Retail Technology – Albert Heijn FoodFirst Lifestyle Coach

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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  • In the most recent edition of ESM, we spoke to a number of retailers across Europe about some of the technological innovations they have implemented into their businesses over the past year. Here, Marein Warmerdam, Albert Heijn spokesperson, tells us about the retailer's FoodFirst Lifestyle Coach.

    Last November, Dutch retailer Albert Heijn unveiled FoodFirst Lifestyle Coach, a free smartphone app that aims to help consumers eat better, exercise more, relax well, and wake up feeling refreshed.

    Developed alongside various experts, including doctors, cooks, dieticians, sports coaches, and behavioural scientists, the app ties in with the retailer’s willingness to help shoppers make healthier food choices. At the start of January, it commenced the use of Nutri-Score labelling on some 6,000 own-brand products.

    ESM: What sort of research did you undertake ahead of the launch of FoodFirst Lifestyle Coach, to determine the approach that you wanted to take?

    Marein Warmerdam: In 2019, Albert Heijn acquired the online start-up FoodFirst Network (FFN) in the Netherlands. The acquisition was a logical move in the overall strategy to put nutrition and health more at the centre of its offerings. FFN provides subscribers with advice and tips from experts on nutrition, health, exercise and relaxation.


    The FoodFirst team consists of a team of experts and a network of health and lifestyle specialists, including general practitioners, dieticians, lifestyle coaches, sports coaches, and so forth. They jointly shared their knowledge and expertise, and this has resulted in the development of the FoodFirst Lifestyle Coach. In addition, the app was developed based on behavioural science challenges and validated with a number of experts.

    What has the initial response been like, and what aspects in particular do you think have resonated strongest with shoppers?

    The app is very well received by users, and the overall feedback is very positive. Our app rating is growing, and users are very enthusiastic about the richness of the app across the domains of food, exercise, relaxation and sleep. Also, we received many positive reactions about the fact that we encourage members to take small steps. This makes it more feasible, and users say it is fun, easy and motivating, and has a positive approach.

    Users also commented that they would prefer to participate in multiple challenges at the same time. We are currently exploring this option.


    How do you plan to utilise the findings from the app to shape the product offering in store, i.e. translating the digital world into the real world?

    The app offers a wide range of products that showcase many delicious healthy dishes you can prepare with Albert Heijn products. This is in line with Albert Heijn’s strategy to inspire everyone in the Netherlands to live a healthy lifestyle, and will create opportunities for special promotions and offers for Albert Heijn customers and its 100,000 associates.

    © 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest Technology news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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