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Chantal de Rijk, Jan Linders:

"Consumers will pay for quality"

Customers will pay for quality products, including in the fresh industry. This was said by Chantal de Rijk-Bex of Jan Linders at the Monsanto Breeding Proof. Using three products she outlined the important of the quality, the regionality and the price of fresh products.

Read more about the Breeding Proof here

She started as a receptionist 21 years ago and now Chantal de Rijk-Bex is the commercial/marketing manager for Jan Linders. The supermarket was named the supermarket with the best fresh assortment and this is undoubtedly linked to the choice made five year ago. Jan Linders decided no longer to just be 'Deliciously cheap', which was the slogan at the time. "It makes you just like everyone else and we're too small for that. We want to use our size, 57 stores, as a strength." Now the supermarket defines itself with a focus on children (through healthy deals) and over fifty's (for instance, more store comfort). There is also a focus on one person households. For example, there are no multibuy offers in the fresh assortment. Besides the fact that Jan Linders pays attention to the one person households, the company also aims to combat food waste with this.

Jan Linders is constantly looking for new products and entrepreneurs who want to test their product environment. "Products with added value, where we can offer something extra, something unique, to the customers"
In her presentation Chantal explained more about Jan Linders' fresh policy. The supermarket chain is a member of Superunie and part of the assortment is collectively bought. "With a national market share of 1% we could never reach such sharp prices as Jan Linders," explains Chantal. However, she says that the supermarket still has enough freedom to take defining products into their assortment. "Products which we feel make a difference." For Chantal there are three important factors in this: quality, price and region. "My preference is in our own region, but if there is a better or tastier product somewhere else, we will get it. And price? There has to be a balance between the price and the quality."

Sonata strawberries
Chantal used three products to outline the choices made at Jan Linders. Jan Linders has a sustainable collaboration with a cultivation company from the region of the Sonata strawberries. "They are on our shelves for 2.99. We consciously don't choose the Elsanta's which are offered for a lower price, but we want to define ourselves with this," says Chantal. "You don't need sugar with the Sonatas. They are naturally sweet. The consumers is prepared to pay more for that quality." There are no other strawberries in the supermarket. "If a customer were to accidentally take home the wrong strawberries, they would be disappointed. More choice is not necessarily good for the price and turnover speed," says Chantal. The situation in tomatoes is different, where the Amuse tomatoes from Bert van de Brand of Freshvalley are in the wide assortment. "The customer is willing to pay for that definitive quality." The products are brought to attention with offers in the store.
Different again is the situation in peppers. A traffic light packaging pepper is filled with yellow, red and orange peppers from the region at Jan Linders. More expansive than the packaging with green ones, confirms Chantal, but there is a reason it isn't in the store for a higher price. "We don't want to ask the customers for extra money for something we chose."

Read more about the Breeding Proof here