Friday Local Food Market at supermarket Citygross

by: Cecilia Faktus, Lokalproducerat i Väst

The retail store Citygross in Kungälv, West Sweden, have for several years provided their customers with a wide range of regionally produced food. The share of regional products in the assortment today is about five percent. Active co-operation with Locally Produced in West (Lokalproducerat i Väst) - a resource centre for small-scale food producers in Region Västra Götaland, Sweden, has been a success.

Advisory services to shops and producers
Many producers needed basic knowledge regarding for example jurisdiction in agreements and common delivery terms. In order to help the producers and the retailer in the best way, Locally Produced in West (LPIV) started to give guidance in groupsStaff were trained and the suppliers were educated in product development, packaging and necessary certifications. Written routines were also made to avoid disagreements.

A big event was arranged on the Swedish National Day, 6th of June, focusing on local food. The participating producers were active in the retail shop during the day. It was a great success and got a lot of publicity at retailer´s head quarter and news from it were nationally spread within the retailer group Bergendahls.

To keep up the interest for local food by the retail store Citygross Kungälv LPIV helped suppliers and retailer with a plan of in-shop product presentations for coming weeks, every week presenting a new local producer for the consumers. This took relatively lot of effort from the producers and it showed to be not as attractive for consumers as expected.

This was when the idea of in-shop Friday Local Food Market came up. Built on the concept from 6th of July a more efficient form with every Friday Local Food Market where 4-7 producers came together for a joint local food presentation. Producers split up their participation and presented instead of single products, inspiration for the Friday local meal menu for the consumers. Menus that could have in season or festival themes

Again a success in the retail store with focus on cooking and taste more than product and price. This way of presenting products proved to be more cost-efficient for the producers and created a more spectacular event in the retail shop, appreciated by the retailer and consumers. This became a pilot-test approved and now under rollout on several Citygross retail stores.

Seeing the whole process, we have contributed not only practical but also increased understanding and ongoing communication throughout the value chain, not only in a small local perspective but for a retailer group such as Bergendahls. This shows that local ideas and concept can be successfully extrapolated and visualizing the added value of local engagement and local food.

What results have been achieved?

  • The relationship between local producers and the staff working in the store has been strengthened. It is a success factor to involve the entire staff so that everyone works towards the same goal – in every department, in all external communication and in the meeting with the customer on the shop floor.
  • The number of local suppliers that will become central suppliers to the retailer Bergendahls, have increased. Until now 28 local food producers have signed an agreement.
  • The product demonstrations in the store are more efficient both in terms of attractiveness and costs.
  • The suppliers’ understanding of how it is to run a retail store have increased. Eg. it is difficult and expensive for the store managers to keep track of a wide and deep assortment with many items. 
  • The producers have learned ways to find space in the local retail shop, ways that gives both producer and retailer benefits from selling local products. 
  • By meeting the customer demand for more local food in retail stores with presence, inspiration and taste both the retail shop and the local producers are highlighted in a good sense of added value.  

Next steps
The work has continued with close cooperation between stores and producers. One Friday a month, the stores still have local producers who demonstrate their products. The proportion of local producers is increasing and consumer interest is high. A procurement fair was organized by LPIV, at which about 30 producers were given the opportunity to show their goods to the stores.  In spring 2020, locally produced “Shop in Shops” will also be arranged in the larger stores. 

Do you want to learn more?

Please contact:

Mattias Hjortenhed
Lokalproducerat i Väst AB