During Ahold Delhaize’s first shareholder meeting since last year’s merger, CEO Dick Boer discussed the three trends it believes will have the most impact on the markets where it operates: value, convenience, and health and wellness, according to an article in The Shelby Report.
Boer highlighted examples of how the company is capitalizing on each trend. Food Lion’s “Easy, Fresh and Affordable” initiative, for instance, is focused on providing value, while efforts to reduce salt, sugar and fat from store brands highlight the retailer’s commitment to health.
“We not only need to adapt constantly, we need to predict the next change and lead the way,” Boer said in the article.
To say that value, convenience and health are prominent trends in today’s marketplace is nothing groundbreaking. But it’s the ways Ahold Delhaize is responding to each trend that should make industry observers pay attention.
In the health and wellness realm, the retailer plans to expand its Guiding Stars nutrition labeling system to other companies under the Ahold Delhaize umbrella. The program, started more than a decade ago, offers nutritional guidance. But most importantly, it tells customers that the company is thinking about their health. Food Lion’s “Easy, Fresh and Affordable” initiative, meanwhile, seeks to add new life to an aging brand by remodeling stores around freshness, convenience, and personalization.
These programs are significant investments, which can be difficult to commit to in a low-margin industry. But Ahold Delhaize knows competition is too fierce to sit back and play defense.
Moreover, as a traditional supermarket company competing against a host of alternative formats — from discounters to specialty stores — Ahold Delhaize knows it has to execute on all fronts. It’s focusing on cutting costs out of its supply chain while also investing in fresher, more vibrant stores. It’s expanding its e-commerce footprint while also investing in technology that creates personalized offers for customers.
All the while, the company is smartly leveraging the size it gained through last year’s merger. “Better Together,” Ahold Delhaize’s motto, sounds nice. What it really means is the company is using its combined capacity to make each of its individual brands stronger.