How Axfood interacts with a changing world
Urbanization, digitalization and focus on sustainable lifestyles are megatrends that affect all of society and thus also the food retail trade. Here are five dominant currents and Axfood’s strategies for dealing with them.
The food retail trade in Sweden is a mature market in which Axfood is the second largest player – a position that has strengthened in recent years. The competition is fierce and has grown in recent years with the emergence of discount stores, the establishment of e-commerce, and the increase in Swedes who eat out more.
Urbanization and demographic changes
Sweden’s population continues to grow as a result of immigration, a decreased level of emigration, and more births than deaths. At the same time, populations are concentrating increasingly to the major metropolitan areas, such as Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.
Axfood is addressing urbanization in several ways, including by establishing stores in growth areas with convenient access by car or public transport. We offer a modern assortment of store-prepared foods, a rich selection of fruits and vegetables, food from different countries, and a vast selection of organic and country of origin-labelled products. Axfood is also a part-owner of Urban Deli, a concept that is a combination of restaurants, food market and specialty stores, giving us a better understanding of what inspires urban customers.
Through Hemköp and Willys Hemma stores in city centres and as a supplier to mini-marts in residential areas, Axfood is meeting the growing need among customers to do small shopping near home. We also offer digital services to make daily life even easier.
More convenience in daily life through digital services and e-commerce
Axfood is gradually adapting to an increasingly digital society. Axfood Närlivs has long offered e-commerce, Willys and Hemköp introduced e-commerce in 2016, and at the start of 2017 Axfood acquired the online grocery store mat.se. We offer mobile payments and cardless customer programmes. At Tempo and Handlar’n stores we can also offer customers paperless receipts.
Axfood supplies goods to several of the largest suppliers of pre-defined dinner solutions in Sweden, and Hemköp offers pre-defined dinner solutions on a subscription basis in ten cities in Sweden. With 22 cash and carry stores throughout Sweden, Axfood Snabbgross has a strong position as a wholesaler to café and restaurant operators.
Health and lifestyle
Society’s demand for healthy, vegetarian, organic, freshly prepared and protein-rich foods is increasing, as conscious consumers show their lifestyle choices through food. Sales of organic and vegetarian foods are being driven by concerns for personal health as well as for animals and the environment.
Axfood contributes by offering inspiration, advice and a richly composed assortment. We are constantly expanding our offering of organic products under our own Garant brand, which also includes a growing selection of vegetarian foods. Axfood’s chains continue to build up a bigger offering of fruits and vegetables as well as vegetarian protein substitutes.
Sustainability a matter of course
Ensuring that food products are produced in a responsible manner is becoming increasingly important for Axfood’s customers, and expectations are growing all the time. Responsible production encompasses myriad issues and measures, ranging from working conditions and environmental protections at growers and producers, to animal health, resource efficiency and reduced waste in all areas, reduced carbon footprint, and organic and eco-labelled products.
Sustainability has long been a vital component of Axfood’s strategy, and the goal is to best in the industry at sustainability. We offer safe and environmentally adapted foods, are continuously reducing our carbon footprint, ensure good working conditions among our suppliers, and work with country of origin labelling of products.
Value for money – more than just price
Parallel with high expectations for pleasurable stores and a large offering of fresh products and organic foods, customers are generally very price-conscious. For many customers, value for money is the most important factor in their choice of store. At the same time, value for money is not necessarily the same as lowest price. Aspects such as quality and inspiration also play a role.
Axfood is working constantly to offer attractive prices as well as pay attention to details in its stores. Willys pledges to offer Sweden’s cheapest bag of groceries, while Hemköp is – and is perceived by customers as being – a grocery store chain that is increasingly offering its customers value for money and inspires customers in a simple yet painstaking manner. Moreover, the Group’s development of private label products is increasing the opportunities for Axfood’s chains to offer an attractive assortment that gives customers value for money.