Our great local brands gave €218 million back to communities in cash, products and food.
Zaandam, the Netherlands, February 15, 2023 – Today, Ahold Delhaize released its Q4 and full year 2022 results. While we delivered a 15% increase in cost savings that supported Q4 sales and earnings, it is thanks to our local brands’ commitment to customers that we could achieve these results despite another challenging year.
Frans Muller, CEO of Ahold Delhaize, comments, “As Ahold Delhaize and our great local brands aim to help people eat well, save time and live better every day, we continuously look for ways to bring our purpose to life. In 2022 for example, our Save For Our Customer program generated cost savings of €979 million which enabled us to invest back in our value proposition to keep groceries affordable.”
Throughout the last years, the Leading Together strategy has proven to be the right way forward, and 2022 was no exception. The strategy once again provided a clear decision-making framework, as we navigated another turbulent year with the war in Ukraine and record-high inflation. At our Investor Day at the end of 2021 we introduced four key priorities to help us deliver on this strategy: customers, operations, portfolio and health & sustainability.
Ahold Delhaize is continuously improving its omnichannel customer experience, allowing customers to shop whenever and wherever they want. An example of our customer priority is that of Stop & Shop deploying its same-day online delivery and 2-hour click & collect across its markets. Furthermore, Food Lion To Go’s pickup service is now available in 655 stores with 50 more planned for 2023. At year end, Ahold Delhaize had 1,547 click & collect points in the U.S., which means that 97.5% of our U.S. customers now have access to our online grocery offerings.
In the area of operations, we look back on Peapod Digital Labs launching its store-picking app for PRISM brands which reduced errors by 33%, making work easier for associates. Alfa Beta, Delhaize Serbia and Mega Image worked closely together with our European IT team to build a system that replenishes stock in stores. It uses algorithms that forecast store needs based on sales, sending orders directly to the distribution centers. So far, it has been rolled out to 1,700 stores, covering about 70% of the assortment.
Our global portfolio of great local brands was strengthened by the cooperating agreement Albert Heijn entered into with Jan Linders Supermarkets in the south of the Netherlands that will convert the majority of Jan Linders stores into Albert Heijn franchise supermarkets. To top it off, Albert Heijn closed 2022 with a market share of 37.0%.
Last but not least, health and sustainability are a key part of our strategy, and many advances were made in this area. Stop & Shop earned the ‘Mass Save Climate Leader’ award for saving 30,000 mWh over the last 5 years. Albert introduced the first zero food waste store in the Czech Republic and was also the first retailer to test a hydroponic system that grows herbs and leafy vegetables on the sales floor. Giant Food expanded its Fresh Connect program where participants can use prepaid debit cards prescribed by healthcare providers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at their local Giant Food. Mega Image installed solar systems across 20 stores and Delhaize Belgium announced it will add 1,800 fast electric car charge points.
Ahold Delhaize also updated its interim CO2 emissions reduction target for its entire value chain (scope 3) to at least 37% by 2030. Within our group of local brands, Albert Heijn is a frontrunner in this area, adapting its CO2 reduction ambition in its supply chain from 15% to 45% by 2030.
All in all, our brands understand and serve the unique needs of local customers and communities while benefiting from the economies of scale and efficiency of an international business.
Every year, our brands support many causes that are important to local communities, for example, fighting hunger through financial donations and by diverting surplus food to food banks and charities. In 2022, our family of great local brands’ total donations in cash and monetary value of donated products and food rounded to €218 million. The sum of donations by customers to charities, in cash and cash equivalent, facilitated by our great local brands was over €48 million.
Some examples of our brands’ community support and charitable donations include the following:
Our European brands jumped into action when the war in Ukraine unfolded and provided crucial support to those affected. For example, Mega Image in Romania donated food and hygiene materials to refugee centers in cooperation with the Red Cross and a local NGO. Local associates also donated blood and waited at the central train station for displaced Ukrainians to offer a hot meal and comfort.
Albert in the Czech Republic sent hundreds of pallets of food and non-food supplies to food banks, refugee centers and affected cities in Ukraine, in cooperation with the Federation of Food Banks, non-profit partners and the Ukraine embassy. And in December, Delhaize Belgium donated emergency generators to the Ukrainian Red Cross, ensuring 95,000 Ukrainians will have access to clean water and heating.
Overall, Ahold Delhaize and our brands in Europe donated more than €1.5 million in cash and in-kind support, and generated an additional €1.2 million in customer and associate donations to organizations like the Red Cross to provide humanitarian relief.