Colruyt Group delivers meals from 'dark kitchen’

Colruyt Rose Mary dark kitchen
Picture: Colruyt Group

Under the name Rose Mary, Belgian retailer Colruyt Group has launched a meal delivery service in Brussels. The ambition is to offer healthy, fresh meals - but is only a test, the retailer emphasises.


Small-scale concept

"This is a new, very small-scale food concept developed by a small internal team here, which we are testing under the name Rose Mary. This concept fits in with the increasingly blurred boundaries between catering and retail: nowadays we see more and more that those concepts are merging into one another," says spokesperson Hanne Poppe to RetailDetail.


Since no workshops could take place in its Colruyt Group Academy during the lockdown, the retailer opened the academy's kitchen in Brussels to real chefs. They will work in a 'dark kitchen' and prepare fresh, high-quality, tasty and somewhat more special meals according to three categories: twisted classics, tasty healthies and world kitchen.


Colruyt Group sees Rose Mary as a healthier alternative to other meal delivery services, where people order meals that are tasty and that they are happy with, but which they know are not necessarily healthy or suitable for eating every day. Rose Mary's meals are a quicker and more convenient alternative to self-catering, because the meals are 'ready to eat', i.e. already prepared: they just need to be warmed up.


Freshness is an asset

"We believe that this new concept responds to consumer demand for 'fast, fresh, healthy meals', away from fast food. The freshness is also Rose Mary's biggest asset: customers order before noon and get their meal delivered to their home in the evening by a bicycle courier. For the time being, this only takes place in Brussels, as this is a new food concept that is still very much in its infancy".


The story has only just been launched and it really is still a pilot project, Colruyt emphasises: "We will refine it where necessary in the coming weeks. For example, the website is not quite up to scratch yet. It is important to emphasise that it is a pilot, small in size, and that we are particularly keen to learn from this: to understand the consumer and see how we can help as a group".