Are city Swedes ready for ready-meals? ICA, the largest food retailer in Sweden appears to think so with the launch of ICA To go – a new convenience food retail concept for time poor city dwellers. The new concept will be focused on providing fresh food, ‘fast to cook’ food and ready-meal solutions for time-poor, and (most likely) fairly cash rich city folks. The first shop will open on busy Kungsgatan sometime later this spring. The move also follows the success of Gooh, the innovative ready-meals initiative by Lantmännen. After five years in the Stockholm region where Gooh is moving from strength to strength. The Gooh movement is now moving over the Swedish west-coast with 18 so called ‘shop-in-shop’ retail spots opening across Gothenburg during February 2010. From its launch until this day Gooh hasn’t really faced any serious competition. Tthe ICA move is a sure sign that this privileged situation won’t last forever. The interesting thing will be to see what kinds of food ICA have dec ided to offer time-starved city folks and professionals. Gooh’s offer is hard to beat with their offer of high quality, premium ready-meals based on their co-operation with Swedish maestro chef Stefano Catenacci.
Well, this sure is an interesting development in Sweden, where we don’t yet have the convenience food retail concepts similar to e.g. Tesco Extra, M&S Food and Sainsbury’s Local that one can spot on any high-street in the UK. So,soon I’ll be back with my first report after visiting Ica To go. Being one of those time-starved people I hope it will be a positive one!