The Benelux Food Retail Market

An Expert's View about Retail Trade and Electronic Commerce in the Netherlands

Posted on: 29 Jun 2012

Top 3 food retailers in the Netherlands have a market share of 64 percent while in Belgium the leading 3 retailers have 72 percent of the market.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Required Report - public distribution Date: 6/25/2012 GAIN Report Number: NL2014 Netherlands Retail Foods The Benelux Food Retail Market Approved By: Mary Ellen Smith Prepared By: Marcel Pinckaers Report Highlights: The turnover of the Benelux food retail industry for 2011 is estimated at € 56.3 billion. For 2012, turnover is expected to increase by 2.5 percent. The retail market is fairly consolidated. Top 3 food retailers in the Netherlands have a market share of 64 percent while in Belgium the leading 3 retailers have 72 percent of the market. Sustainable food (including organic products) is one of the most important growth markets in food retail. The market share for private label products continues to go up in both Belgium and the Netherlands. The demand for convenient, healthy and new innovative products continues to be strong. Post: The Hague SECTION I. MARKET SUMMARY Benelux Food Retail Market Approximately 80 percent of the Dutch food retail outlets are full service supermarkets, operating on floor space between 500 and 1,500 square meters located downtown and in residential areas. Retailers with full service supermarkets have responded to the need of the Dutch to have these supermarkets close to their house. The remaining 20 percent includes mainly convenience stores (near office buildings and train/metro stations), some wholesalers and just a few superstores (convenient located alongside highways in shopping malls and industrial parks). The Belgians show a different shopping pattern. They prefer large supermarkets and superstores that are easy to access by car. In addition they increasingly appreciate having much smaller convenience stores, or superettes, close to their homes. In Belgium, full service supermarkets therefore account for an estimated 55 percent of the market. The share of convenience stores, superstores and wholesalers in Belgium is much higher than in the Netherlands, an estimated 45 percent. In all markets, independent food retail stores are increasingly leaving the scene. Shrinking margins and on-going consolidation in the retail market drive this trend. Top 3 food retailers in the Netherlands, Albert Heijn, Jumbo (C1000, Jumbo and Super de Boer) and Aldi, have a market share of 64 percent. The market for discounters like Aldi and Lidl has decreased to 13.5 percent. Dutch discounters like Bas van der Heijden, Dirk van den Heijden and Digros were able to maintain their share of the market. In Belgium, the leading 3 retailers have 72 percent of the market. The market share of the Belgium discounter Colruyt also grew at the expense of German based Aldi and Lidl. Table 1: Market Shares of Leading Food Retailers Netherlands Belgium Company: Market share, percentage: Company: Market share, percentage: Albert Heijn 33.6 Colruyt 27.1 C1000* (Jumbo) 11.5 Delhaize 22.8 Aldi 7.9 Carrefour 22.2 Plus 6.0 Aldi 11.1 Lidl 5.6 Louis Delhaize 5.4 Jumbo 5.5 Lidl 4.6 Super de Boer (Jumbo) 5.5 Makro 4.5 Other 24.4 Other 2.3 Total 100.0 Total 100.0 Source: Distrifood Retailplanner 2012, StoreCheck FoodGids 2012, FEVIA *Due to Jumbo‘s acquisition of C1000, the latter will gradually disappear and transform into Jumbo The turnover of the Benelux food retail industry is estimated at € 56.3 billion (€33.5 billion in the Netherlands and €22.8 billion in Belgium). For 2012, turnover is expected to increase by 2.5 percent since consumers are expected to spend more food euros at retailers than in the HRI industry. Growth is expected to be found in the full-service supermarkets and convenience stores. Table 2: Turnover Benelux food retail, billion Euros 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 * 47.7 50.5 52,7 54.5 56.3 57.8 Source: CBL, FEDIS, FEVIA * FAS/The Hague forecasts The Benelux food market is highly productive and export focused. In meeting its customers‘ needs it also heavily depends on imports. Last year, the Netherlands imported USD 29.3 billion of consumer-oriented products, about a third came from neighboring Germany and Belgium. After Brazil and South Africa, the U.S. is the third largest non-EU supplier of consumer-oriented products. Over 2011, U.S. exports totaled USD 840 million, dominated by food preparations, tree nuts and beef. In the same year Belgium imported USD 22.2 billion of consumer-oriented products, with 60 percent originating from Germany, France and the Netherlands. U.S. exports of consumer oriented products totaled USD 413 million, led by tree nuts and fruit juices. Table 3: Value of imports of Consumer Oriented and Fishery products, past 5 years, million USD 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Netherlands: Consumer Oriented Products Total imports: 25,033 28,800 25,690 26,462 29,298 Imports from U.S.: 655 732 704 735 840 Fishery Products Total imports: 2,575 