Best Brands 2016 – Food retail

Best Brands Belgium 2016: the best retailer was Colruyt

Belgian eating habits are constantly evolving. While Belgians might not be the most experienced cooks, they are increasingly passionate about cooking. A trend that is certainly influenced by their growing desire to eat healthily. Vitamin-rich and low-sugar products, mineral water and yoghurt are the products that have made most progress on the Belgian market in the past year, while sweets and beer are tending to disappear from Belgians’ trolleys.

Generally speaking organic products are doing well in supermarkets as well. A Belgian household buys on average €588 worth of organic products, a 20% increase in sales. And Lidl and Aldi are the retailers that benefit most from this.

Nonetheless, according to the Best Brands study carried out by Serviceplan and GfK, the best retailer in Belgium in 2016 was still Colruyt. Besides the products sold in each shop, the Best Brands study aims, amongst other things, to evaluate the type of relationship brands have with consumers. With its Brand Vivo model, GfK uses human relationships as metaphors to define the intensity and the warmth of the brand/consumer relationship, which may have different implications for the brands in terms of marketing and communications.

For example, a brand that is considered to be a “best friend” is one that is bought more frequently at a reasonable price. A “flirt”, on the other hand, is a very intense relationship that lasts only for a short while, a brand for which one is ready to spend more but less frequently.

According to our study, 2/3 of the respondents claimed to have a strong and more intense relationship with Colruyt. That is somewhat more than its main rivals, Delhaize and Carrefour.

Apart from the type of relationship, which is more intense for Colruyt customers, we also noticed that supermarket customers rate their experience at Colruyt more highly than that in the other shops. An experience that is very certainly linked to the amount they pay at the checkout. But it would be incorrect to use this single factor to sum up the Belgian group. Both internally and externally, Colruyt works very hard to make the brand experience as pleasant as possible.

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