Quality, the stores’ best calling card
The company’s commitment to private label and brand product quality and safety is guaranteed by the group’s ongoing end-to-end quality management programme.
DIA continually audits its endorsed suppliers during the development of each product using a process that is standard in each of its seven operating markets, thereby certifying that each factory operates as it should. In parallel, and with a view to ensuring the comprehensive quality of its products, the company also performs tests at prestigious external labs, as well as consumer tests to rate each and every aspect of a given product. Favourable test results are prerequisites for adding a product to the DIA range; failure to meet the required standards implies product rejection.
Thanks to the special care paid to the quality of its private label and quality standardisation across all of the company’s operating markets, DIA is in a position to offer unbeatable price/quality by giving shape to a product selection that meets global consumer demands and is associated with well-defined traits and attributes.
Quality control and regulatory compliance
The company conducts a series of hygiene-food safety audits in its warehouses and stores across its seven operating markets. This initiative is linked with the store remodelling process underway across the group’s store network in recent years and is, above all, yet another example of the company’s obsession with maximising quality standards. These audits measure aspects ranging from tidiness and cleanliness to maintenance of the refrigeration cabinets and turnover of perishables.
DIA has reformed the methodology by which it takes delivery and performs sample tests to further guarantee the quality and freshness of its products
As part of its quality control over fresh produce, and under the strategy of building specialism in this product category, DIA has reformed the methodology by which it takes delivery and performs sample tests to further guarantee product quality and freshness. This initiative is complemented by DIA’s place on the Technical Committee of the International Food Standard (IFS), an international food safety protocol intended to help suppliers and retailers with quality control and compliance with prevailing food safety regulations.
In light of the challenge presented by the new European regulations regarding food labelling and nutrition information, DIA has already begun work on a text validation system that will guarantee that its labels comply.
As part of its search for continual improvement, in 2011 the company launched a new programme in Spain, 360° panels, entailing consumer testing to gather information on their product needs and opinions. These panels rate product attributes ranging from their organoleptic characteristics (taste, texture, etc.) to their packaging (product handling, labelling visibility, etc.) and encompass a sample of 200 high-turnover products. The people selected for these interviews are 35 families chosen at random. They are then supplied with a basket of 10 products for evaluation. Although this process was only carried out in Spain last year, its first full year in operation, the plan is to extend the initiative to the group’s other operating markets in the near future.
The other hugely successful quality control exercise involving consumers is that known as Experts on savings. Under this Argentine initiative a group of customers is invited to get to know the company and see for themselves how DIA works tirelessly to offer them quality at unbeatable prices.
Food allergy- and intolerance- friendly products
As part of DIA’s effort to continually enhance the quality of its products and boost customer satisfaction, in 2012 the company worked to develop food tolerance- and allergy-friendly food products. As a result of this effort, DIA introduced 100 SKUs of the class of products in the Spanish market and is planning to roll the initiative out in the rest of the group’s markets. The upcoming markets for rollout of the range are France and Portugal; these products are already at the initial development phase in these countries.
Last year DIA’s products were also added to the book compiled annually by FACE, Spain’s Confederation of Celiac Associations. This book consists of a list of foods deemed suitable for Celiacs; it itemises the brands and products reported by manufacturers to be gluten-free thereby facilitating food shopping for people with this condition.
Another of the company’s noteworthy quality strategies is the DIA BIO range of organic products made to very stringent specifications. The organic range was expanded significantly in France in 2012 with the addition of 11 new product references (six of which edible, four of which fresh and frozen foods). Shoppers can currently find more than 50 organic products on DIA's store shelves. In total, DIA introduced over 150 varieties of organic fruits and vegetables last year with price points that are 20% lower than those of other hypermarkets.