2,843 2,646 2,654 3,055 Imports from U.S.: 70 98 92 88 98 Belgium: Consumer Oriented Products Total imports: 19,662 22,043 19,824 19,431 22,244 Imports from U.S.: 270 319 274 287 413 Fishery Products Total imports: 2,046 2,197 1,907 1,945 2,236 Imports from U.S.: 30 27 32 39 54 Source: For fishery products the Benelux market also depends on imports. Last year, the Netherlands imported USD 3.1 billion of fishery products. Iceland is the largest supplier; the U.S. is the 7th largest non-EU supplier of fishery products. Over 2011, U.S. fish exports totaled 98 million, dominated by frozen fish fillets for further processing, cod, scallops and salmon. In the same year Belgium imported USD 2.2. U.S. fish exports totaled USD 54 million, led by scallops and salmon. Table 4: The number and type of retail outlets in the Netherlands Type of outlet: Number of Stores: Average floor space (M2): Supermarkets 3,545 500 – 1,500 Superstores 30 1,500 – 5,000 Wholesalers 112 >5,000 Convenience Stores 718 <500 Source: Distrifood Retailplanner 2012 Table 5: The number and type of retail outlets in Belgium: Type of outlet: Number of Stores: Average floor space (M2): Supermarkets 2,853 500 – 1,500 Superstores 995 1,500 – 5,000 Wholesalers 410 >5,000 Convenience Stores 1,216 <500 Source: StoreCheck FoodGids 2012 More Sustainable Food Products in the Netherlands During the last decade, especially Dutch retailers have increasingly sourced food products which are either produced sustainably or obtained in a sustainable manner. The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation recently published a report, Monitor Duurzaam Voedsel 2011, which gives an overview of consumer spending on sustainable food in the Netherlands. Sustainable food is one of the most important growth markets in food retail and foodservice markets. The turnover of sustainable food rose in 2011 by 30.5 percent while total spending on food in the same year only grew by 3.1 percent. As a result, the market share of sustainable food increased from 3.5 percent in 2010 to 4.5 percent last year. But how is sustainable food being defined and measured? The MinAg defines as food whereby during production and processing, more than what is legally required, environmental, animal welfare and social aspects or criteria have been taking into account. In the report, two criteria have been used to measure the sustainability claim: 1) at consumer level the sustainability efforts are visible by a label or mark and 2) the control of this mark must be independent. In addition, it is more correct to actually speak of more sustainable food rather than sustainable food in order to indicate that it is a proportionally sustainable product. The emphasis is on the process towards sustainable. Below labels or marks are examples of sustainable food products, recognized by MinAg: Beter Leven: Organic: FAIRTRADE/Ma Label Rouge: MSC: x Havelaar: Milieukeur: Rainforest Scharrelvlees: UTZ Certified: Vrije Uitloop: Alliance: In the Netherlands, spending on sustainable food in 2011 totaled 1.75 billion Euros, up by 410 million Euros compared to 2010. Total spending on food, including sustainable food, amounted 38.9 billion Euros in 2011. Table 6: Spending on sustainable food products, per label/mark, million Euros Label/Mark: 2010: 2011: Change in percentage: Beter Leven 153.6 295.3 92.3 Organic 668.5 802.9 20.1 FAIRTRADE/Max Havelaar 155.9 188.3 20.8 Label Rouge 0.8 1.2 50.0 MSC 111.3 130.5 17.3 Milieukeur 31.4 30.1 -4.1 Rainforest Alliance 98.0 97.8 -0.2 Scharrelvlees 0.2 1.7 750.0 UTZ Certified 214.5 328.0 52.9 Vrije Uitloop 8.0 4.3 -46.3 Total 1,442.2 1,880.1 30.4 Products with more than 1 label or mark 102.3 131.5 28.5 Total 1,339.9 1,748.6 30.5 Source: Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation What are the most recent developments per label/mark? Beter Leven: The Beter Leven (or Better Life) is a system by the Dutch Society for the Protection of the Animals (or Dierenbescherming) which is widely accepted in the market. The amount of stars indicates the level of animal welfare friendly, Organic: On July 1, 2010, the use of the EU organic logo became mandatory for prepackaged organic food produced in the EU. It may be accompanied by national (EKO) or private logos, FAIRTRADE/Max Havelaar: This mark continues to demonstrate growth. It focuses on raw materials and fresh produce such as bananas and pineapples, Label Rouge/Scharrel/Vrije uitloop: The supply of more animal welfare friendly products grew strongly in 2011 and sales have doubled. Label Rouge, Scharrel and Vrije uitloop products are slowly being phased out as many of these products are provided with Beter Leven stars. Marine Stewardship Council: The goal of the Dutch retailers association CBL to have all fisheries products MSC certified by 2011 has not been achieved mainly because the supply is still inadequate. MSC certified products have probably the best market penetration of all sustainable food labels and are widely recognized by consumers, This year the first ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) certified products, a label for