- The Start-up Shelf is an initiative of Next Generation Food (NX FOOD), a METRO platform that promotes new food solutions
- Via NX Food, new and innovative food products are marketed in a three-month store trial. After a successful completion of the piloting phase products from the start-ups can be listed and offered for sale in additional stores
- The Start-up Shelf was launched as pilot at the Real hypermarket in Berlin Lichtenberg in April 2017
As of this week, eight start-ups will present their product novelties in the Start-up Shelf at Real and METRO Cash & Carry in the framework of the "NX FOOD" program. During a three-month period, hypermarket and wholesale customers will have access to new, young products which are in some cases not yet listed in the food retail and wholesale trade. At three METRO Cash & Carry stores as well two Real hypermarkets, the start-ups can thus collect first trading experiences and test their products in both, the B2B and the B2C environment.
"NX FOOD is a METRO program that focuses on innovative solutions and products. This also includes the initiative of the Start-up Shelf", says Clément Tischer, Pro-gram Manager FoodTech at METRO AG. "The project was launched as a pilot in April this year and is now rolled out to further locations. For the first time, the Start-up Shelf will now also be offered in METRO Cash & Carry stores thereby also giving B2B customers access to the tested products. With the Start-up Shelf project we are not only showing which new products and innovations are available in the food sector, but at the same time also promoting start-ups who want to bring new food products to market. We thereby underscore our active commitment in the start-up scene", continues Tischer. With the shelf presentation, the start-ups get a simplified access to customers. The founders can collect first trading experiences and check whether their products are marketable.
The Start-up Shelf is an initiative of METRO’s NX FOOD platform for new food solutions, changed customer demands and future trends. The platform’s claim: present sustainable and innovative solutions and products in the field of food supply, further expand the active community in the start-up scene and support it with initiatives such as the Start-up Shelf. In addition, this platform makes it possible for METRO to network with start-ups who can already offer marketable products but have not yet had the chance to test them in a business environment. Marketable products are characterised by the fact that they have already been certified and are being produced. The route to market frequently represents a hurdle for start-ups who need to demonstrate that their products have reached a certain turnover threshold before being listed in the retail sector. The downstream product listing process is clearly regulated by the necessary administrative procedures. However, these procedures frequently represent a challenge, especially for young enterprises.
With the Start-up Shelf, METRO facilitates the market access for founders because the listing decision is not taken solely on the basis of turnover thresholds. A jury of experts from Category Management, Business Development, Food Tech, Quality Assurance and store operations management decides about the products offered on the Start-up Shelf. After a three-month test phase the sales figures and customer feedback are evaluated. Based on this evaluation the jury decides whether the products will be included in the store assortment. "I find it very exciting to give young food start-ups the opportunity to present their creative products to our discerning METRO Cash & Carry customers. It thrills me to see that, ultimately, the customer decides and that this is how the food trends of the future are shaped", says Nadine Goller, jury member and Category Manager Spirits, Wine, Sparkling Wine at METRO Cash & Carry Germany.
Products in the Start-up Shelves
Starting today, four different products each will be offered in the extended rollout at METRO Cash & Carry Germany in Hamburg Altona, Cologne Godorf and Korntal as well as at the Real hypermarkets in Berlin Lichtenberg and Böblingen Hulb. These locations were selected with a view to a nation-wide coverage and also with regard to the customer segment targeted for the start-up products.
In the Start-up Shelf at METRO Cash & Carry customers can find Earl Spirit, a hand-crafted spirit from Berlin produced on the basis of black tea, Grizzly Snacks with snacks made from beef jerky and crafted broths, Hemptastic with cold-pressed hemp lemonade as well as Wildcorn, a popcorn snack tasting like chips which, unlike chips, is never fried. The first three products already participated in the pilot conducted at Real in April and will now extend their target group to B2B customers. At Real, the Start-up Shelf features products from the start-ups Backenfutter with hearty stews based on a recipe by Grandma Inge, PaPicante, a hearty snack bar based on pea protein, pumpin panda, a chocolate bar with a high share of vegetable proteins and 40 percent less carbohydrates, and Solimate, a fair trade mate lemonade.
"We are very pleased to be able to launch a pilot here in Berlin with its attractive start-up environment. It makes us proud to be the first hypermarket to offer our customers new start-up products. The Start-up Shelves represent a valuable asset for our customers and also for the store", says Mark Albrecht, Manager of the Real hypermarket in Berlin Lichtenberg.
This is where interested start-ups can apply for the project: http://nx-food.com.