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Five key developments in food-to-go: February

In the first of a new series, we share the major developments to be aware of in shaping the future food-to-go opportunity.


1, Panera Bread introduces coffee subscription model in the US


Panera Bread forms part of JAB, which European readers will know from its ownership of Espresso House and Pret. But it also owns a raft of North American based coffee brands, and Krispy Kreme. Panera has long had a willingness to innovate, not least in how it has used technology in-store to reduce customer waiting times. This latest initiative could be its most innovative yet, in offering a monthly subscription model for drip (filter) coffee. A $8.99 monthly subscription entitles customers to one coffee, tea or iced coffee every two hours. This is a big Panera play for breakfast and pre-lunch, with 75% of its sales traditionally after 11am. And early signs are encouraging, with customers coming for coffee, and staying for food as part of their breakfast mission. Panera has spoken of attachment rates of 70%, clearly helping to drive incremental food sales.




2. Sainsbury’s opens new look, food-to-go focused, Local in London


In the UK, Sainsbury’s Local at London’s Mansion House, its new look convenience store format, has undoubtedly been one of the highest profile new store launches this month. And it marks an important step forward for Sainsbury’s in how it approaches convenience and on-the-move customers. An improved layout aids customer navigation and visibility in-store, and the more open look and feel better showcases the range on offer for the customer upon entry to the store. Meanwhile the introduction of Sushi Gourmet to the store, alongside a standard large store style pizza counter, adds more definition and purpose to the concept. This is the first of several such formats due to open across the UK, as Sainsbury's upgrades its emphasis on food-to-go.



3. Q8 & Delhaize unveil new Shop & Go forecourt format in Belgium


There's lots underway in Belgium around convenience and smaller format development right now. The collaboration between Delhaize and oilco. Q8 in developing a whole new type of forecourt proposition is a definite recent highlight. Freshness lies at the heart, driven by collaborations with the bakery and sandwich chain Panos as well as Foodmaker, the fresh food-to-go specialist that also supplies Delhaize’s Fresh Atelier format and many of its larger stores. The format’s focus on fresh should stand it in good stead. And these same principles have been applied to a non-forecourt version, just opened on Rue de Commerce in central Brussels.



4. Dean & David moves into France


Salad bar chains have grown in many markets across Europe and North America over recent years. The focus on healthier eating and personalisation is a strong fit with prevailing trends in many markets, not least when this is allied with a strong provenance story. And in Germany, Dean & David has proved particularly successful in the salad chain arena, expanding to over 100 sites since it was founded in 2007. More recently it’s been on the international expansion trail, and this week announced its move into its sixth market, into France, and more specifically, Lyon. The first French site of the fresh-focused, globally inspired and superfood friendly proposition is due to open under franchise in mid 2020.



5. Netherlands: Jumbo City opens in Utrecht city centre


Jumbo is a retailer that features in many of our presentations, and is a must-see store on any Netherlands safari. Why is this? It's because of both the work it is doing in its own stores and the wider benefits that group ownership of the foodservice operator La Place is bringing, in an environment where format fusion within retail is very much to the fore. We’ve not visited all the Jumbo City stores, but those we’ve visited have stood out for a differentiated focus on celebrating counters and freshness at the heart of a convenience proposition – its Amsterdam Ferdinand Bolstraat store is a great example of this. So we’re excited to hear about its latest concept store opening in Utrecht, which in itself is fast become a destination for food format innovation in the Netherlands across retail, food-to-go and foodservice. Interestingly this latest store, at 1400 sq m, is larger than the Amsterdam stores, building much more on the foodservice zone principles developed in the larger, and equally impressive Jumbo Foodmarkt stores. Based on experience of the building blocks for this concept, and what we've seen so far, it looks set to have a great future, and flexing the size of the concept will undoubtedly open up new opportunities.



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