ICA-Maxi Supermarkets offer locally produced food

by: Kristina Anderback

ICA-Maxi supermarket chain is working for an increased sale of locally produced food – an example of a corporate policy that favours regional food production and short supply chains.
Nine ICA-Maxi stores in West Sweden have made a corporate effort to increase locally produced products in their stores. The nine supermarkets have together a turnover of over EUR 400 million, so their ability to lower the length of the supply chains and create a strong regional economy, is vast.

A common communication concept
The work has been carried out in a common project initiated by ICA Maxi and the Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF). The goal is for ICA Maxi to be the obvious place to go for/with locally produced products, for both the consumer and producer.

The supermarkets have together created a way of marketing, carefully drafted criteria for selection of producers and made an activity plan for introduction and implementation. The stores have carried out a stock check of the product range and found the new types of producers they would like to connect with. From what is gained from the stock check the REFRAME project has supported the stores in finding suitable producers. REFRAME has also worked in organising farm visits to create an increased understanding and interest among the supermarket personnel for the local producer.

The project leaders together with the stores have worked out the following:

  • Criteria for selection of producers e.g. local area, authenticity, and taste

  • Communication concept “ The Best from the Local Area”

  • Activity plan for the launching to the consumer and implementing it into the stores

“This autumn we are collecting knowledge on locally produced food. We will be visiting farms to find the best products in the area”, says Mikael Peterson, owner of ICA Maxi Skövde, here with the store manager Sirkka Hagberg.

Next steps
At the moment it is not completely clear how the work will move forward during 2018. The ICA Maxi supermarkets are determined to carry on with the work to have an increased proportion of food from local farms in their stores. There is a huge demand and expectation from consumers to be able to buy locally produced food in the stores.

For the supermarkets to be successful with its adaptation, the stores need to establish involvement together with its personnel to create a better understanding. Otherwise you run the risk of falling back on old routines and old purchasing methods. An example to create such an involvement is visiting the farms and the producer together with educational exercises.

Contact information
Nicklas Lundberg
Agroväst Livsmedel AB
E-mail: nicklas.lundberg@agrovast.se

Malte Olsson Lokalproducerat i Väst AB
E-mail: 
malte@lpiv.se