EROSKI, CARREFOUR, MERCADONA, should they fear new business models?

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BY : Diego GutiérrezApril Mon, 2012

The large distribution chains have been increasingly taking over more and more of the small food retail sector. This has been based on the advantage offered by economies of scale due to the volume they manage: a wider range of products, better purchasing capacity, better prices, own brand, etc.

Due to my profession, in which I look for investment opportunities for my clients, I am observing the launch of several initiatives in food-related niches that are making a name for themselves thanks to the possibilities offered by the internet and new technologies.

They offer consumers specialised products of high quality. at very competitive prices and delivered to your home. The Internet reduces intermediary costs and shortens supply chains by transporting directly from the manufacturer to the customer.

The proposals made by the big players in food distribution on the internet are more an obligation than a future commitment to this channel. The other day, an expert who had worked in distribution told me that the logistics of the order was carried out in the supermarket closest to the customer, without any logistical savings. In fact, my wife, a "great expert" in food purchasing management, says that prices are no better online.

Examples of these new initiatives are: You can find 15 kg of oranges for less than 30€, including home delivery within 24 hours and freshly picked from the tree. According to my brother, you get a glass of juice from each orange, whereas with Eroski oranges you need 2 or 3 pieces. an agricultural producer from Buñuel (Navarra) offers a box of vegetables per week for the price of 26-29€ 10 kg box delivered to the home, varying the product offer depending on the time of year. He offers only organic, fresh and natural products. of the reacciona group, a fruit and vegetable shop in Madrid offers home delivery of fruit and vegetables bought online with a very simple design and a uniform and easily comparable pricing policy. is the most sophisticated model. Defined as a social network for food professionals without any intermediaries. It is a social network that puts local producers in contact with end consumers. When co-founder Eduardo Elorriaga told me about it last July before its launch in September, I had my doubts. But my impression changed when I tried it as a user, it is the best test to prove whether a model works or not. Last December I was contacted by a farmer near the area where I live offering me a batch of 5Kg of veal for 11 € / kg including (put mail). The meat was very tender and well vacuum packed and at a fantastic price. I am waiting for him to call me back for the February order.

For families, especially large ones like mine, food is the second largest item of expenditure after housing. These new business models are bringing about a change that will surely be slow, but which transfers a little more power to the producer and the internet channel. In recent times, textiles is the sector where e-commerce is growing the most. The food sector may be the next to be revolutionised.

Diego Gutiérrez Zarza

This article has been published in elver the news at

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