aquaculture products, are being launched at the market, Milieukeur: The Milieukeur mark, a mark for environment friendly produced products, is used less and less on packaging. Although not visible, it is a certifying system used by B-to-B, Rainforest Alliance: The use of the Rainforest Alliance logo has stabilized in the Netherlands, UTZ Certified: Initially designed for coffee, UTZ now has programs for cocoa, tea, palm oil and cotton, In 2011, all food categories demonstrated growth, see below table. The highest gains were achieved in meat and meat products while the largest markets continue to be coffee, tea, cocoa and fresh produce. Table 7: Spending on sustainable food products, per food category, million Euros Food category Spending in Spending in Change in Logo/mark 2010 2011 percentage Fresh produce and 242.8 257.6 6.1 Organic, Max Havelaar, Fairforest potatoes Alliance, Milieukeur Bread, bakery and 67.5 75.1 11.3 Organic, Max Havelaar breakfast cereals Dairy 161.7 217.6 34.6 Organic, Beter Leven, Max Havelaar, UTZ Certified (for chocolate milk) Eggs 48.1 59.3 23.3 Organic, Beter Leven, Vrije uitloop Meat 122.5 235.1 91.9 Organic, Beter Leven, Milieukeur, Label Rouge, Scharrelkip Meat products 25.9 37.4 44.4 Organic, Beter Leven, Milieukeur Meat replacement 12.5 12.8 2.4 Organic Coffee, tea, cocoa 337.0 406.6 20.7 Organic, UTZ Certified, Max Havelaar, Rainforest Alliance Fish 109.5 129.6 18.4 Organic, MSC Miscellaneous 212.4 317.4 49.4 Organic, Beter Leven, Max Havelaar, UTZ Certified, Milieukeur, Rainforest Alliance Total 1,339.9 1,748.6 30.5 Source: Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation What are Dutch retailers doing ? In May of this year, a new App was launched to help consumers of food products making responsible choices; the food products are measured on several sustainability aspects (animal welfare, effect on environment) and health, The website (eat more sustainable) is a platform for consumers to learn more about the available labels, marks and certificates on sustainability. In addition it provides a brief overview of some of the sustainable initiatives by Dutch food retailers. Market leader Albert Heijn plans to have all their private label products produced and labeled sustainable by the end of 2015 by focusing on the following six product groups: coffee, tea, cocoa, soy, palm oil and seafood. Albert Heijn introduced the private label brand ―Puur&Eerlijk‖. For seafood Albert Heijn would like to have all private label fishery products MSC certified, or equivalent, and all private label aquaculture products ASC certified by 2015. For two years now, Albert Heijn sells eggs from a Rondeel stable. This is a stable that is adapted to the needs of chicken en where they can potter about. The Rondeel eggs have the maximum 3 stars Beter Leven mark and are now also on the German market, PLUS supermarkets recently dedicated a TV commercial on their sustainability initiatives. The video focuses on FAIRTRADE bananas and pineapple and on sustainable fish, Jumbo recently stated that in 2015 it wants to be the most sustainable supplier of meat products in the Netherlands. This year all pork on the shelves will receive the Milieukeur mark. Next year Jumbo plans to introduce antibiotics-free meat products. In addition Jumbo wants to pay more attention to the level of animal welfare friendly. Also on the seafood side, Jumbo is taking steps; non-sustainable fishery products are being replaced by MSC certified products. Jumbo‘s C1000 recently introduced private label UTZ certified coffee. This coffee has been produced by farmers that comply with the social and economical norms and environmental criteria that have been established in the internationally accepted code of conduct of UTZ certified. German based discounter Lidl wants to boost its assortment of sustainable food products. All cooled and frozen fishery products will be MSC certified while all fresh milk will carry the weidemelk logo. Finally all its private label chocolate products will only be using UTZ certified cocoa while at the same time expanding into FAIRTRADE/Max Havelaar. DEEN supermarkets only sell fresh pork through their Sustainable Pork Value chain (KDV) with a Milieukeur mark. DEEN special focus has been on animal welfare and environmental concerns. Together with World Wild Fund, Stichting Noordzee and MSC, DEEN adapted its fish product by using the viswijzer, Endangered species have been replaced by MSC certified fishery products. More information on sustainability in the EU commodity market can be found in GAIN Report NL2004, 20Markets_The%20Hague_Netherlands%20EU-27_1-31-2012.pdf. More Private Label products: The market share for private label products continues to go up in most European markets. The largest market shares are to be found in the Western European countries, led by Spain (49 percent), the U.K. (47 percent) and Portugal (43 percent). Belgium and the Netherlands had a market share of 40 percent and 36 percent, respectively. Market shares in the Nordic region and most of the Central and Eastern European countries are between 25 percent and 30 