Albert Heijn will dynamically discount food waste

Albert Heijn is taking a new step in reducing food waste with the dynamic discounting test. Products are automatically discounted based on the best-before date: the shorter the best-before date, the higher the discount. A computer system takes into account various factors that influence the sale of a product in order to calculate the best discount.

“Supermarkets throw away sixty million kilos of products every day,” says Anita Scholte, head of Sustainability at Albert Heijn. "We think that is too much."

Albert Heijn has been praising products that are approaching the expiry date for years with the '35% disposal is a sin discount sticker '. This sticker is affixed to products before 10 o'clock in the morning and ensures that they are sold all day with a discount.
The discount on dynamic reduction amounts to sixty percent of the original selling price, which means that you can take the product for less than half a day before the expiry date. "A nice discount for the customer - who hopefully takes the product - and we don't have to throw food away at the end of the day," says Scholte.

Shelf life determines the price
In the case of dynamic discounting, a system developed by Albert Heijn automatically calculates the best discount so that no unsaleable products are left over at the end of the day, thus reducing food waste. The software takes into account, among other things, location, bonus offers, weather conditions, historical sales trend and stock in the store. Electronic price tags are placed with the products with two prizes on it: the regular price and discount on a specific expiration date.

Together against waste
Food wastage is an important theme in the sustainability strategy that Albert Heijn has been committed to for years. Examples are the cooperation with the food banks that received four million products in 2018, the detergent in which orange peels get a second life and the cooperation with Instock, the restaurant that cooks with saved food. With these and other initiatives, Albert Heijn wants to contribute by half to less food waste throughout the entire food chain.

Albert Heijn has been one of the partners of the World Food Center from the start.


Nudging: easy, cheap and effective?

The World Food Center Experience wants to make people aware of what they eat and how their food choices affect themselves and the world around them. More conscious choices must lead to better choices. But to achieve actual behavioral change, awareness alone is not enough. When we have other things on our mind, it is not that simple to say no to daily temptations. Even though we know so well that we would better make other choices.

Effectiveness of Nudging in real life
That is why there is currently a lot of interest in nudging: influencing behavior without the need for willpower. But how effective is this approach? Does nudging also work in the long term? Are the effects large enough to really have an impact on health?

During the Annual Healthy Innovation Congress, on June 6 at the WFC Merije from Rookhuijzen (Wageningen University & Research) the possibilities and limitations of nudging when changing and assessing eating behavior: "It is fascinating to see how consumer choices can be influenced by apparently irrelevant adjustments."

When do nudges work or not?
The popularity of nudging has been increasing strongly in recent years. Since the code of conduct 'Nudge'was released in 2008, it is particularly popular with organizations that want to seduce consumers into' good 'behavior. Behavior that is in the interest of the individual and society.

“Making people aware of course influences the conscious choice process, but many of the purchasing and consumption decisions concerning our daily food are made much less consciously. We make so many choices a day that a large part of it goes unconsciously. Simply because we do not have the capacity to make all choices conscious. "

“With such an unconscious choice you can be influenced by a nudge. Awareness-raising and education can therefore have an additional effect on nudging and vice versa, whereby nudges can also create awareness themselves. ”

“Nudging seems easy, cheap and effective. But for the time being, many questions can be asked about this. "

"In our research we look at the effectiveness of nudging in practice, in real life," says Merije van Rookhuijzen. “In the standard nudging studies, much has already been looked at what happens when you put products in a supermarket in prominent places, such as at eye level. Under controlled conditions you can then see whether something has an effect. But only at that moment. I also want to know if nudges can also have an impact in the long term. Do people continue to eat brown bread even after the nudge has lapsed? And if the consumer enters another supermarket, are the previously observed effects still there? ”

“We have done a major study in two football cantines. In the first phase, the healthy products were only added to the range. In the second phase, nudging took place in various ways. That way we could place the desired products on the bar and present them, position them at eye level or at the front in the refrigerators. We also offered healthy varieties as standard. For example, if someone asked for an AA sports drink, we automatically gave the sugar-free version. "

