As of 20 December, the villages of Eastermar and Damwoude both have the ‘Dutch’ premiere of opening the first ever Frisian-language supermarkets. The Alles onder één dak (Everything under one roof, in Dutch) in Eastermar and the Albert Heijn in Damwoude have their advertising and signs all in Frisian, thanks to the support of the Afûk foundation that helps promote Frisian language and culture.
Fokke Jagersma of Afûk explains that the products are all in Dutch with Frisian explanations, which is not as exciting as having it all in Frisian for locals and tourists alike. However, the staff speaks Frisian, a language spoken by about 400,000 people in a country of 17.5 million. And apparently, tourists want to see Frisian when they go to the province of Friesland, so who knows what the future may bring. As well, there’s talk of a visit from the Ministry of internal Affairs in February.
(Links: nos.nl, eastermar.nl, Photo by Rupert Ganzer, some rights reserved)
Tags: Friesland, Frisian, supermarket
It started off as an fun opportunity for employees of Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn in Nijmegen, Gelderland to be the first to sport new uniforms, but quickly turn sour and went viral. Albert Heijn employees, which includes minors, were asked to send in pictures of themselves using an app either in their underwear or ‘tight fitting swimwear’ to be able to get their clothing size right. The idea behind the inappropriate photos was that an algorithm could decide what size the person needed – why they couldn’t just tell their boss what size they were like normal people is beyond most folks.
Albert Heijn quickly stopped it was doing although after the media caught wind of it. Not only is this morally wrong and illegal, it also goes against a bunch of privacy laws like the GDPR. The chain is calling this ‘a misunderstanding’, with, if I read correctly, the shop manager blaming head office and head office blaming the shop manager and their communication. The shop manager apparently told employees sending in the pictures was “essential and obligatory”, while Albert Heijn’s head office said it was “voluntary”. The thing is, when a boss who has power over you tells you something is essential and obligatory you do it, and if they say it’s voluntary, you also do it because it’s your boss asking.
The Dutch Data Protection Authority called this “bizarre”, saying Albert Heijn had no grounds to ask or oblige their employees to provide such pictures, since employees are never in a position to give consent without being under pressure, which goes against the GDPR for starters.
(Link: tweakers.net, Photo of Albert Heijn bag by FaceMePLS, some rights reserved)
Tags: Albert Heijn, clothing, GDPR, minors, supermarket
Every year in the Netherlands, you can hear someone say ‘those pepernoten [actually kruidnoten] are already in the shop this year!’, with irritation in their voice. It’s a similar, yearly reaction to anyone from North America like myself who sees the Halloween stuff disappear from shops on 1 November being replaced with Christmas stuff the very same day.
Who sells Sinterklaas treats in summer? The answer is the PLUS supermarket in Almelo, Overijssel. And the owner believes the ‘shock’ is free publicity and he’s probably right. Amusingly, PLUS has been selling kruidnoten since the end of July, for the ‘heck of it’. ‘They’re perfect for the BBQ or next to the swimming pool’, claims the owner.
Tags: kruidnoten, pepernoten, Sinterklaas, supermarket
A while back, Dutch supermarket chain Jan Linders was selling Belgian Trappist Westvleteren beer known for being hard to get your hands on, as it is sold in limited quantities. I’ve had it once and I can understand why people chase this beer down.
Jan Linders claimed that it had permission to sell 300 crates of the exclusive beer without any further explanation, while the Saint Sixtus Abbey that brews the beer was shocked since people cannot buy more than two crates at a time at the Abbey itself, and must wait two months for subsequent orders.
Luckily for Jan Linders, they won’t get sued by the Abbey, and Jan Linders promised never again to sell their Westvleteren Trappist beer. The Dutch supermarket chain also drew attention to themselves for selling the beer at 9,95 euro a bottle, normally sold at 1,66 euro a bottle.
More about Dutch abbey beers here: (Netherlands gets a second Trappist beer after 125 years).
Tags: beer, monks, supermarket
A football party pack marketed to boys aged 8-13 is being pulled from the shelves of the Albert Heijn supermarket chain for being sexist and glorifying stereotypically bad behaviour. Sure, a party pack with football-related items sounds almost acceptable except that this one automatically excludes girls form the get-go, making it not only sexist but also implying girls don’t play football, which they do en masse. What an odd situation, especially knowing Dutch women win at the highest levels of football. Maybe they should market this party pack to girls instead, albeit without belittling others in the process.
But this game gets worse, fast. They are cards in the game with multiple answer questions like “If a girl you don’t like asks you out, what do you do?” One of the answers is “I laugh at her”. Another question is “what is something you don’t want to see?”. One of the answers is “crying girls”. There’s another card about what to do at the beach that suggests “looking at girls” as an answer. Aren’t boys usually playing in the water or kicking a ball on the beach at that age?
This is a country where companies don’t check what they aim at children and a colouring book with an image of Hitler making a Nazi salute and wearing a Swastika armband and toys for boys to use to assault women (not girls, women).
