consumer goods distribution work together to develop good practices and technological standards that help companies to be more efficient and competitive, adding value to the consumer. It encompasses both the largest companies and small and medium-sized companies and

It represents sectors as diverse as food and beverages, textiles, electro, hardware and DIY, health and hospitality, among others. It has more than 30,000 associated companies whose joint billing represents close to 20% of the national GDP.

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AECOC report shows young people aged 25-34 waste the most food

 

The report ‘Habits for the use of food in Spanish households’ indicates that 11.7% of millennials believe they frequently waste their food due to poor planning, due to products expiration, or because they do not know how to take advantage of leftover food. 73% of users admit that they consume products once their expiration date is exceeded, in many cases due to ignorance of their true meaning.

A Spanish report produced by the AECOC Shopperview study platform finds that 11.7% of young people between 25 and 34 admit that they throw their food in the trash frequently, which makes them the age group that generates the most food waste in our country. According to the study, up to 22.1% of these young people consider the lack of knowledge of recipes to be one of the main reasons why they end up throwing away food.

Expanding the sample to the population as a whole, 91.6% of citizens say they do not usually throw away food, and only 7.7% consider that they waste food frequently. This data, based on the perceptions of citizens, contrasts with the results obtained by the Quantification Panel of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, which warns of a growth in food waste in Spanish households.

“This contrast shows that, on occasion, we are not aware of the large amount of both prepared and fresh foods that we discard, and this should make us reflect on the value of food beyond its price,” said the head of the project against food waste from AECOC, Núria de Pedraza.

Fruits and vegetables, the most wasted

The AECOC report shows how fruits and vegetables are, by far, the most commonly thrown away products. 67.2% of households regularly waste these foods, in contrast with 17.8% who end up throwing away bread and pastries and 15.8% who get rid of sauces. Only 6.3% of consumers say they end up discarding meat and fish.

 As for the reasons that lead to waste, 46.4% point to poor planning when making the purchase, while 35.4% consider that the shelf life of food is too short. 22.1% of young people between 25 and 34 years old add the fact that they don’t know any recipes for taking advantage of food scraps, while 23.9% of families with five or more members point to the lack of order and space in the fridge and the pantry as a cause of waste in their homes.

Smell and appearance, main indicators

The report also asks consumers about the reasons for deciding to throw away food. The smell is the most cited cause (39%), followed by appearance (35%). Only 14% of consumers cite the expiration date as the main indicator of discarding a product, while 9% blame the taste and 3% the best-before date.

In fact, the study shows the great confusion about the difference between expiration date and best-before date. Thus, 43% of consumers believe that a product can be consumed because it remains safe once it has expired. This confusion is especially significant among those over 65.

The confusion around this concept has an impact on citizens’ habits, since up to 73% of respondents acknowledge that they consume products once they have expired, compared with only 26.9% that always respect the expiration date.

VII AECOC Meeting Point

The VII AECOC Meeting Point will be held in the framework of AECOC’s 2nd Week against food waste on September 26th in Madrid. The event will bring together more than 300 European professionals from the agri-food chain to jointly fight against food waste.

The meeting, which analyses outstanding success stories from the primary sector, industry, food distribution and hospitality will serve to exchange ideas and experiences among the more than 300 public administration professionals, companies, associations of consumers and food banks assistants.

 

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20th AECOC Fruit and Vegetables Congress to be held in Valencia on June 19-20

Aecoc

More than 500 experts from Spain’s fruit and vegetables sector will meet in Valencia for the 20th AECOC Congress. The event will offer market data, analyse trends and share success stories of leading companies in the sector. The event will begin with a presentation by Pedro J. Domínguez (Nielsen) followed by Cindy van Rijswick (Rabobank). Rabobank will share market data that will help contextualise the current situation and offer an overview of the new opportunities and challenges for the global fruit and vegetable industry. Nielsen, meanwhile, will describe the increasingly demanding consumers of fruits and vegetables and their demands (pleasure, convenience or sustainability).

On the subject of organic products, there will be presentations from HaciendasBio, Almaverde bio and Carrefour, which has opened the first urban supermarket with exclusively organic products. Sergio Román, from Auchan Retail will share the firm’s experience of incorporating a controlled production line to offer products with taste, responsibility and proximity. In addition, Álvaro Muñoz, CEO of AMC Fresh Group, will present the keys to success and the vision of the future of the leading company in citrus and fruit juices.

