In the fourth part of WGB's new European store tour series, WGB insider Anne-Marie Roerink highlights the Netherlands' Plus, a cooperative chain that is highly focused on delivering a fresh and locally-sourced food, with a lot of variety to consumers throughout the Netherlands.
With 260 locations, Plus is an important player in the Dutch market. It is a cooperative for 227 independent retailers, most of them one-store operators. The co-op sees local ownership as important to their flexibility and knowledge of the local market.
Plus uses positioning that combines eating well with convenience, and it actively markets to businesses such as offices, daycares and medical services facilities.
The following photos are from the Plus location in Doetinchem, Netherlands, just five miles from the Dutch-German border.
An Eye on Value
While the main positioning is focused on eating well conveniently, Plus also highlights favorable pricing throughout the store. In center store, markers call out the best local pricing. In produce, comparisons are made against Albert Heijn, Jumbo, Lidl and Aldi.
These meal packages combine all vegetables for homemade soup or meals such as curry or couscous. Recommendations for pairing meat/fish/poultry are included. Plus also exclusively sells HelloFresh complete meal boxes that include meat, fish and vegetarian boxes. HelloFresh is only available in-store.
Heat-and-Eat Positioning: Good Health and Packaging
Plus offers extensive heat-and-eat meals, where they point out all meals containing a minimum of 150 grams of vegetables. The containers are made of recycled cardboard and a layer of foil that are easily separated for recycling purposes.
'Choose for a Day Without Meat'
Right in the middle of the meat department, Plus embraces shoppers’ growing tastes for plant-based diets with a legume display. The “choose for a day without meat” signage is repeated in the fish/seafood, plant-based meat alternatives and eggs areas.
Deli Prepared Offerings
From pulled pork to pizza and sandwiches, the offering is wide and encompasses many fresh options. Shoppers are reminded items are developed by chefs and made with quality fresh ingredients. Business clients are reminded of the ease of delivery for meetings and happy hours.