REWE Group Sustainability Report 2018

Regional Products

Many consumers are now regularly interested in knowing about the origin of the products they buy, and regional origin is especially important to shoppers. Having regional products in the assortment helps farmers and farms in the local area where consumers live – and thus the consumer’s direct environment. And short transport routes and seasonality have the additional benefits of reducing the environmental footprint.

GRI 204-1:

Proportion of spending on local suppliers

For the REWE Group, regional suppliers are suppliers that produce a finished product within the same specifically defined region where the commodities they are made from are produced. Regional assortments include a high percentage of fresh fruit and vegetable products that are sold in stores on a seasonal basis. To consumers, this group of suppliers represents freshness, short transport distances, trustworthy production and support for the local economy.

REWE Group has markedly expanded its regional product range in recent years. The foundation of this effort is formed by long-term relationships of the REWE sales line with suppliers in the region as well as transparent, attention-grabbing communication about the special quality of these products to consumers, like in the REWE Regional summer campaign.

The nationwide brand REWE Regional introduced in 2012 ensures rapid recognition of regional products. The region from which a product comes is shown on the packaging: as a politically defined area (i.e., a German state), a cultural region (i.e., the Franconia area of northern Bavaria) or a traditional cultivation region (i.e., the Altes Land area that straddles parts of Lower Saxony and Hamburg). Examples include sausage and eggs from North Rhine-Westphalia or Bavaria, apples from Altes Land and North Sea shrimp from Dithmarschen. The regional assortment performed very well during the reporting period.

REWE Regional (Germany)

2016 2017 2018 ✓
REWE stores that sell REWE Regional items 3,1651 3,2781 3,289
Customer contacts2 105,371,626 115,182,718 109,490,479
Number of products3   465 607 641
1
Only stores that have sold more than 200 REWE Regional items during the year (values for 2016 have been adjusted accordingly).

2
Customer contacts are based on scan totals for individual products.

3
Applies only to products of which more than 200 items were sold.

Labelling of regional products

As another way of promoting regional products, REWE Group became a charter member of the supporting association Regionalfenster e.V. (Regional Window) in 2012 and has been applying the group’s regional window concept to selected products in PENNY and REWE stores since 2014. The label provides consumers with verified information about the origin of ingredients and the processing location. In this manner, the Regional Window creates transparency for customers that complements store-brand-specific information. At REWE, the number of Regional Window items rose from 288 in 2016 to 354 in 2018.

REWE Regionalfenster Items (Germany)

2016 2017 2018
Number of products1 288 368 354
1
Applies only to products of which more than 200 items were sold

PENNY labels roughly 60 items which are available seasonally in Germany as Regional Window products. These products include cucumbers, carrots, asparagus and tomatoes that frequently come from one supplier per region. As a result, nearly all items produced in Germany are identified as Regional Window products. As an additional way of highlighting a product’s origin, PENNY identifies regional fruit and vegetables by German state or agricultural or “pleasure region” like the Oldenburger Münsterland area of north-western Germany. Transparency about a product’s origin is one part of PENNY’s regionality pledge, a promise that also covers its commitment to freshness by employing short transport distances and promoting domestic producers.

Since September 2014, another regional concept for fruit and vegetables has been used in the stores of BILLA, MERKUR and Sutterlüty. It is called “Da komm ich her” (I’m From Here). During the reporting period, the fruit and vegetable items sold on a seasonal and regional basis increased to 270 and the number of customer contacts to over 86 million.

Regional Concept “Da komm ich her”1 (Austria)

2016 2017 2018 ✓
Customer contacts2 80,025,000 83,726,000 86,317,000
Number of products3 223 244 255
1
BILLA, MERKUR and Sutterlüty in Austria.

2
Customer contacts are based on scan totals for individual products.

3
Only products that produce more than 50 euros in revenue annually.

Under the PENNY store brand “Ich bin Österreich” (I’m Austria), products that are made according to typical Austrian recipes and contain only Austrian ingredients are sold. At the end of 2018, the range had 407 products, as compared to 388* in 2017. I’m Austria items generated approximately 86,000 customer contacts in total in 2018.

* The number of products under the PENNY store brand I’m Austria for 2017 has been adjusted since initial publishing due to a data collection error.

Locality

When the word “local” is used, it refers to products that generally come from small suppliers or sellers of agricultural items who directly serve a regionally limited number of stores. Local items are typically marketed under the umbrella brand “From Your Region” and are placed in stores and labelled accordingly. To further boost the number of items produced locally, REWE has appointed locality officers. These officers establish contacts between REWE stores and local producers and suppliers and perform such tasks as attending locality conferences where suppliers can present their goods. There were 16 locality officers during the reporting period. One successful example of the promotion of local suppliers is the REWE “Landmarkt” (country store) concept in the Region Central. Farmers in the organisation Vereinigung der Hessischen Direktvermarkter e.V. (VHD) sell their products under this name throughout the state of Hesse. At the end of 2018, 300 stores sold more than 3,200 Landmarkt items.

Landmarkt, Hesse (Germany)

2016 2017 2018
Stores that sell Landmarkt items 2671 278 300
Customer contacts2 8,077,505 8,621,728 9,511,383
Number of products3 over 2,900 over 3,300 over 3,200
1
The number of markets selling REWE Landmarkt items for 2016 has been adjusted since initial publishing due to a data collection error.

2
Customer contacts are based on scan totals for individual products.

3
Products on sale on the basis of item number (NAN), starting in market entry year.

In addition, some retailers have created their own regional product ranges. In the REWE Richrath stores in the Cologne area, consumers find a large number of products that bear the label “Wir aus der Region” (We from the Region).

Further topics in this area:

Product-related Risk Analyses

GRI 102-11

Raw Materials in Focus – Food

GRI FP1

Raw Materials in Focus – Non-food

GRI FP1

Organic

GRI FP2

PRO PLANET

GRI FP2

Packaging

GRI 301

Biodiversity

GRI 304

Ecological Impacts
Within the Supply Chain

GRI 308

Social Issues
in the Supply Chain

GRI 412, 414

Customer Health
and Product Safety

GRI 416

Promoting Sustainable Consumption

GRI 417

Animal Welfare

FP10

Child Labour
and Forced Labour

GRI 408, 409

Livestock Farming Conditions

FP10

Nutrition

FP10