Why do New Products Deserve a Place in The Store?

Cold-pressed hemp lemonade, algae pasta or insect burger. Tomorrow’s food trends claim space on shop shelves, thus changing more than just our tastes. They also revolutionise the nature of our diet and our handling of natural resources. However, the path to the shelves and thus our plates is not easy - but worthwhile.

Discovering new trends, launching them on the market and introducing them into peoples' daily lives - that is the concept of NX-FOOD (Next Generation Food), the METRO innovation hub for new food solutions. One of the NX-FOOD projects is the start-up shelf. On this shelf, start-ups from the food sector are given the opportunity of placing their products in the store and attracting customers.

Something not generally known: it is a long process for a product to be given a place on a supermarket shelf - bristled with strict bureaucracy and many requirements. Marketable products have the distinction of already having been certified and being in production. Market access itself is often an obstacle for start-ups that prior to trade listing have to prove that their products have passed a certain sales threshold.

This is where the start-up shelf comes in: market access is made easier for founders, because the decision is not purely based on sales figures. Using this shelf provides start-ups with easier access to customers. Founders can gather initial sales experience and test whether their products are marketable.

The concept

NX-FOOD is looking for new technologies, impulses and innovative products. The kind that can make their way into retail and reach the masses. With the start-up shelf, METRO can interlink with start-ups that already offer marketable products, but have yet been unable to test them in a store 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, QA, and Store Operational Management decide on the product to be offered on the start-up shelf.

 

The place in the store

After a three-month test phase, sales figures and customer feedback are evaluated. Based on this evaluation, the jury decides on the future inclusion of these products in the store's product range.

Up in the air - Cooperation with Eurowings

From August 2018, the onboard menu of Eurowings flights include 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, looks out for new food solution for onboard sales and can test these directly on more than 2 million Eurowings passengers on about 20,000 Eurowings flights in more than 50 countries. Direct customer feedback is guaranteed.

Link to Wings Bistro Magazine (pdf)

NX-FOOD

NX-FOOD provides start-ups with the opportunity of testing the demand for their product in a three-month market test on the start-up shelves at the wholesale and specialist food retailer METRO (METRO Germany and Austria) as well as in the hypermarkets of Real. Since May 2017, 43 start-ups have been able to tests their products in 5 METRO stores in Germany and 3 METRO stores in Austria as well as in 4 Real stores. As a result, 11 products were included in the standard product range because they were highly requested by customers. In addition to the sales figures though, other aspects such as sustainability, trends, and charisma are also indicators of success. Edible drinking straws are a good example. They hit the nerve of our time: plastic waste is a threat to our entire ecosystem. NX-FOOD wants to play its part by raising customers’ awareness of this topic and providing alternatives. Correspondingly, since August, METRO Germany start-up shelves have included reusable glass drinking straws.

 


 

Start-ups can apply at www.nx-food.com throughout the year.