Three months - that's how much time start-ups from the food sector have to convince potential customers of their market-ready products and the ideas behind them. NX-Food's start-up shelf in selected METRO stores in Germany and Austria is their stage.
The way into the assortment of a wholesale market is full of bureaucratic hurdles and makes demands that many food start-ups do not (yet) fulfil. This is where the start-up shelf comes in: It makes it easier for start-ups to gain access to potential customers, as decisions are not made solely on the basis of sales figures. In this way, founders can gain initial trading experience and check whether their products are marketable.
The team of METRO's innovation hub NX-Food is constantly on the lookout for new products and food trends that can make their way into the retail trade and thus reach a large number of customers (view also: Things are happening in the food scene).With the help of the start-up shelf, METRO networks with founders and young companies that already offer marketable products but have not yet been able to test them in a market environment.
The selection process
Start-ups can apply with their products online at nx-food.com for a particular "batch". A jury consisting of Category Management, Business Development, Food Tech, Quality Assurance and the operative market management decides on the inclusion of the article in the start-up shelf.
The place in the store
After a three-month test phase, sales figures and customer feedback are evaluated. On this basis, the jury decides whether a product will be included in the market range in the future.
Up in the air - Cooperation with Eurowings
From August 2018 until October 2019, the onboard menu of Eurowings flights included new products by food start-ups from the NX-Food start-up shelf.
With this cooperation, NX-Food, in conjunction with Retail inMotion and Eurowings, looked out for new food solution for onboard sales and could test these directly on more than 2 million Eurowings passengers on about 20,000 Eurowings flights in more than 50 countries.