Belgian retailer Colruyt Group has announced the launch of a new food service, SPAR For You, which is designed for the company's B2B customers.
Currently, SPAR For You offers the option of installing a food corner, mini market, and/or smart refrigerators.
The first extensive SPAR For You, featuring all three formats, was installed in the Brussels-based pharmaceutical firm UCB and the retailer plans to introduce the service in more public places.
In recent months, the retailer tested the service in several places including smart refrigerators at ISS headquarters and SN Brussels Airlines.
Brecht Vanthemsche, facilities specialist at UCB, stated, "At UCB, we obviously want to evolve with the times and we think it's important that our employees have the necessary flexibility, including in their meal breaks. That’s why we started looking for new catering options and before too long we came across SPAR For You.
"We are very excited to introduce our new catering concept to our employees. For us at least, this is the ideal formula, where we remain agile as a company and can respond to our employees' habits."
As employees are increasingly working from home, companies are looking for different ways to make their operations more cost-efficient.
According to the National Catering Report 2022, the proportion of (occasional) home workers has risen from 24% to 40% since the COVID-19 crisis.
Almost one in two Belgian employees no longer work from office every day and traditional company catering needs to be reconsidered by many organisations.
Employees want to be able to consume their meals at times that suit them personally, with up to 35 % saying they want to have lunch at flexible times, the report unveiled.
Johan Vermeire, general manager for B2B Food Retail at Colruyt Group, said, "With SPAR For You, Colruyt Group responds directly to the changing needs of companies, their employees and, more generally, the on-the-go consumer.
"In this changing context, Colruyt Group can provide a unique combination of internal retail and food service expertise, as well as technology. We believe that bringing together broad expertise from across the group in multiple segments can lead to value creation for our customers. SPAR Colruyt Group, our B2B food service Solucious and our innovation hub Smart Technics are delivering a strong project here."
SPAR For You
SPAR For You offers three options and B2B customers can choose what is most suitable for their business situation. The setup can also be adapted to the company's look and feel.
The first option is the standalone smart refrigerators, developed by Smart Technics, Colruyt Group's innovation hub.
Stocking is done by Solucious, Colruyt Group's B2B food service specialist.
These refrigerated cabinets offer a wide range of food and drink options, that are accessible 24/7.
Shopping can be completed by pre-authorising the purchase with a bank card and picking up the product from the fridge.
The second option, food corner, caters to companies that want to offer more extensive food service to their employees.
It comprises two smart refrigerators, a coffee machine, a water tap, and industrial microwave ovens and can be complemented by a seating area.
The third is the minimarket, a self-service solution, offering non-food items in addition to a wide range of food and drinks.
Employees can find everything they need in the minimarket round the clock, both during and after work.
© 2023 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest Retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.