Grocery giant Ahold Delhaize has unveiled its new strategic plan, ‘Growing Together’, outlining its ambitions for the next four years (2025-28).

The strategy focuses on leveraging the company’s strengths in innovation, own-brand products, and a strong local presence to achieve sustainable growth and deliver value to its shareholders.

Ahold Delhaize aims to outperform the traditional grocery market by achieving a 4% annual sales growth rate. 

At the same time, the company said it is committed to maintaining its profit margins at an average of 4%. 

To support these goals and deliver strong cash flow, Ahold Delhaize plans to generate €9bn ($9.75bn) in free cash flow and invest €1bn annually in share buybacks.

A core focus of the ‘Growing Together’ strategy is building deeper customer loyalty.

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The company plans to drive omnichannel sales penetration to more than 80% by 2028, targeting a user base of 30 million active customers on its digital platforms every month.

The business will also encourage the use of digital tools and mobile apps to drive omnichannel sales.

Product innovation is another pillar of the strategy.

Ahold Delhaize plans to expand its own-brand offerings, which are generally more affordable and profitable for the company.

This will go hand-in-hand with a focus on promoting healthy eating across its entire product range.

The strategy also emphasises geographic expansion and market leadership.

Ahold Delhaize will pursue both organic growth within its existing markets and explore inorganic opportunities through acquisitions.

In the US, the company plans to revitalise the Stop & Shop brand while accelerating growth for its Food Lion and Hannaford brands.

In Europe meanwhile, it will leverage its strong presence in the Benelux union with brands such as Albert Heijn and Delhaize.

Additionally, it will explore further expansion in Central Europe and Southeastern Europe.

Ahold Delhaize says it recognises its employees as a key driver of success and is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment to attract top talent.