Changing The Game, One Product At A Time

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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  • Banana bread firm SUNT opened a new concept store, SUPER Markt, in Amsterdam in September, only stocking products that boasted high environmental and sustainability credentials. But could this become the norm? Laura Hoogland, founder, SUNT, reports. This article first appeared in ESM September/October 2021.

    Given today's climate issues, and the food industry being responsible for roughly a third of climate impact, sustainable startups are popping up rapidly, from vegan alternatives for dairy, meat, and cheese, to all kinds of products made from waste streams. For every old-fashioned product there already is a more sustainable alternative.

    So, isn't it time for the traditional brands on the shelves to make room for brands with a mission? And, what role or responsibility do food manufacturers and supermarkets have in this?

    Time For Change

    Up until a few years back, the food industry’s main goal was focused on commercial growth. Lower the production prices to gain more margin, spend more on ads to sell more products and grow your market share to create happy shareholders. But the thing we all seemingly forgot to consider was sustainability, which has led us to the tipping point where we’re at right now.

    It’s time for change. That’s why SUNT has initiated a movement and combined forces with over 45 young, innovative brands in Holland to open the world's first supermarket that can rightly call itself 'super', in Amsterdam.


    In contrast to the range of products you usually find in a regular supermarket, all products on offer make a positive impact on our planet.

    The New Standard

    Although consumers are more critical than ever, they often underestimate the power of their shopping list, or the alternatives are not yet widely available. To drastically change the food industry and its impact on our environment, everyone has their part to play.

    Food manufacturers have the responsibility to minimise waste, guarantee fair chains and wages and create healthy food. Supermarkets should uphold their suppliers to high sustainability standards and focus on a sustainable product range – not only as an addition to their current range, placed somewhere on their bottom shelves, but as the new standard for all their products. We’re way past the time to underestimate the power of these new innovative and sustainable brands.

    Developing The SUPER Markt

    Easier said than done, right? That’s exactly why we opened our SUPER Markt. We showed that it's not only possible to create a supermarket with a fully sustainable assortment, but it’s also the answer to a high unmet consumer demand.


    As it turns out, consumers are more than happy to do their part in improving our mutual climate impact. The products just need to be available to them. And guess what? The products are already here.

    From sustainable toilet paper to skincare products, and from vegan feta to banana bread made from bananas that would otherwise be wasted – and everything in between.

    It’s just a matter of time before sustainable brands become the new standard on supermarket shelves. We’ve already changed the game, but we need you to make the actual change.

    Visit for more information.

    © 2021 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. For more Retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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