More research needed
“The sales figures showed that these nudges helped, but it remained marginal in the end. The supply and sale of unhealthy products in the sports canteens remained many times greater. Nudges alone are not enough. You must also use and combine other behavioral influencing techniques. We also need to do more research into the 'shelf life' of the nudge. In the figures for our canteen, for example, we first saw an increase, then a decrease and later an increase in sales of healthy, 'nudged' products. ”

"The success of a nudge also depends on the strength of other factors that also unknowingly influence your behavior," says Merije. “So if you are really looking forward to a big bite, placing an apple at eye level won't help. If you only want to eat then eye level might influence your choice. Knowledge and awareness are not enough, just like food labels. "

“Nudgen takes small steps and can be strengthened in combination with other elements from behavioral psychology. Certainly more research is also needed, for example, we still do not know how the nudges undermine the conscious and independent capacity of the consumer to choose. If a consumer is always used to seeing that the best product for him is at eye level, it may also be that he then no longer thinks and always takes those products at eye level. ”

Merije van Rookhuijzen is a PhD candidate in the Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles chair group at Wageningen University & Research. Merije studied psychology at Radboud University and health & society at Wageningen University.

Look here for more information about the program and sign up.


WFC EDE, 10 am - 6 pm

The congress deals with the issues surrounding sugar on the basis of three main themes: the product same food environment in which it is offered and the lifestyle of consumers.

The product: new sugars or fewer sugars?
This is the challenge: how do you get sugar from cookies, soft drinks and sauces? Are artificial sweeteners like that harmless? Is reformulation really possible? Sugar reduction is nice and nice, but companies want to continue to sell a good product.

The food environment: de-sugaring the supply
Everywhere you are tempted by sweet, but also by fat and salt food. The supermarket is full of it and it costs less than healthy food. Does it help if snacks with less sugar are also offered?

The lifestyle: designing your life with little sugar
Lifestyle change is the magic word. Everyone must eat and drink less sugar. That is not at all that simple in a household with children. It starts with becoming alert to sugar. What is in what? And is all sugar the same?



Rabobank signs cooperation agreement with World Food Center Experience

Now that the World Food Center Experience is in the next phase of development and realization, Rabobank has decided to record the existing collaboration for several years. Rabobank has entered into a cooperation agreement with World Food Center Development, responsible for the development and implementation of the entire World Food Center area.

 The World Food Center (WFC) in Ede will be the food meeting place for consumers, companies, knowledge institutions and governments. The former Maurits Zuid barracks area is a lively area where living, working and recreation go hand in hand. In the World Food Center Experience, visitors can playfully learn and experience everything about food. With this public attraction, the World Food Center wants to make the public more aware of issues related to food. How can they contribute to a healthier and more sustainable future? Not only for themselves but also for their environment. In addition, the WFC is an innovation district for food and agro, a place where development and exchange of knowledge between companies, knowledge institutions and consumers is encouraged.

To achieve the WFC Experience, participation in the form of knowledge and resources from the business community is essential. From the start, there has been collaboration with Albert Heijn, DSM, FrieslandCampina, KeyGene, Nestlé, Scelta Mushrooms and Rabobank. Now that the development of the WFC Experience is entering a new phase, cooperation with participating companies is also being expanded.

Unique place
“The World Food Center Experience will be a unique place where you can learn everything about our food. What exactly do you eat every day? Why does food taste the way it tastes and looks the way it looks? Why do you like the one and not the other? And what challenges are involved in the production of your food? It is great to be able to realize such an inspiring educational public attraction in Ede now ', says Mariska de Kleijne, Chairman of Rabobank Vallei and Rijn.

"Rabobank endorses the importance and intention of the World Food Center", says Kirsten Konst, responsible for the business domain within the Group Management of Rabobank. “The bank is committed to working with partners and customers to achieve positive, social impact in global food supplies. The cooperation agreement with World Food Center Development is the confirmation of a sustainable partnership for the period of development and realization, as well as for the first four years of operation. "

 Next steps
The next step in the realization of the WFC Experience is the establishment of a foundation that will be responsible for the development and realization of the content and the building of the new attraction. Marcel Goossens was appointed as a quartermaster / director for this at the beginning of April.

