Meal Service business area
CATERING TO A MOBILE LIFESTYLE
The Meal Service business area develops serving and packaging concepts for e.g. take-away, catering, and fresh ready-to-eat food in grocery stores, food trucks and markets. Another way to describe this business area is mobile meals for a mobile lifestyle.
BUSINESS AREA STRATEGY IN BRIEF:
Develop unique solutions that solve the customers’ problems and meet their needs in a flexible manner
Focused and active customer contact
Drive innovation and efficient purchasing from selected suppliers
FROM TREND TO ESTABLISHED MARKET
The business area was organized five years ago in direct response to the clearly evolving urban trend of meals being both purchased and consumed in new ways. Buying fresh ready-to-eat food of high quality to take home or eat “on the run” can hardly be considered a trend anymore, but rather a well-defined – and growing – market.
However, the market itself is still in a state of change, with a clear green development, demands of ecological sustainability and meals made from higher-quality raw materials. Above all, many players are expanding their offering, making it possible for guests to purchase groceries, eat a meal on the spot or take it home. One example of this is grocerants (a merging of the words “grocery” and “restaurants”), i.e. stores that sell both groceries and ready-to-eat meals for take-away. The year’s clearest trend is the establishment of companies that deliver ready meals to people’s homes – a trend that is taking off in both Europe and the rest of the world.
A wider range of fresh ready-to-eat food and a rapidly-growing need for home delivery – in combination with digital management solutions – will redraw the map for the food and restaurant industries in many ways.
CLEAR FOCUS ON SEGMENTS
To meet this market trend, the business area is divided into three defined customer segments: higher quality take-away food (fast casual), fresh ready-to-eat food sold on the shelf at grocery stores or delis (home meal replacement) and ready-to-eat food for schools, hospitals and elderly care (social catering). The segments have different needs and therefore require different types of food service products. Some customer groups demand products that strengthen their own brand, while other customers look primarily at rational variables like function, logistics and finances.
“We created involvement and dynamics by shifting responsibility outward in the organization.”
Linus Lemark, Director Business Area Meal Service
Within the Meal Service business area, there is a strong focus on products classified under ecoecho®. This means that the material must fulfill criteria related to renewability, compostability or responsible forestry. Demand for sustainable packaging is increasing in all customer segments in direct response to demands from the end customer.
Net sales for the business area increased compared with the preceding year, equivalent to a 4.9% sales increase at fixed exchange rates. Operating income was SEK 31 m (41) and the operating margin was 4.4% (6.1%). The income was negatively affected by dramatic price increases in raw materials during the first half of the year. The market for Meal Service products is growing more than the market as a whole.
In parallel with steering the business area towards clearer segmentation, a culture with clearer ownership was created within the organization. During the year, different training initiatives were conducted to increase employee responsibility within their respective areas. Individuals that “own” their area and feel confident in their positions have a greater job satisfaction and perform better. Shifting responsibility outward in the organization also creates a dynamic in the team, leading to change and development occurring more quickly. Above all, it creates better and deeper relationships with customers.
Within the business area, there is a strong focus on products under the ecoecho® classification.
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|Southern and Eastern Europe||20|