percent. Research has shown that the market share of private label is higher in those markets that have a highly consolidated food retail structure in combination with professional and innovative retailers. Furthermore, in the Benelux market, retailers have developed two private labels, where one is mainly focused on price whereas the other is aiming at adding value. Consumers are discovering the good value for money that private label brands are offering and how they can be a good alternative for A-branded products. Below table gives a good indication that private label not only grows in years of recession but also fare well in more prosperous times. The profitability of private label has increased retailers‘ interest to offer more private label products (e.g. gluten-free, healthy, and organic) and move into other areas of private label (e.g. bakery and cosmetics). The on-going expansion of local and international discounters continues to fuel the growing market for private label products as well. Table 8: Private label as a percentage of the total food market 1999 2011 Belgium 35 40 Germany 27 40 The Netherlands 21 36 France 22 36 Italy 12 20 Source: Private Label Manufacturing Association, 2012 On-line Shopping offers potential: The market for shopping on-line as a percentage of the total retail (food and non-food) is according to the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) expected to grow from 5 percent to 10 percent between 2010 and 2016. Although the percentage is around 1 percent for just food according to industry contacts, it is a part of the market which offers a great potential. Within Europe, the largest market for on-line shopping of food products can be found in the U.K. In the Netherlands, Ahold‘s recently acquired market leader to further tap into the on- line shopping market. DeKa drive (shop-online and pick up groceries 7 days a week at the DeKa drive, recently announced it plans to open 8 new DeKa drives next year. In Belgium, leads the way. Consumers in the age group 18-44 years shop most on-line driven by saving time and money. Key though for on-line shopping is a high quality on-line experience and a reliable delivery of the purchased goods. Shopping by using smart phones and tablets has boosted in the past two years. Blurring boundaries: Especially in the cities, Benelux consumers are shopping at different times and locations. During lunch breaks, people buy their lunch and dinner is bought on the way home. As a result innovative convenience stores, like ―AH To Go‖, ―GB Express‖ and ―Delhaize shop ‗n go‖ are opened at locations near heavy traffic like train stations, schools, and shopping malls. The traditional neighborhood grocery stores are in order to survive moving into this direction as well. Consumers request regional cuisine products (tex-mex, sushi, etc.) and fresh and convenient food products. These new convenience stores are in fact not so much competing with traditional supermarkets but more so with foodservice outlets like La Place, HEMA, Starbucks, Kiosk, McDonalds, Quick, etc. Awareness of Health and Well-Being Consumers are becoming more aware of and are more concerned about the effects food has on their health and well-being. There is a trend to a healthier lifestyle in Western countries. The following U.S. industries have all benefitted from this trend: nuts (pistachios, almonds, walnuts, etc.), fruits (cranberries, pomegranates, berries, etc.), seafood (like salmon, halibut, etc.). Consumers are looking for and finding more information on this topic; the media, including the Internet, TV and magazines, respond to this desire and feed into it. Food processors and retailers play a crucial role as well, as they develop and market food products to create, anticipate and meet consumers‘ needs. Table 9: Advantages and Challenges of the Benelux Food Retail Market Advantages Challenges Sector Strengths & Market Opportunities: Sector Weaknesses and Competitive Threats: Turnover figures indicate that the Benelux retail market is not EU import regulation and tariffs. EU being affected by the current economic conditions. enlargement will give preferential access to products from new member countries. Affluent, open minded and curious consumers create Discounters fare well in the Benelux retail opportunities for new products. market; margins continue to be under pressure. The region has an excellent infrastructure and therefore serves as The industry is highly consolidated and a trading hub for Europe. therefore has a strong negotiating position. Opportunities for healthy food products not sufficiently available Listing fees paid to retailers and money on the local European market; e.g. tree nuts, seafood, (exotic) spend on creating brand awareness hamper fruit, vegetables, juices, ingredients, etc. the introduction of new U.S. brands. The Benelux is a trading hub where importers make purchasing Sustainable food (including organic food) is decisions for hundreds of millions of USD of Consumer-Oriented one of the most important growth markets. products that are transshipped to other European countries. The