The congress will also feature the vision of Eurogrup Spain Frutas y Verduras and Metro Food Sourcing Fruits and Vegetables, two distribution leaders with almost 80% of the sales of Spanish fruits and vegetables. They will discuss the challenges and opportunities for the sector, such as the commitment to a more efficient and sustainable value chain or innovation.

Precise innovation, agriculture 4.0 and the impact of new technologies in agribusiness will also be discussed in a round table that will feature the participation of Miguel Sabater of Deloitte, and disruptive startups such as ec2ce, a benchmark in artificial intelligence, and HEMAV, which works in precision agriculture using drones.

Furthermore, the congress will address the keys of digital marketing and new communication with the consumer with Gonzalo Madrid, chief strategy officer of the Wink agency. Gonzalo Madrid will present the keys to bringing value to the consumer and becoming the chosen brand.

The event will close with an inspirational presentation by Patrick Dixon, guru and renowned futurist and author of more than twenty books, who will show us the future of our sector and the keys to growth.

AECOC is the Association of Companies of Large Consumption, one of the biggest business organisations in Spain. It is the only one in which industry and large-scale distribution work together to develop good practices and technological standards that help companies to be more efficient and competitive, thereby providing value to the consumer. AECOC includes large, medium and small enterprises and represents sectors as diverse as food and beverages, textiles, electro, hardware and DIY, health and hospitality, among others. At the end of 2017, it had more than 28,000 associated companies whose joint turnover represents close to 20% of GDP.

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Get ready for the annual AECOC Fruit and Vegetable Congress

The annual AECOC Fruit and Vegetable Congress this year takes place June 14-15 at the AECOC Fruit and Vegetable Congress (Palacio de Congresos).

The annual AECOC Fruit and Vegetable Congress this year takes place June 14-15 at the Valencia Conference Centre (Palacio de Congresos).

The congress is billed as the ideal setting where leading industry players can learn about the latest market trends with the biggest potential impact on their future business.

Every year it brings together a wide range of key players in the fruit and vegetable industry, including key executives among produce suppliers and buyers, and leaders from the retail sector.

During the conference, attendees and speakers have an opportunity to jointly analyse the developments in the sector over the previous year, to share experiences and consider new collaborative strategies to grow the market. In-between, there are many opportunities for attendees to network and collaborate.

Among the featured speakers this year is Drew Nannis, chief marketing officer of the Partnership for a Healthier America, a non-profit organisation working with the private sector to promote healthy lifestyles among American families and help solve America’s  childhood obesity crisis.

The congress will kick off on Tuesday June 14 at 4pm and ends at 2pm on Wednesday June 16 with a cocktail lunch.

To attend the 2016 AECOC Fruit and Vegetable Congress, sign up here.

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Understanding the rise of discount and convenience stores

Planet Retail forecasts that over 2014-19, discounter Lidl will see its parent, Germany’s Schwarz Group, log sales growth of 4.8%, well above that of Western Europe’s next biggest retailers – France’s Carrefour (2.6%) and the UK’s Tesco.

Why are the discounters growing so fast in Western Europe? That and other big trends were addressed by Planet Retail’s Bianca Casertano while speaking at the AECOC Fruit and Vegetable Congress in Valencia in June.

The Frankfurt-based retail analyst set the scene by saying that in the next four years, big box stores – such as hypermarkets and superstores – will remain the dominant retail channel. But while their sales growth is slowing (their compound annual growth rate of 1.9% will be mainly due to inflation), that for convenience (5.7%) and discounter stores (4.6%) is another story.

Bianca slide 4 Western Europe Channel Sizes by Sales .png

Planet Retail forecasts that over 2014-19, discounter Lidl will see its parent, Germany’s Schwarz Group, log sales growth of 4.8%, well above that of Western Europe’s next biggest retailers – France’s Carrefour (2.6%) and the UK’s Tesco (3.9%, though the weakness of the Euro makes its CAGR look much stronger than it really is.) The German discounter Aldi is expected to achieve 4.3%.

