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The Lion roars with the launch of SuperPlus
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The Lion roars with the launch of SuperPlus

Nants SuperPlus bagithi baba

Sithi uhhmm SuperPlus

For those not fluent in Zulu

Here is SuperPlus, Father

Oh Yes it is SuperPlus. 


Delhaize launches SuperPlus

All the professional and non-professional press gathered last Friday around the mountain in Zellik (Ok, I'm exaggerating, there are no mountains in the Pajottenland of Zellik, hills at most). Anyway, there was some big news to cover: The Plus card is dead and here comes the reign of the SuperPlus card, it's the circle of life (Yes, I'm very proud to have placed this pun). Anyway, Delhaize announced the launch of a new loyalty programme to replace the Plus card launched 29 years ago. And the new concept is ambitious. During the launch conference, Xavier PiesvauxCEO of Delhaize, insisted on the fact that the launch of SuperPlus is a major initiative that is part of the strategy and that "the heart of the project is both the purchasing power and the health of the customer". He added: "The SuperPlus programme is a new milestone in the history of Delhaize and can truly be considered a digital revolution, where Delhaize is moving up a gear. With this application, we are showing what Delhaize has to offer digitally. Moreover, it will be more than just a card: the customer will be part of a 'loyalty club' with additional benefits on several levels. With this application, we are more than ever supporting the purchasing power of customers while helping them to achieve a balanced diet",


So, how does it work? 

The launch will take place on 8 October 2020 and customers will be invited to exchange their old card or sign up for the new programme via digital kiosks in the shops. The SuperPlus programme will work as follows: 

  • The customer will continue to save points: as before, points can be saved but there is more flexibility to use them. Instead of waiting to reach a certain level of points, the customer will be able, for example, to exchange points for specific products or redeem points for vouchers at partners (from November onwards, this will be the case on bol.com, and other partners should follow).
  • The Promo-Boost system: the system works a bit like a loyalty club, and as a member you are entitled to more interesting promotions. For example, a product is on promotion in the shop at -20%, but for club members, the discount will be -30%.
  • The Nutri-Profile: a great innovation in the loyalty concept is to reward the consumption of healthy products. The SuperPlus concept rewards purchases of products with an A or B Nutri-Score. The Nutri-Profile option allows a customer to view and analyse his basket according to the Nutri-Score and to improve the balance of his purchases. The customer will be offered alternatives with a better Nutri-Score for the B, C, D and E products in the shopping basket. 
  • SuperPlus Credit: via the mobile application or the digital portal, the customer will have a quick overview of all his credits and the amounts will be deducted automatically when making future purchases. The system will even take the ‘recycled empties’ into consideration. In other words, it will no longer be necessary to carry paper, the coupon for the recycling of empties or a cheque for €5. The automatic system will make life easier for the customer. 


My 20/CENT: subtly the lion bites the competition

Let’s start with those who are wondering about the choice of relying on the Nutri-Score. It is true that the Nutri-Score has already been the subject of much discussion, and opinions are sometimes mixed about it. Personally, this classification does not influence my purchases. However, it must be recognised that, of all the classification systems out there, it is the one that is the most familiar to consumers. It is therefore logical for Delhaize to choose the Nutri-Score for its SuperPlus system.

However, I am not here to talk about classification systems but to give my opinion on this new loyalty programme. And there are a number of elements that demonstrate to me that this is a well-thought-out system and also a turning point in Belgian food retail in the year 2020. 

First of all, choice remains predominant. The customer can choose to use the loyalty card system as before, he can seize the opportunity to collect more promotions with healthy products according to the Nutri-Score, he can choose to use the digital tools or not, the customer can choose to fill his basket with healthy products or finally fill his belly with sweet and fatty products.... But there is no obligation. There is a choice to take or use the different facets of the system as one pleases.

Also, the digital part is very complete. If you look at the mobile application that has just been developed, believe me, it's easy to use and the menus are quite clear. An easy mobile experience is part of a customer journey that one wants to be frictionless (the famous "seemless" journey that we often talk about in retail).  

In addition, many studies show that large companies also have a societal role to play, not just a commercial one. In a sense, an important facet of the programme is to facilitate access to a more balanced diet. Via SuperPlus, a healthy diet is rewarded and even encouraged in a way. In short, Delhaize is indeed jumping on an opportunity and a market trend, but it is also helping to promote the consumption of more balanced products. There is a certain sincerity in this action. 

Finally, and this is undoubtedly the most important point to insist on: With the launch of this new programme, the Delhaize lion is giving its competitors a few scratches and subtly shifting the battle away from "price" alone. The programme is easy to use, automatic, digital, seemless, in short it is as powerful (if not more?) as the loyalty programmes of the competitors. But above all there is a message that goes with it: Delhaize recognises that it is not the cheapest, it is even indicated in its communication. But the lion, on the other hand, helps its customers follow a healthier diet. It doesn't just offer healthy products; it doesn't just say that it has the cheapest organic products...no! Delhaize shows a concrete system with which it helps and encourages its customers to consume healthily, and so the focus is not only on price. And even if you are sensitive to price, with such attractive promotions, will the difference be so great with "the cheapest" who doesn't care about health?

To conclude, I will just say this: with the launch of the SuperPlus programme, the lion is showing its teeth and marking its ambition to be simply the king of the jungle. 



PS for the fans of the Lion King: the true lyrics of the famous song are 

Nants ingonyama bagithi baba 

Sithi uhhmm ingonyama

And they mean 

Here is a lion, Father

Oh Yes, it’s a lion


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