Equivalency Arrangement on Organics offers ample opportunities especially as 75 percent of all U.S. exports of organics are traded by U.K. and Benelux importers. Source: FAS/The Hague SECTION II. ROAD MAP FOR MARKET ENTRY U.S. exporters seeking to enter the Benelux market place have many opportunities, as indicated in above table. However there are a number of challenges (e.g. the import regulations and standards) U.S. exporters must meet before exporting to the Benelux market. Entry Strategy: Success in introducing your product in the Benelux market depends mainly on knowledge of the market and building personal contact with knowledgeable and established importers. Prior to any export, invest in research that analyzes the Benelux food culture (concepts, flavor, price, requirements). Once the product has been chosen, be aware of fierce competition. There are tariff and non-tariff trade barriers that can complicate exporting to the Benelux market. The EU also has several FTAs which may advantage other 3rd country competitors. An importer knows the market, the trade barriers and the required documentation. The Office of Agricultural Affairs (OAA) offers guidelines on business practices and import regulations. The OAA also maintains lists of Benelux buyers (FBL lists). For a complete overview of offered reports, see Section V of this report. Market Structure: Source: FAS/The Hague The vast majority of supermarkets and superstores buy foreign (specialty) products via specialized importers. This is especially the case for retail-ready consumer-oriented products like sauces, beverages and snack products. Convenience stores operate, in general, on a much smaller scale and therefore often buy smaller quantities through wholesalers. Department stores work either through importers or buy directly from U.S. exporters. Many imported Intermediate and even some consumer-oriented products are often processed, mixed or packed before being sold to the consumer. Products like nuts, fresh produce, wine and in most cases fish products fall in this category. Retailers increasingly have their stores divided in different categories. For each category they will have 2 or 3 preferred suppliers who are responsible for supplying the full range of products within the category. This way, the retailer negotiates with just a handful of suppliers for fruits & vegetables, meat products, seafood products, groceries, beverages, bakery products, etc. For the international specialty products (covering branded retail ready U.S. products) area within supermarkets, retailers usually work with only one or two specialized importers who are responsible for selecting products and filling those shelves. As described in Section I, the retail industry in the Benelux is rather consolidated; however, on the purchase side the industry is even more consolidated since several smaller retailers have joined forces. The following figures will give you an overview of the different buying combinations in the Netherlands and Belgium. Table 10: Leading Buying Groups in The Netherlands Purchase Group: Market Share, Company name: percentage: Albert Heijn 33.6 Albert Heijn, AH XL,, AH To Go Provincialeweg 11 1506 MA Zaandam Superunie 29.6 Sperwer (PLUS), Jan Linders, Vomar, Spar, Coop, Hoogvliet, Industrieweg 22B Dirk van de Broek, Bas van der Heijden, etc. 4153 BW Beesd Bijeen 22.5 C1000, Jumbo, Super de Boer Laanakkerweg 4 4131 PA Vianen Aldi 7.9 Aldi Pascalweg 21 4104 BE Culemborg Lidl 5.6 Lidl Huizermaatweg 45 1273 NA Huizen Source: Distrifood Retailplanner 2012 Table 11: Leading Buying Groups in Belgium Purchase Group Market Share, Store name percentage Carrefour 22.2 Carrefour Hyper/Planet, Carrefour Market/GB, Carrefour Olympiadenlaan 20 Express, ROB B-1140 Brussels +32 2729 2111 Delhaize Group 22.8 Delhaize Belgie, AD Delhaize, Delhaize City, Proxy Osseghemstraat 53 Delhaize, Delhaize Supermarket and Delhaize Shop ‘n B-1080 Brussels Go, Tom & Co +32 2412 2111 Colruyt 27.1 Colruyt, Bio-Planet, Spar, Dreamland, Spar/Eurospar, Steenweg op Edingen 196 OKay B-1500 Halle +32 2360 1040 Aldi 11.1 Aldi Keerstraat 4 B-9420 Erpe-Mere +32 5382 7272 Louis Delhaize 5.4 Louis Delhaize, Cora Belux, Delfood, Delitraiteur, Match Rue de Ligne 13 Belux, Smatch Belux, Profi B-1000 Brussel +32 2229 2850 www.supermarche-match- Lidl 4.6 Lidl Guldensporenpark blok J nr. 90 B-9820 Merelbeke +32 9243 7400 Source: AC Nielsen, StoreCheck FoodGids 2012, USDA estimates A. SUPER STORES, SUPERMARKETS, HYPER MARKETS OR SUPER CENTERS, CLUBS AND WAREHOUSE OUTLETS Table 12: Supermarkets and Super Stores Name Format Stores Ownership Locations Netherlands Albert Heijn Supermarket 769 Royal Ahold Nation wide Deen Supermarket 61 Deen Regional Aldi Supermarket 488 Aldi Nation wide Lidl Supermarket 346 Lidl Nation wide DeKaMarkt Supermarket 86 DeKaMarkt Regional Emté Supermarket 107 Sligro Food Group Regional Hoogvliet Supermarket 60 Hoogvliet Regional Jan Linders Supermarket 55 Jan Linders Regional Jumbo Supermarket 223 Jumbo Nation wide C1000 Supermarket 400 Schuitema Nation wide Plus Supermarket 269 Sperwer Groep Nation wide Poiesz