Retail-Gastronomy: increasing blurring of supermarkets

Wednesday 22 July 2015

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Retail-Gastronomy: increasing blurring of supermarkets



In a conversation with Creative Director Bob Damen about the stretch from ‘ready to cook and heat’ to ‘ready to eat.'

The integration of the restaurant and the store – before, we only saw this in the large ‘destination centers’, which, following American tradition, gave the customer even more reason to visit and especially to stay. However, food consumption is ‘blurring’. Selling food is no longer just for supermarkets. There is a shift from product to moment. Take HEMA, for instance, which is increasingly investing in its food products, and bookstores, which more often develop a catering section. The German pharmacy chain DM developed the food concept “healthy break” and integrated it in their stores. “Eating is possible everywhere, any place, any time, and anyhow,” according to Bob Damen from JosDeVries The Retail Company.

According to Bob Damen, there are five reasons that explain the success of gastronomy and these are also the reasons why supermarkets invest in the integration of gastronomy and supermarket:

1. The traditional concept of gastronomy in the supermarket has not disappeared. Due to a catering section in the supermarket, customers remain in the store longer and, obviously, therefore spend more. It also generates new customers, as the store becomes a destination point where people meet each other.

2. There is an increasing demand for high quality fresh products and the corresponding fresh experience. Supermarkets try to distinguish themselves increasingly with this. The ultra-fresh preparation in the gastronomy section can provide evidence of the fresh proposition in the supermarket.

3. The time constraints of modern man are increasing. Time is becoming increasingly scarce, resulting in the fact that time is no longer taken for grocery shopping and food preparation. Preferably, one does not want to sacrifice the pleasures of delicious and fresh food. The supermarket can unburden the consumer, with the stretch of ‘ready to cook and heat’ to ‘ready to eat (and grab and go) solutions.

4. The fresh products are available in the supermarket and can be used for gastronomy. This has the great advantage that spillage can thus be countered. Before the products lose their freshness, they can be incorporated into the catering.

5. Differentiation! With what can a supermarket still distinguish itself? Gastronomy is an opportunity for the retailer to distinguish itself, and add some color to the Dutch supermarket landscape.

Can this only be realized within large store spaces? According to Bob, this is not the case: “Take Boon’s Markt in Utrecht, which has managed to realize a catering section on a limited number of square meters”. The key is to dare to make choices that correspond with the investment level. It is important to keep in mind that catering is an entirely different game than the supermarket game. For example, the investments in staff are significant. You should not overly complicate what you do. Sushi is a good category to start with for the development of your own catering. Sushi can, for a large part, be produced outside the store, which decreases costs, yet provides quite a show in the store. Additionally, staff training is minimal. At the moment, sushi is a big trend. If you don’t want to take this risk, then a franchise module could offer a solution.

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JosDeVries The Retail Company BV
Safariweg 6-11
3605 MA Maarssen, P.O. Box 1194
NL-3600 BD Maarssen
The Netherlands
tel. : +31(0)346 - 563764
[email protected]

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