(in the photo from left to right: Mariska de Kleijne, Kirsten Konst, and Jan Prins)

"First set up an independent foundation"

When the budgets from the province of Gelderland and the municipality of Ede were finally confirmed at the end of March, a new chapter for the World Food Center Experience began. To create a strong Experience, something else must first be built: a strong organization. This new organization for the World Food Center Experience will take the form of an independent foundation and Marcel Goossens has been hired from 1 April as Director / Quarter Maker to set up the new organization. Marcel comes from Project organization P2 and specializes in complex, food-related projects.

What does a Quartermaster do?

“The realization of a project like the World Food Center always has different phases. The first exploratory and inventory phases are mainly about preparation, testing and creating support, both in the form of a partner network and in the area of financing. A team from WFCD, the municipality of Ede and the province of Gelderland worked intensively on this. Now that this phase has been completed, a new organization must be built that focuses on the World Food Center Experience. I am now the Quartermaster, the one who must take the first steps to realize this organization. "

“That starts with the establishment of the independent foundation. Very important because we work with a lot of public funds. For this, statutes and a notarial legal structure must be drawn up. At the same time, we have drawn up profile sketches for the board members of the foundation and are actively looking for them. Then you have to think about which people will need more in the organization and which spaces and resources you need. Finally, the regional deal with the government also plays a role in the background, about which there will be more clarity this summer, and in which we are also actively participating. After the summer we will continue to work on concept development and connecting both an architect and an operator. All things that a quartermaster is concerned with. These steps require a great deal of precision and are accompanied by careful tendering processes because so much community money is involved. "

"While we put our new house in order, we must also continue to ensure that the network that has already been built around WFC - with the various agri-food companies, the WUR, the NGOs and the educational institutions - remains fully in order"

Lines come together

“The reason that I am so excited to be able to do this for the WFC Experience is that a number of lines come together for me here. I have been working at P2 for 18 years on constantly changing projects. That means setting up a new organization over and over again, sometimes as an internal project team but more often as a fully independent organization, as is the case here with the WFC Experience. ”

“My second line is that - after graduating in Wageningen - I have been working in food all my career. Often in complex projects at both companies and government organizations. ”

“The third line is that of the experiences. I worked on the Tony Chocolonely Experience and was responsible for the realization of the current Heineken Experience. In the latter, I also worked closely with BRC, the company that also laid down the master plan for the WFC Experience here. ”

Food is hot!

“I think there is a great need for WFC Experience and what it will offer. Even when I was still studying in Wageningen, I was surprised that so few people knew how important, large and innovative the food sector is in the Netherlands. With the WUR we also have the absolute world top in the field of knowledge and education. In recent years, interest in food has exploded. We now have 24-hour cooking channels on TV and almost always a top-ten book with some cookbooks in it. Food is hot. And with that the discussion about it, because there are many opinions and few absolute truths, it seems. The WFC Experience is an ideal platform for telling a nuanced and multi-faceted food story. ”

“A lot is already happening around food, but as a WFC Experience you can certainly add something by allowing people to really experience something in a new and spectacular way and thereby creating awareness. By allowing NGOs to speak and highlighting potential points for discussion from multiple sides, you create clear added value. Nowadays these kinds of debates often take place in Amsterdam, but there is no reason why that is not possible here. "

Make the Experience visible

“Since the first cautious steps in planning around the World Food Center in 2011, a great deal of thorough work has already been done. So I can continue to build on everything that is already there. My starting point consists of 4 building blocks: the Master Plan, the Business Case, the calculation of visitor numbers by LDP and the Memorandum of Starting Points. We can continue that well. ”

“I would now like to take up the further realization of the master plan as quickly as possible, because I know from experience that the more concrete you make things, the more discussion you get. You can tell a lot with artist impressions, but only when you start construction does it really become clear to people what will or will not be and how visible certain things are. That was no different with the Heineken Experience. In general, everyone agrees, but as soon as it is realized in practice, the discussion only begins. And then you as an organization must be prepared and equipped for that. I expect to be a long way after the summer! ”