Supermarket 59 Poiesz Supermarkten Regional Super de Boer Supermarket 135 Jumbo Regional Coop Supermarket 147 CoopCodis Nation wide AH XL Super Stores 30 Royal Ahold Nation wide Vomar Super Stores 55 Vomar Regional Belgium AD Delhaize Supermarket 227 Delhaize Group Nation wide Delhaize Belgie Supermarket 805 Delhaize Group Nation wide Bio Planet (Organic) Supermarket 6 Colruyt Nation wide Colruyt Supermarket 214 Colruyt Nation wide Champion Supermarket 67 Mestdagh Nation Wide Delhaize City Supermarket 18 Delhaize Group Nation wide Delhaize Proxy Supermarket 191 Delhaize Group Nation wide Eurospar Supermarket 265 Colruyt/Spar Nation wide Carrefour GB Contact Supermarket 400 Carrefour Nation wide O‘Cool Supermarket 107 Frost Invest Nation wide Match Belux Supermarket 65 Louis Delhaize Nation wide Aldi Supermarket 928 Aldi Nation wide Lidl Supermarket 298 Lidl Nation wide Intermarché Supermarket 77 Intermarché Nation wide ROB Super Stores 1 Carrefour Nation wide Cora Belux Super Stores 9 Louis Delhaize Group Nation wide Delhaize Supermarket Super Stores 140 Delhaize Group Nation wide Carrefour Hyper Super Stores 45 Carrefour Nation wide Supermarket - retail surface ≤ 1,500 m2 Super Stores – retail surface > 1,500 m2 Department Stores Table 13: Department Stores Name Stores Ownership Locations Netherlands Bijenkorf 3 Selfridges Nation wide HEMA 492 Lion Capital LLP Nation wide V&D 62 Sun European Nation wide Belgium HEMA 87 Lion Capital LLP Nation wide Inno 15 METRO Nation wide Discounters Table 14: Discounters Name Stores Ownership Locations Netherlands Aldi 488 Aldi-Gruppe Nation wide Lidl 346 Lidl & Schwarz Nation wide Dirk van de Broek 53 Dirk van de Broek Nation wide Bas van der Heijden 27 Bas van der Heijden Nation wide Digros 16 Digros Nation wide Belgium Colruyt 214 Colruyt Nation Wide Aldi 928 Aldi Inkoop Nation Wide Lidl 298 Lidl Belgium GmbH & Co KG Nation Wide Tecno 63 Tecno N.V. Regional B. CONVENIENCE STORES, GAS MARTS, KIOSKS Table 15: Convenience Stores Name Ownership Locations Netherlands AH To Go Royal Ahold Regional CoopCompact Coop Supermarkten Nation wide Kiosk Servex Nation wide Spar Spar Holding Nation wide Troefmarkt Van Tol Retail Nation wide Buurtwinkels Van Tol Retail Nation wide Attent Spar Holding Nation wide Attent Super op Vakantie Spar Holding Nation wide Belgium1 Delitraiteur Louis Delhaize Group Nation wide BLOC BLOC Nation wide Carrefour Express Carrefour Nation wide Okay Colruyt Nation wide Tecno Tecno Nation wide Spar Lambrechts/Spar Nation wide Prima Huygebaert Nation wide Profi Louis Delhaize Nation wide Smatch Louis Delhaize Nation wide Louis Delhaize Louis Delhaize Group Nation wide Supra Lambrechts Nation wide Night & Day Night & Day Presse Regional White Night Louis Delhaize Group Regional 1 In Belgium convenience stores are often called superettes ―AH to go‖ are situated at train stations, busy shopping streets and business districts, products sold are ready to eat meals, and other meal components or snacks. Source: AC Nielson Table 16: Gas Marts Name Ownership Gas Company Locations Netherlands On the Run/Snack & Shop ExxonMobil ESSO Nation wide Shell Station Shell Shell Nation wide Texaco Service stations Chevron Texaco Nation wide Café Bonjour Total Total Nation wide Wild Bean Café British Petroleum BP Nation wide AH To Go Royald Ahold Shell Nation wide Belgium Delhaize Shop ‗n Go Delhaize Group Q8 Nation wide Shell Station Shell Shell Nation wide On the Run/Snack & Shop ExxonMobil ESSO Nation wide Q8 Shops Q8 Q8 Nation wide Texaco Shops/GO shops Chevron Texaco Nation wide Total Shop/Café Bonjour Total Total Nation wide Source: AC Nielson Table 17: Wholesalers Name Ownership Locations Netherlands Hanos (incl. ISPC) Royal Ahold Nation wide VHC Maxxam C.V. Nation wide Makro Metro Cash & Carry Nation wide Sligro (incl. VEN) Sligro Food Group Nation wide Belgium ISPC ISPC Nation wide Delfood Louis Delhaize Nation wide JAVA JAVA Regional Makro Metro Cash & Carry Nation wide C. TRADITIONAL MARKET – ―MOM AND POP‖ SMALL INDEPENDENT GROCERY STORES AND WET MARKETS Grocery stores, butcher stores, bakeries etc. increasingly face competition from food retail chains. Through extra service, sales of high-quality added value products and the serving of niche markets, they try to survive. Traditional butcher shops and fruit & veggie shops are becoming specialty shops and high-end caterers, while traditional bakery shops are moving into pastry and artisanal specialty breads. SECTION III. COMPETITION Knowledgeable and experienced traders, excellent logistics, a highly sophisticated processing industry, a professional distribution channel and affluent consumers make the Benelux an attractive export market. The Benelux is (except for several horticultural products) in general not the most competitive producer of bulk and intermediate products, due to the high prices for agricultural land and labor, lack of scale and multiple rules and regulations. The Benelux however has a highly sophisticated processing industry. As a result, the Benelux increasingly is dependent on stable supplies of bulk and intermediate products (like