The “future” has been awatchword globally of late and Intermarché Lagos understands the importance of the concept of looking ahead. The company prides itself on understanding the need to adapt to the changing times and lifestyle trends of customers while also recognising the importance of this environmental sustainability “call to action”.
With a commercial area of 2,500m2, Intermarché Lagos offers a huge space filled with varied products and ecological alternatives. In practically every area of the supermarket you will find a vegetarian or vegan alternative, fair trade products and predominantly the local or regional version of products.
An example of this is the Biological Market of fruit and vegetables whose volume is 80 percent supplied by “Quinta das Seis Marias”, located in Sargaçal, in Lagos, a family business run by Mrs. Fátima Torres. Delicious vegetables and fruits, free of pesticides, synthetic chemical fertilisers and genetically modified organisms are harvested and placed almost immediately on the shelves of the supermarket. This organic market is certified by Certiplanet, which guarantees that the sale of these products is safe and transparent. Regarding this, management says that “we are aware that people’s habits are changing and that their preference is based more now on the products that best preserves their health. Then, alongside this commitment, we insist that this production be local, a reflection of who is from our land. ”
In sections such as thewine cellar, the butcher, the bakery or the charcuterie there are also biological options, and in most cases you will still find the vegan version of Portuguese and / or foreign origin.
Intermarché Lagos is very proud of its specialist products which feature everything from Companhia Portugueza do Chá; to the 100 percent natural orange juice made with the sweet oranges of Silves; to the Viva Bem zone, which brings together more than 1,000 different healthy food products.
The pizzas and sushi foundin the supermarket in Lagos are two of the most acclaimed products made in store. By producing these foods directly in store “it allows us not only to make local and traditional recipes from other countries but also to have the food made live, on the spot and fully customisable according to the client’s request and the client can watch the whole process in full”, said the management team.
Customers are also able to create their own nut butters choosing from almond, peanut and hazelnut and cocoa butter – all products being 100 percent natural and including healthy fats.
But it is not only in the food aisles that special care has been taken to tailor products, environmentally friendly cleaning and hygiene products can also be found in the supermarket. According to the commercial director “Here, practically everything has its most natural and environmentally friendly alternative version”.
Alongside innovation in terms of products and ranges, the need arose to present an alternative in terms of packaging, especially in traditional sections. It was in this sense that at the beginning of December, Intermarché Lagos was a pioneer in yet another measure of sustainability within the group of ‘Os Mosqueteiros’. The project aims to reduce single-use plastics, and the customer can bring their containers to collect products or meals from certain sections of the store. This option is exclusive to the ready-to-eat, bakery, charcuterie, butcher and fishmonger sections. Naturally, this opportunity means that the containers must meet certain specifications: they must have the logo that indicates that the container is suitable for contact with food; they must be clean, dry, odourless and in good condition and must not have any type of labelling (list of ingredients, expiration dates). They must also close properly. After checking these requirements, the employee subtracts the weight of the customer’s packaging and weighs only the product in the box.
“All of these more conscious and environmentally friendly options send a positive and transparent message regarding the way companies work and it is very important to us when it comes to selling the product to the customer. This authenticity is decisive for us also because we have every interest in showing products that reflect the future”, says the management, stressing that “some of these changes in terms of services are even suggested and driven by our customers and this feedback is essential for us”.
One of the most successful and recentlyexplored services in the supermarket is the “Too Good To Go” mobile application that has helped Intermarché Lagos cope with food waste. Through the Magic Boxes, which are reserved through the application, the customer takes home food that was not sold during the day but is in perfect condition for consumption. As it is not possible to predict the daily surplus of the supermarket, the content of the Magic Boxes is always surprising and a customer only pays € 3.99, when the original price of each box would be €12.
Outside the food field, energy efficiencyhas also been a target of great concern, and concern on the part of the owners. In 2017, 882 photovoltaic solar panels had already been installed on the roof of the hypermarket and this year it was the turn of the supermarket in Aljezur, which had 332 installed. This action reinforces the stores’ commitment to environmental sustainability and the efficiency and use of renewable energy sources. The benefits are lower electricity bills and reduced carbon emissions and Intermarché Lagos even has a charging station for electric cars that feeds directly from this system.
Still within this theme, the stores that are part of this group (Lagos, Alvor and Aljezur) are available on the Waste App to promote the waste collection points they have available, so that the customer knows that they can recycle waste from lightbulbs, bottle caps, ink cartridges, deliveringclothes to needy families, among others. Also at Intersaúde, Intermarché de Lagos’ health and well-being space, it is possible to find a Valormed collection point, which receives end-of-life medicine boxes for responsible recycling.
For 2021, the management of the three stores has a broad and well-defined vision about the projects and news that it wants to implement. They ensure that many new and challenging things lie ahead and maintain the desire to remain at the forefront when it comes to innovation and the diversity of the offer to the customer. They also add the reflection - “We find interesting, funny and nostalgic the idea that the future is, more than ever, a way of going back to what our parents and grandparents did. It is not difficult to think of sustainability in this way, it is just to step back and adapt to modern times. Our quality of life, over the years, will require us to make these transitions. More than changing, we want to evolve with those who visit us. ”