Continuing to build on the vegetable cutting company of his mother, Lieven van Lommel opened a Foodmaker flagship store at the Meir in Antwerp, Belgium. In the busiest shopping street of Antwerp they offer a ‘Garden of Freshness,’ a healthy convenience chain of 500 square metres. Foodmaker is testing a ‘high street strategy’ this way, after which they want to roll out the concept in the most important shopping streets of Europe. A Foodmaker is already located in The Hague, and there are plans for shops in Denmark and Germany. Foodmaker wants to become the ‘European McDonald’s of healthy food.’
“We’re taking a risk, considering the high rents at similar locations. We need very high volumes because our prices are low, but it shouldn’t be a problem according to our calculations. A growth strategy for Europe will then become easier, with a clear focus on the most important shopping cities and streets,” Lieven tells RetailDetail.
Foodmaker wants to double its turnover in 2019. Foodmaker is also being rolled out via third parties through the shop formulas of Delhaize and Monoprix. Lieven recently reached an agreement with Delhaize, as part of this agreement 20 additional Fresh Ateliers of Foodmaker will be opened next year, besides the five current branches. “That’s more than we expected. It’s a good cooperation that allows us to expand the reach of our brand and increase our volumes, which is necessary to be able to make quality products in a profitable manner.” Foodmaker will test a similar concept for Monoprix in France.
Last November, the first Fresh Atelier of Foodmaker opened for Delhaize Reet.
The products of Foodmakers are developed and produced in-house, and are always as fresh as possible (link to Dutch article). In 2003, Lieven founded Starmeal, and Foodmaker followed later from the vegetable cutting plant of his mother and the vegetable wholesaler’s of his father. His aim is to process the vegetables within 24 hours after harvesting. The vegetables are now still conventionally grown, but in future he hopes to switch to organic.
Lieven talks about his European ambitions.
Source: RetailDetail, own reports