grains, seafood, fruit juices, fresh produce, nuts, meat, etc.) from other EU member states and third countries. In addition to sufficiency, the Benelux also depends on other countries, especially Southern Hemisphere countries, for the year-round availability of fresh fruit and certain vegetables. Another reason why importers and food distributors turn to foreign markets is to look for unique products. This can be both new products and well-known products that are different one way or another. U.S. beef, beverages, fruits, nuts, sweet potatoes, and a full range of specialty food products have gained popularity over the years. Table 18: Netherlands‘ U.S. Market Share Versus Main Suppliers‘ Market Share in Consumer Oriented and Fish & Seafood Products, (value in million US $), 2011 Ma Advantages and in Suppliers, in Strengths of Key Supply Product Category isadvantages of Local percentage C Dountries Suppliers PG 30 Breakfast Cereals 1. Belgium 32.3 Distance, availability and Developed processed food Total US$ 2. Germany 29.3 regional products industry Imports 1,448 3. France 8.6 15. U.S. 0.7 PG 31 Snack Foods 1. Belgium 44.9 Distance, availability and Developed confectionary Total US$ 2. Germany 23.3 regional products industry Imports 129 3. France 13.0 11. U.S. 0.3 HS 02: Meat and Edible Meat Offal 1. Germany 23.6 1,2: distance and availability Focus on dairy production Total US$ 2. Belgium 15.3 3: price/quality ratio instead of beef production Imports 5,067 3. Brazil 14.6 12. U.S. 2.0 HS 03: Fish And Crustaceans, Molluscs And Other Aquatic Invertebrates 1. Germany 14.4 2: great variety and Long tradition in seafood Total US$ 2. Iceland 14.3 availability due to trading; Imports 2,741 3. Belgium 7.3 geographical location Good geographical location 10. U.S. 3.3 1: large processing industry HS 04: Dairy Produce; Birds' Eggs; Natural Honey 1. Germany 44.8 1,2,3: Proximity Great tradition of Total US$ 2. Belgium 17.5 producing milk and milk Imports 4,298 3. France 10.1 based processed products 16. U.S. 0.3 HS 07: Edible Vegetables And Certain Roots And Tubers 1. Spain 26.5 1: different climate/varieties Great innovative industry Total US$ 2. Belgium 15.0 2,3: proximity producing horticultural Imports 2,769 3. Germany 12.9 products 15. U.S. 1.1 HS 08: Edible Fruit And Nuts; Peel Of Citrus Fruit Or Melons 1. S. Africa 13.5 1,2: different climate/supply Products not (sufficiently) Total US$ 2. Chile 9.3 season/taste/varieties available on the local Imports 5,892 3. Spain 8.9 market 9. U.S. 4.6 HS 09: Coffee, Tea, Mate And Spices 1. Belgium 19.9 1, 2: trading tradition No domestic availability Total US$ 2. Germany 15.2 Imports 1,374 3. 9.3 Switzerland 0.2 41. U.S. HS 16: Edible Preparations of Meat, Fish, Crustaceans, Molluscs or other Aquatic Invertebrates 1. Brazil 24.4 3: price / quality ratio Not (sufficiently) Total US$ 2. Belgium 19.3 domestically available Imports 2,038 3. Germany 13.9 24. U.S. 0.2 HS 19: Preparations Of Cereals, Flour, Starch Or Milk; Bakers' Wares 1. Belgium 33.0 Proximity and re-export Not (sufficiently) Total US$ 2. Germany 25.5 domestically available Imports 1,813 3. France 9.7 13. U.S. 1.0 HS 20: Preparations Of Vegetables, Fruit, Nuts, Or Other Parts Of Plants 1. Belgium 16.214.7 Price / quality ratio Not (sufficiently) Total US$ 2. Brazil 14.4 domestically available Imports 3,389 3. Germany 3.7 8. U.S. HS 21: Miscellaneous Edible Preparations 1. Germany 21.8 Proximity and re-export Not (sufficiently) Total US$ 2. Belgium 15.6 domestically available Imports 2,151 3. France 8.2 5. U.S. 7.2 HS 22: Beverages, Spirits, Wine and Vinegar 1. Germany 22.7 Excellent regional products Not (sufficiently) Total US$ 2. France 22.1 domestically available Imports 3,832 3. Belgium 15.1 8. U.S. 2.5 Source: Table 19: Belgium‘s U.S. Market Share Versus Main Suppliers‘ Market Share in Consumer Oriented and Fish & Seafood Products, (value in million US $), 2011 Main Suppliers, Strengths of Key supply Advantages and Disadvantages Product Category in percentage Countries of Local Suppliers PG 30 Breakfast Cereals 1. Netherlands 31.5 Distance, availability and Developed Total US$ 2. France 23.1 regional products processed food Imports 1,323 3. Germany 19.8 industry 14. U.S. 0.5 PG 31 Snack Foods 1. France 34.9 Distance, availability and Developed Total US$ 2. Germany 24.1 regional products confectionary Imports 166 3. U.K. 13.6 industry 11. U.S. 0.5 HS 02: Meat and Edible Meat Offal 1. Netherlands 25.1 1,2: distance and availability Good domestic availability of Total US$ 2. France 21.1 3: excellent price/quality beef Imports 1,814 3. Germany 9.5 ratio 19. U.S. 0.8 HS 03: Fish And Crustaceans, Molluscs And Other Aquatic Invertebrates 1. Netherlands 22.5 1,2: European traders of tradition in seafood trading; Total US$ 2. France 9.3 seafood; 3: aquaculture good geographical location Imports 1,789 3. Bangladesh 6.6 supplier 16. U.S. 3.0 HS 04: Dairy Produce; Birds' Eggs; Natural Honey 1. Netherlands 33.3 1,2,3: Proximity Long tradition of producing Total US$ 2. France 28.2 milk and milk based processed Imports 4,111 3. Germany 17.9 products 12. U.S. 0.4 