Making better food available together. To everyone. It is Albert Heijn’s mission, and the supermarket chain is trying to achieve this mission in different ways. For example, Albert Heijn, together with more than a thousand farmers and growers, is reducing the climate impact and doubling the vegetable assortment in their stores to speed up the transition to a more plant-based food pattern. In addition, the supermarket chain launched an app to encourage a healthier lifestyle, and all their own brand packaging will be 100% recyclable in a few years.
Better Food Festival
Last Friday and Saturday, customers could see, taste and experience this Albert Heijn mission in a different way: during the first edition of the Better Food Festival at the Expo Haarlemmermeer. Anyone interested in nutrition and what it can mean for yourself and your environment could listen to various top speakers, follow interactive sessions and workshops and of course taste today’s and tomorrow’s food to the fullest.
“With Albert Heijn, we have been at the heart of society for 135 years and provide food and drink to many people. Of course, we have a certain responsibility with that, ”says Albert Heijn CEO Marit van Egmond. “With this festival, we want to inspire people to try something new and different on the road to a healthier, more social and more sustainable society.”
A healthier lifestyle in small steps
The festival consisted of three different ‘worlds’: Better food is better life, Better food connects and Better food leaves the world in a better place.
The Better Life World was about getting better at yourself through a healthier lifestyle. (Former) top athletes Irene Schouten and Mark Tuitert and professor of neuropsychology Erik Scherder participated. Visitors could also perform various health checks, discover their metabolic age and plan a relaxing moment using AI.
General Practitioner Tamara de Weijer was one of the speakers in this ‘world’. As head coach, she is involved in the FoodFirst app, which Albert Heijn launched last year. De Weijer: “We want to use this app to help people develop a healthier lifestyle. We do this by setting very small and concrete goals, because in that way the chance is much greater that you achieve a sustainable behavior change. So do not start eating completely differently from one day to the next and exercise three times a week, but first eat a little more fruit and vegetables every day. And if it does, then move on to the next small step. “
Better food connects
The other world was about the connecting role that food can play. Visitors could experience this connection by eating with other visitors at a large table and talking about how food can bring cultures together, but also about topics such as loneliness. Speakers at this table included top chef Joris Bijdendijk and (cookbook) authors Abdelkader and SaidaNadi-Benali.
Earlier this month, Albert Heijn already showed how food can be associated with the outdoor iftars they organized in various Dutch cities for more than 1800 employees, customers and neighbors.
Eating better leaves the world in a better place
The third and final world was about everything Albert Heijn does to leave the world in a better place. Visitors received answers to questions about why organic food is often more expensive and why some products are made of plastic: “We are constantly looking for the balance between preserving quality on the one hand and combating waste on the other. And at the moment, it is still better for the environment to sell products such as peppers and cucumbers in plastic than if we did not and therefore had to throw out more of these products, ”says supermarket manager Coco van Alphen.
Visitors could also get to work in this world themselves. Think of workshops to waste less food or make an insect hotel to promote biodiversity. Here, too, various speakers took the stage, including Jaap Korteweg (The Vegetarian Butcher), the musician Typhoon and the social entrepreneur Hanna Verboom.
Look back and experience the festival
RTL Z was present at the Beter Eten festival and recorded the highlights in a ten minute video. So you missed the Better Food Festival or were you there and want to experience it again? Watch the video recording below: