Marketing & Sustainability stage bij Albert Heijn

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’’Sustainability and health are becoming more and more important in our world today and it is exciting to be on the frontline of this change’’

Hi there!

My name is Charlotte Kuipers I’m 24 years old, and I am currently a marketing and sustainability intern at Albert Heijn. In 2019 I finished my Bachelor’s degree in psychology at Utrecht University. Having finished this, I started my Master’s degree in Economic and Consumer Psychology at Leiden University. This internship and my thesis are part of the last part of my Master before hopefully obtaining my degree and starting my working life. In my free time, I enjoy playing field hockey, being outside and being surrounded by friends and family.

 In which department are you working during your internship?

As an intern on marketing and sustainability, I am part of the brand communication team. Within this team I work with the sustainability and ‘Beter eten’ brand managers. Together we work on a variety of projects. Within the Beter eten strategy, Albert Heijn feels a responsibility to help customers make healthier and more sustainable food choices. Besides the health of their customers being important, the company tries to lower the impact it has on the environment for example by minimizing (food)waste.

“Within the Beter eten strategy, Albert Heijn feels a responsibility to help customers make healthier and more sustainable food choices.”

During my studies, I learned a lot about the psychological mechanisms that underlie our decisions and choices concerning consumption and other economic behaviours. For instance, how to position a brand, how to influence the decisions customers make and helping them to decide what products to buy. What I wanted to bring to this internship was the following idea. What if, while persuading the consumer to buy a product, I also help the customer make healthier and more sustainable choices using the best communication tools available, while still keeping sales targets in mind.

Another project I work on is about packaging modifications. Albert Heijn continuously works on making the packaging of products more sustainable, for instance, by reducing the amount of packaging, making it recyclable or using recycled plastics. One of my tasks involves keeping an eye on the upcoming packaging modifications in the packaging expert team meetings. I then relay the gathered information to specialists responsible for the different types of communication. For example, in-store, online, or on paper. On these communication platforms we tell the customer what we did, why we did it, and that it is still the same product. For instance, with the packaging of our cheese slices. The new packaging was made of 60% less plastic and this saved 200.000 kilograms of plastic per year.

Other projects involve optimizing the Beter Eten website. Besides that, I also work on projects with partners such as Rode Kruis, Beter Leven Keurmerk, Game Changers, Resto VanHarte and Project Glimlach. Having contact with various enthusiastic and driven organizations is very insightful and is something that gives me a lot of energy.

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To date, my most memorable experience has been getting sent to take in-store pictures with a photographer and my internship supervisor. Unfortunately, the model didn’t care to join us, so I had to improvise and pull on my modelling boots and pose for the photos.

Why did you choose Albert Heijn (one of our local brands)?

I chose Albert Heijn, being the leading food retailer in the Netherlands, because I think they have a profound effect on a lot of people and on the environment. For example, with packaging modifications. One small change in packaging, can save thousands of tons of kilograms plastic per year. Besides that, sustainability and health are becoming more and more important in our world today and it is exciting to be on the frontline of this change. Lastly, changes that I have made are visible in stores a few weeks later and produce tangible effects. This is very rewarding as it means you can actually see that what you are doing.

Albert Heijn also has a pleasant work atmosphere. As an intern, you get a lot of responsibility, but the informality and openness allow me to easily ask questions and get any needed advice. Unfortunately, as with all things we are all stuck at home again, despite this I am very happy that I was able to get a taste of the working environment at the headquarters in Zaandam.

“As an intern, you get a lot of responsibility, but the informality and openness allow me to easily ask questions and get any needed advice.”

Are you eager to learn, innovative and motivated; then Albert Heijn is a great place to develop yourself. Albert Heijn is a great employer and time flies by. My internship spot for February is still available. If you are interested, please contact me or tim.de.jong@ah.nl.

Read how other interns have experienced their internship with Ahold Delhaize

We have listed all of their experiences below:

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