Small regional food producers can sell their products through Edeka supermarkets. This is to the customers' liking. But how does this work exactly? Who chooses, for example, which products come to be on the shelves?
For three years now, Stefan Joos has sold his own range of salad dressings, not only through his company 'Party service Joss,' but in local supermarkets. The dressings from the German Ebringen are available in more than ten Edeka shops in the region. Party service Joos is what retail giant Edeka call a 'short distance supplier' which unlike a warehouse supplier who has goods brought to a central location and then distributes them out, the producer delivers the goods directly to the area. The contract runs directly through the local supermarkets.
Edeka have about two thirds of supermarket operators working with independent traders. They decide which products to include in the assortment. "Basically it boils down to gut feeling," said Michael Rees, who runs three supermarkets in the region. He regularly has producers at the door offering their produce, such as regional wine or a type of cheese. Then the goods are tried and tested. With the regional products the trader can advertise himself to the market. "I look for unique selling points," said Rees.
Small companies have to go to great lengths to ensure their products are sold in the supermarket. Before the products can be sold, the producer must first have the correct certificates in place. "There are numerous conditions the company must meet regarding hygiene and product description. "Safety comes first," explained spokesman for Edeka, Christhard Deutscher.