(Link and screenshot: nltimes.nl)
Tags: football, girls, sexism, sexist, supermarket, women
This week, a Jumbo supermarket in Zoetermeer, South Holland had a grand opening at which a bunch of yellow streamers were fired off into the air. So far, so boring.
Then, the wind caught the streamers and they flew all the way up to the tram’s overhead line and that messed up people’s commute. Someone called the local non-police neighbourhood uniformed agents to organise a clean up.
Jumbo supermarkets come into the news in weird ways. They had the pink shopping basket for singles, let students bring back a huge lorry full of beer bottles and let customers test different kinds of toilet paper in their bathroom.
(Link and photo: nos.nl)
Tags: supermarket, tram
It’s that time of year again where we look back and tell you about some of the things we wrote about, and this year we had one clear theme that stood out and that, sadly, was ‘tastelessness’.
First the weird junk food combos:
Spring: the discodel
Summer: frikandel ice cream
Winter: smoked sausage and kroket
Dear Dutch snack bars, please follow our neighbouring countries and sell halloumi, and stop mixing crap already.
Next up, we have a tasteless escape room with Anne Frank as a theme.
The entire year saw some tasteless bashing of Ukraine. What did Ukraine ever do to us? Oh yeah, they gave back stolen Dutch paintings to a museum to show how classy they are.
As well, we found out in 2016 that supermarkets sell fertilised eggs, chicks prove it, we saw a food bank snub the poor over a Facebook like and had a good laugh at this organic fries truck stuck at a junk food chain drive.
And then to move towards some more classy bits, here’s the bicycle tunnel built in a single weekend in Utrecht, police training eagles to attack drones and a woman as the world’s first ever Professor of Fatherhood.
To finish off, here’s a story that went from classy to tasteless, an elderly woman sews bags from abandoned umbrellas, but then a few months later is pushed off her mobility scooter and robbed of her gold chain.
We’ll leave it at that, thanks for all your comments, and a reminder that next year is our 10th year anniversary in February, so I guess we should think about doing something special.
Happy New Year!
Tags: Anne Frank, drones, eldery, fries, police, supermarket, Ukraine
All the big European cities have them, but for some reason the Netherlands has been very late to get with the program on this one, as the country’ first vegan supermarket opens today.
The honour goes to Groningen, that ‘way up North’ city full of bike paths and students, who are most probably the target market of the store located on Nieuwe Ebbingestraat in what used to be a former post office.
In fact, it’s mostly female students who are setting the trend in vegan food shopping according to employee Benny Lobo of the Vegan Super.
(Link: www.rtvnoord.nl, Photo of Chick peas by abrunvoll, some rights reserved)
Tags: Groningen, supermarket, vegan
The Plus supermarket in Winterswijk, Gelderland has a cook on staff that makes meals from the food close to its best-before date and sells it to customers, a Dutch first according to the supermarket.
While France has been making headlines with its legislation banning supermarkets from throwing away food (a great idea that doesn’t quite work yet), the Dutch have been giving away their expired food to food banks for a long time, not feeling the need to legislate what seems like doing the right thing. French supermarkets can also get rid of their food in a way that it becomes animal feed and compost rather than feed people.
In the Netherlands, even if food is expired and OK to eat, it has to be thrown out by law, and that didn’t sit well with supermarket owner Jeroen Bruggers. He got creative and hired a cook last autumn, Sander-Jan Bats, who makes meals with food that is about to expire. Bats, 32, who has been cooking food since he was 15, cooks in an open kitchen with his colleagues and says he enjoys the challenge. The meals cost no more than 4 euro and are freshly made, a big hit with customers. Bruggers hopes other supermarkets pick up the idea.
(Link: www.achterhoeknieuwswinterswijk.nl, Photo of an endive potato mash with meatless sausage by Jasja Dekker, some rights reserved)
Tags: Gelderland, supermarket
It is a tendentious question, but what on earth is Rosie the Riveter being used to encourage women folk, who are the main food shoppers, that they too have enough brains to use the relatively new self-scanners at the supermarket? It says ‘We scan ourselves!’. If they had a picture of a tough guy saying ‘I can use a scanner, too!’ it would be condescending. The scanners also work in other languages, so the insult isn’t lost on the non-Dutch crowd.
Hang on: the message with a woman is condescending towards women! Retro is cute, but not like this. Rosie deserves a hell of a lot better.
This lame message is quite typical of corporate Dutch passive-agressiveness: use the fokkin scanners ladies, as we’d rather have our cheap students (mostly female by the way) lose their jobs to a self-scanner over time. Yes, it’s mainly boys that stock shelves because, well, boys. I bet Rosie could kick all of their asses.
As a representative of women folk, I don’t always use the scanner because when I buy alcohol, an employee needs to come over, verify my age and swipe their magic card through the scanner so I can get on with it.
If you don’t agree that the poster is insulting to women, fine. But you should agree that it’s fokkin unoriginal.
(Photo: Mariëlle Verbeek)
Tags: self-scanner, supermarket, women