Over 2009-2019, the big box format store segment will drop from 33% to 28%, losing 5 percentage points of market share, “which is massive.”

The winners will be the discount and convenience stores,” Casertano said.

Western Europe Total Banner Sales of Top 10 Retailers.png
 

Shwarz Group’s Lidl Poland (source Planet Retail).png

What superstores should do

Demographic changes lie behind the big box decline. There are more older people, one person households, smaller families, and people without cars or without enough money for petrol. More people either don’t want to or don’t need to do a big shop once a week, or perhaps prefer to shop on a daily basis. This is really the problem now for the hypermarket operators, Casertano said.

“Big box won’t be the format of the future, there will be a shift towards discount and convenience stores, to inner city locations – this will be the really, really huge trend.”

To counteract this, big box chains need to become more attractive. An example is France’s Casino group, which now offers bulk buying similar to that usually associated with ‘cash and carry’ operators, and a ‘drive‘ (‘click and collect’) format.

Another way is to focus on food service, such as with restaurants. The bottom line is it has to be a nice experience to go to a hypermarket and too often it’s not, she said.

Casertano also said the big box retailers need to localise store management to ensure their assortment meets local needs. “This will be key in the future.” Metro Group, for example, has recognised this and has completely different formats in the south and north of Italy. It costs more, but in the end pays off, she said.

Screenshot 2015-07-01 at 12.40.28.png

Metro Group: the Metro Cash & Carry store “Casa dell’ HoReCa” in Rome locates fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables within one department to help clients save time. (Source: Planet Retail)

“The flight to convenience”

Meanwhile, Casertano mapped a shift in retail towards small, city-centre locations, something Tesco has adapted to quite successfully with its Tesco Express stores. “There’s also a trend towards franchising, because investments are much lower,” she said, citing Carrefour Express as a good example in Spain.

And she said Migros, Switzerland’s largest retail company, provides a good example of a food service focus in a convenience store with its Bio Take Away outlet, under Zurich’s main train station, which offers only organic products and has a high proportion of fruit and vegetables.

Screenshot 2015-07-01 at 12.17.10.png

Discounters now softer, more sophisticated

Casertano said the discounters are “growing so massively” not because they are opening more stores but because they have evolved, going from a hard, ‘no frills’ discount format to one cleverly taking the best of every channel.

For instance, some now sell multi-packs that copy the bulk buy attraction of the ‘cash and carry’ stores; they offer specialist food ranges, fresh fish and more brands, to be more like supermarkets; and are found in inner city locations and with more food-to-go, like the convenience stores.

Casertano said this convergence is occurring across all retail formats – the lines between hypermarkets, discounters and convenience stores are blurring. Hypermarkets are thus merging more with e-commerce and discounters – Carrefour, for instance, has discount areas in the middle of its outlets. This blending will increasingly be the trend, she said.

Online grocery not so lucrative

Grocery e-commerce is gaining importance and more retailers are rolling out additional services including ‘click and collect’ and home delivery. But it’s not easy to gain an edge in e-commerce because the discounters‘ advantages (cost savings through lower overheads for staff, handling, supply chain, and limited range) mostly apply in-store, not online.

“Lidl, for example, has an online shop, but just because customers expect retailers to. It’s not very profitable. I only know a very few…retailers who’d say their online business is profitable,” Casertano said.

She also stressed the risks of over-generalising and the need to remember that markets vary. For example, drive-through grocery collection works well in France but so far not in Germany.

Use the power of fruit and veg to influence impulse buying

Casertano urged the many retailers at the congress to invest in store refurbishment and make their fruit and vegetable departments more appealing.

“The first thing you see when you enter a store is the fruit and vegetables, and this is key.” People often base their shopping on the produce they buy there, such as choosing a red pepper on promotion because it looks nice and is cheap, and then deciding to buy other products, such as minced meat and rice, to fill it. “And all these articles are based on the fruit and vegetables they bought.”

This impulse buying is a huge advantage offline retail has over online. “You have to make these departments more attractive – this is really, really important,” Casertano said.

JB

TOMORROW: Find out more about what these changes imply for the fresh produce assortment in stores when we publish part two of this article, an interview with Planet Retail’s Bianca Casertano.

See some of our photos from this year’s AECOC Fruit and Vegetable Congress