The group has launched the Young Taste of Convenience award in order to build engagement with start-up food and beverage manufacturers. MSC hopes the competition will enable it to identify “young companies” that can deliver new innovations for convenience and forecourt retailers.
Announcing the award, MCS said it wants to put food start-ups in the spotlight of the industry and, at the same time, expand product variety in shops with product innovations.
The group is “particularly interested” in food, confectionery, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages that are tailored to the convenience format.
The award winners will be offered access to the convenience market and secure a nationwide listing with MCS group. “An individual designed marketing package [created for] the young deliverers will help getting into the shop owner’s mind,” a spokesperson for MCS explained.
According to the spokesperson, getting the attention of retailers is one of the biggest challenges faced by start-ups “particularly in the German market”.
“Start-ups do not really have another possibility to reach the self-employed shop owners and getting their products sold to them. The best way to get a wide spread distribution is to involve wholesalers,” the spokesperson suggested.
Opening up innovation
MSC wants to leverage the award to work directly with start-ups as a way to gain access to innovative products for its customers.
Germany is the largest food and beverage market in Europe. During 2015, food retail revenue grew at 2.2% to a value of €191m, according to a recent report from Germany Trade and Invest. It is also a highly competitive market.
According to the distributor, it is particularly important for convenience retailers in Germany’s competitive market to deliver innovative products.
“Product innovations are an important force to the convenience market in Germany. Due to the strong competitive environment in Germany it is one of the most important reasons for customers to visit convenience shops," the spokesperson concluded.