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Germany: PENNY opens the first sustainability store with 20 information points

Discount Retail Chain PENNY (owned by REWE Group) is pushing its sustainability offensive with the opening of its first sustainability adventure market “PENNY Grüner Weg” at Fehrbelliner Strasse 29 in Berlin Spandau. The 800 square meter PENNY, which has 15 employees and two trainees at the beginning of the training year, is a modern neighborhood market. 20 points focus on the company's most important sustainability focus points, made interactive, visible and tangible for customers.

“PENNY has been dealing with sustainability issues for more than 10 years. So it was time to open the first sustainability experience market in the company's history. Here we give a compact overview of the most important successes that we have achieved. We are proud of that, but also show with the topic of “real costs” that we do not see sustainability as a finite mission and that we continue to work on it. Because I am convinced that our customers have clear expectations in this regard. Organic products, food from the region or the sale of fruit and vegetables with visual flaws are the ongoing trend topics in addition to the vegetarian and vegan diet. Sustainability is increasingly becoming a decisive factor when choosing a shopping location,” said Stefan Magel, Vice President Retail Germany of the REWE Group and COO PENNY, on the opening.

The “real costs” show what selected products really cost, taking certain ecological factors into account. Scientists from the University of Augsburg have included the effects of nitrogen, greenhouse gases and energy in the supply chain in the real sales price.

In the new store, however, questions such as “Which products are still on the shelf if there were no more bees and other pollinating insects?” Or “How do I sort my refrigerator correctly so that food stays fresh longer?” Are answered. With a periscope, the customer can also dive into a visual underwater world and at the same time learn more about sustainable fishing and product traceability.

But it starts in the F&V section: Somewhat crooked or with quirks, too big or too small - the PENNY Private Label branded 'Naturgut' Bio Helden' are fruit and vegetable varieties with flaws in their beauty. The advantages of the 'Naturgut Bio Helden', which are added to the common fruit and vegetables: Less sorting effort, ecological cultivation is more profitable for farmers and the season for local products is extended. In addition, they should strengthen the conscious handling of food by customers and promote organic producers. PENNY also creates more transparency about the origin of many fruit and vegetable items by labeling them with a regional image or a QR code.

And PENNY also wants to avoid, reduce or improve packaging waste with its packaging initiative: by 2030, all own Private Label branded items are to be packaged in a more environmentally friendly way. For this purpose, PENNY relies on the use of grass paper, the reduction of the film thickness and the abandonment of packaging. For example, loose fruit and vegetables are often only marked with banderoles or stickers.

As part of the recycle initiative, PENNY is committed to effective recycling. Since spring 2019, private label brand 'PENNY Ready' water bottles made of 100% recycled material have been part of the PENNY range.

The next thing to notice in the shilled section are the new labels: On products such as cream, yoghurt or quark PENNY reminds that food after the expiration date is often too good for the bin. The “Smell. Try. Enjoy ”aims to raise consumer awareness about food waste.

Finally, at the checkout, the customer has the opportunity to show commitment himself: if he says “That's right” when paying, the remaining cent amount of the purchase value automatically goes to an organization in Berlin that works for disadvantaged children and young people. A projection on the checkout belt shows how much has already come together with the so-called sponsorship PENNY: since November 2019 that is more than 263,000 euros. A total of almost 1.5 million euros was distributed as part of the PENNY commitment.

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