Ahold Delhaize USA — which operates grocery chains under the Food Lion, Giant Food, The GIANT Company, Hannaford and Stop & Shop banners — has unveiled a series of new health and sustainability goals. They are part of a detailed, purpose-driven strategy designed to enable customers to make healthier choices, create greater product transparency, eliminate waste and take bold climate action, all in support of developing a more sustainable food supply chain.
Research shows strong support for eco-friendly product options. Ahold Delhaize’s proprietary research found that 43% of consumers feel sustainability is “extremely important,” up from 28% of consumers pre-pandemic.
“Food — and how consumers shop for it — has far-reaching impact. As food retailers, we recognize that our role in the food supply chain comes with great responsibility,” said Kevin Holt, CEO of Ahold Delhaize USA in a statement. “Our expansive network means we can make a real and positive impact on local communities and our planet. That’s why we’ve committed to these goals — to hold ourselves accountable to the customers we serve and our world.”
Ahold’s health and sustainability goals include:
- 54% of private-brand food sales to come from healthy sales by 2025, supported via a partnership with Healthier America;
- By 2025, enhancing the information provided about where products come from, beginning with fresh produce and meat;
- Expanding its sustainably sourced seafood, coffee and tea to be 100% sustainably certified in cocoa, palm oil, pulp and paper products and packaging, and making key advances in animal welfare and human rights;
- Transparent GMO labeling, with all private-brand products having clear on-pack Bioengineered Food disclosure;
- Feeding America affiliates committed to donating two billion meals through food rescue programs and donations;
- Reducing food waste by 32% by 2025 and by 50% by 2030, working toward Zero Waste by achieving 90% waste diversion. Additionally, by 2025, reducing overall use of problematic single-use plastics, including making private-brand products 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable, and increasing recycled content by 25% by 2025; and
- Reducing carbon emissions by 50% from its own operations by 2030, while working with suppliers to reduce emissions from the supply chain by 15%.
Ahold Delhaize USA and its local brands are striving to support consumers in making healthier choices, starting with education via a proprietary nutrition guidance system, Guiding Stars.
The company is partnering with HowGood to bring customers an easy-to-use rating system that analyzes each ingredient against environmental and social impact criteria, including farming practices, treatment of animals, labor conditions and chemical use. Giant Food, The GIANT Company and Stop & Shop began offering the rating system online this week.
The company and its local brands are signatories to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and to move from single-use to reuse packaging models. Ahold Delhaize USA brands are also participants in the Beyond the Bag initiative, which aims to identify, test and implement innovative new design solutions. Lastly, the company is using supply chain technologies with enhanced forecasting capabilities to reduce waste by better predicting demand, and supplying only the right amount of products to stores and ecommerce distribution points.
Ahold will release additional goals and plans for 2030 and beyond to build on these commitments, according to a release.