Delhaize officially opens its new bottling plant
The historical site of Osseghem is closed. From now on, Delhaize wines will be bottled in the new, modern site in Asse. The new factory of the group was inaugurated officially this week.
The new site is the result of a long-term project at Delhaize and it is part of the DNA of the group. It is therefore normal that the lion organized a big event to inaugurate its new plant.
Many suppliers and key accounts were present at the opening ceremony, including the Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo. For Xavier Piesvaux, CEO of Delhaize, this new factory is an achievement: "With this brand-new facility, we want to strengthen our reputation. Today we open the largest wine bottling plant in the Benelux. And we are very proud of that. The construction of this new plant has been an achievement. So first and foremost, I want to congratulate all the teams at Delhaize and Ahold Delhaize. Cheers! "
A redesigned site
The new plant is now the largest bottling facility in the Benelux, and has some remarkable statistics.
- Investment of 30 million euros
- Surface area of 9,500 square meters
- Storage capacity of 3 million liters of wine
- 18,000 bottles bottled per hour
- 4 production lines
- 8 km of pipes
- 150 different wines
- 73 employees and wine experts
- Half of the bottles sold at Delhaize come from this bottling plant
Having had the pleasure of visiting the new bottling site, I noticed a few interesting points to mention in addition to the numbers. Unlike the old site in Brussels, all the tanks are now indoors and better organized. Furthermore, the site is partly underground, which guarantees a constant temperature all year round.
The design of the plant is sustainable and water is used, recycled, and reused wisely. The heat generated is also recovered to limit the building's footprint.
Finally, and this is important to note, the location of tanks, pumps and other equipment, as well as the work flow, have been redesigned to optimize process efficiency. For example, no wine is stored on site. As soon as bottling is complete, the wines are sent immediately to the distribution centers.
And for the staff working in the plant, the new site seems more pleasant than the old one. The high ceilings give a sense of space, a bay window allows daylight into the building, and the new, modern machinery is less noisy than the old.
But what's the point?
Having its own bottling plant is quite important for Delhaize. Logically, one might think it's about streamlining an important process in the wine category, which is very important and a stronghold of the group. But in fact, having a bottling plant goes further.
One of the first advantages is that of being able to offer wines at a lower price. Indeed, the fact of bottling in the Benelux, allows the group not to have to pass on higher purchase prices to winegrowers who would have had to deal with bottling, labeling, transport, handling, purchase of bottles etc. So the consumer price is therefore cheaper.
The other advantage, and not the least, is that this plant is an important element in a value chain that wants to be more sustainable. Having wines from around the world delivered in bulk rather than in bottles not only cuts transportation costs in half, but also reduces the carbon footprint of the wine.
Clearly, let's raise a glass for the occasion, and for the Planet.