HS 07: Edible Vegetables And Certain Roots And Tubers 1. Netherlands 35.7 1,2: proximity; 3: different Growing and innovative Total US$ 2. France 25.5 climate/varieties horticultural industry in Flanders Imports 1,822 3. Spain 11.1 16. U.S. 0.6 HS 08: Edible Fruit And Nuts; Peel Of Citrus Fruit Or Melons 1. Colombia 17.7 1,2,3: different A mature industry (especially Total US$ 2. Costa Rica 10.7 climate/supply apples and pears) Imports 3,718 3. Ecuador 10.0 season/tastes/varieties 5. U.S. 3.5 HS 09: Coffee, Tea, Mate And Spices 1. Brazil 22.2 Availability No domestic availability Total US$ 2. Honduras 10.1 Imports 1,810 3. Peru 9.2 42. U.S. 0.1 HS 16: Edible Preparations of Meat, Fish, Crustaceans, Molluscs or other Aquatic Invertebrates 1. Netherlands 28.8 Proximity and re-export Not (sufficiently) domestically Total US$ 2. France 21.0 available Imports 1,141 3. Germany 18.7 27. U.S. 0.3 HS 19: Preparations Of Cereals, Flour, Starch Or Milk; Bakers' Wares 1. France 37.4 Proximity and re-export Not (sufficiently) domestically Total US$ 2. Netherlands 20.2 available Imports 1,789 3. Germany 17.4 11. U.S. 1.0 HS 20: Preparations Of Vegetables, Fruit, Nuts, Or Other Parts Of Plants 1. Brazil 24.5 1: price / quality ratio Not (sufficiently) domestically Total US$ 2. France 17.5 available Imports 2,091 3. Netherlands 15.9 5. U.S. 5.3 HS 21: Miscellaneous Edible Preparations 1. Netherlands 28.9 Proximity, availability and Not (sufficiently) domestically Total US$ 2. France 25.1 re-export available Imports 1,239 3. Germany 18.1 5. U.S. 4.2 HS 22: Beverages, Spirits, Wine and Vinegar 1. France 49.2 1,3: Excellent regional Not (sufficiently) domestically Total US$ 2. Germany 11.9 products available Imports 3,024 3. Netherlands 9.1 11. U.S. 0.9 Source: SECTION IV. BEST PRODUCT PROSPECTS A. Products Present In The Market That Have Good Sales Potential Peanuts and tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecan and hazelnuts) Fruit juices (orange and grapefruit) Processed fruit and vegetables Beverages (Super) Fruits containing high levels of antioxidants like cranberries, pomegranates, berries, etc. Wines Dried fruits (dates, figs, cranberries, raisins) B. Products Not Present In Significant Quantities But Which Have Good Sales Potential Functional/health foods Organic products High Value beef cuts and hamburgers (only Non-Hormone Treated Cattle) Innovative sauces, condiments and confectionary products C. Products Not Present Because They Face Significant Barriers Poultry (sanitary procedures) Processed food with GMO ingredients, bleached flour etc. The EU uses the Combined Nomenclature (CN) for the customs classification of goods. The CN eight digit code numbers are based on the Harmonized System (HS) nomenclature: the first six digits refer to the HS headings, the two following digits represent the CN subheadings. The EUs on-line customs database can be consulted to look up commodity codes and relevant import duties: The EU‘s 2012 Tariff Schedule was published on October 28, 2011 in Official Journal L 282. It is also possible to obtain Binding Tariff Information (BTI) from the MS‘s customs authority to get the proper product classification. Through this system, traders know in advance the tariff classification of the goods they intend to import. BTI is legally binding in all the member states. Information on how to obtain a BTI can be downloaded from the European Commission‘s Taxation & Custom‘s website at More information on the Netherlands‘ customs authorities can be found at Customs authorities designated for the purpose of receiving applications and issuing binding tariff information: Belastingdienst Douane Regio Rotterdam Rijnmond Team Bindende Tariefinlichtingen Postbus 3070 6401 DN Heerlen, the Netherlands More information on Belgium‘s customs authorities can be found at Customs authorities designated for the purpose of receiving applications and issuing Binding Tariff Information: Centrale administratie der douane en accijnzen Dienst Nomenclatuur (Tarief), Landbouw en Waarde Cel BTI North Galaxy — Gebouw A — 8ste verdieping Koning Albert II-laan 33 1030 Brussel, Belgium SECTION V. POST CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service U.S. Embassy Lange Voorhout 102, 2514 EJ The Hague, The Netherlands Phone: +31 (0)70 3102.305 Fax: +31 (0)70 365.7681 E-mail: Further information on the Benelux retail market is available from: Netherlands: CBL PO Box 262 2260 AG Leidschendam, the Netherlands Phone: +31 70 3376200 Fax: +31 70 3176887 Belgium: COMEOS Edmond van Nieuwehuyselaan 8 1160 Brussels, Belgium Phone: +32 2 7880500 Fax: +32 2 7880501 Table 20: Reports from FAS/The Hague Country: Title: Report Number: Belgium FAIRS Report BE2002 Netherlands FAIRS Report NL2005 Benelux Processing Ingredients Report NL1026 Benelux Exporter Guide NL1008 Benelux HRI report NL9002 The GAIN Reports can be downloaded from the following FAS website:
Posted: 29 June 2012

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The Benelux Food Retail Market   By Foreign Agricultural Service
Benelux Food Retail Market   By Foreign Agricultural Service