Zaandam, the Netherlands, May 10, 2023 – Earlier today, Ahold Delhaize released its first quarter results for 2023. As high inflation levels continued for Q1, our brands focused on delivering great value and access to healthy food, while keeping shelf prices as low as possible. This is led by our €1 billion Save for Our Customers cost savings program which allows our brands to absorb cost increases for customers, deliver personalized value through loyalty and digital omnichannel programs and more.
As we faced another challenging quarter with high inflation and social uncertainty, our Leading Together strategy continued to guide us in the right direction. With our four key priorities which support our strategy – customers, operations, portfolio and health & sustainability – Ahold Delhaize and our great local brands are moving forward. See our brands’ key business highlights for Q1 below.
Our brands’ customers are at the heart of everything we do. This is why we continuously invest in integrated solutions to allow customers to shop whenever and wherever they want with our omnichannel touchpoints. We leverage our scale and tech knowledge across regions to provide the best loyalty programs, useful apps, and online delivery.
In the U.S., three of our great brands, Food Lion, Giant Food and Stop & Shop were named amongst Newsweek’s Americas Best Loyalty Programs 2023 list. The list ranks grocery retailers by six criteria including recommendation to others, overall satisfaction, benefits/rewards, trust, customer support and ease and enjoyment.
Peapod Digital labs also migrated The GIANT Company and Giant Food from a web-based app to a fully native app providing a more intuitive, seamless customer experience. It will soon be released for Stop & Shop in Q2.
As a result of successful cross-functional and cross-brand collaboration between Ahold Delhaize and our Central and Southeastern European (CSE) brands, we have launched a cross-sell feature within, our CSE brands to improve personalized offerings and drive order value.
Another highlight for Q1 was Food Lion’s progress in converting its first stores to its new omnichannel model. In addition to being more energy efficient, the stores are much better equipped for click-and-collect or home delivery. The first 24 stores will be completed in May.
By driving efficiency and productivity through technology, not only do our operations run smoothly, we are also a leader in the industry. For example, our Dutch brand Albert Heijn sold 70% of food nearing its expiration – with the goal of increasing this significantly – via dynamic mark-down pricing using machine learning. After a store associate inputs a product reaching its expiration into the system, the algorithm designed by Albert Heijn's talented data scientists determines the most optimal discount and automatically updates the electronic shelf label. The algorithm recalculates the price regularly until the product is sold. Albert Heijn is the only supermarket in the world with this internally developed software that is used to the level of scale.
Furthermore, we were also able to host our first machine learning operations (MLOps) conference. More than 100 data scientists, devops engineers and tech professionals from across all industries joined the event to connect and learn from inspiring tech leaders about challenges and solutions in MLOps. Collaborative function is key to the creation and quality of AI solutions. For example, optimizing on-shelf availability and reducing food waste.
Continuously strengthening our global portfolio is something we're always aiming towards. In our first quarter, Alfa Beta in Greece reached a milestone of opening its 150th Shop & Go store, and by the end of this year, there will be 200 stores in this format.
While in Europe, our Dutch e-commerce brand bol.com, has redefined its strategy to focus on its three business models: e-commerce, advertising and logistic services. They are each supported by strategic enablers on cost effectiveness, organizational effectiveness and accelerating tech impact.
A major driver of our Leading Together strategy is prioritizing our health and sustainability ambitions, and our first quarter proved to demonstrate more great initiatives from our brands. The GIANT Company in the U.S. added new electric vehicles to its delivery fleet, Hannaford introduced Planet Hannaford to empower and inspire customers to make better eco-friendly choices, and Food Lion received Energy Star Partner of the Year for a 22nd consecutive year.
Excitingly, bol.com is helping its sales partners to become more sustainable by offering a network of advice and support parties. Mega Image reached 81% of green energy usage compared to 71% in Q1 2022. Albert Heijn opened up its renowned Better for Nature & Farming program to other market parties. And at Ahold Delhaize, we priced a €500 million Green Bond, the first one in our history, that reinforces assets with a positive environmental impact such as green buildings and clean transportation.
Learn more about our Q1 financial results in the video below: