Discount supermarkets, fast food chains benefit from the crisis

Discount groups such as supermarket Lidl, fast food company McDonalds and the Van der Valk restaurant chain are benefiting from the economic crisis, according to research by the Dutch food services institute FSIN.

They have managed to increase their turnover by up to 22% over the past five years, FSIN says. Coffee houses and the V&D department store restaurant concept are also doing well, the research institute says.

Cafes were hardest hit, with a 22% decline in turnover, while specialist food shops like butchers and greengrocers saw sales down 13%.  Snackbars and company canteen turnover also fell by 16%.

The figures will be published on Monday morning at the Horecava hospitality industry trade fair in Amsterdam’s Rai, Nos television says.

Eating out

Meanwhile, FSIN director Jan-Willem Grievink told the Telegraaf cafes and restaurants in the Netherlands are the most expensive in western Europe.

Despite the introduction of cheaper menus, eating out is still 20% more expensive in the Netherlands than in Belgium or Germany, he said. The difference in prices as compared with supermarkets is also too big, making it much cheaper to eat at home.

‘Shopping for food is cheap in the Netherlands,’ Grievink told the Telegraaf. ‘If you want cheaper food, go to Spain or Poland. Daily groceries are even a little more expensive in Greece.’

In addition, the Dutch have cheap tastes compared to other countries. ‘We like traditional Dutch food. The Netherlands is a country of smoked sausage, fried eggs and ham, liver sausage on bread and mashed potato-based dishes,’ he is quoted as saying.

‘We eat cheap products. A German buys ham from Schwarzwald, which is more expensive. We are more easily satisfied on quality. That is deeply ingrained in our culture. But we are slowly coming to realise delicious things cost more.’

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