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Supermarket on rails

"Meals on wheels" takes on a completely new meaning at REWE's trade fair appearance at the Green Week. To the left and right of the central aisle in the REWE train between Halls 1 and 4, shelves neatly filled with goods are lined up. Just like in the store, visitors are first guided through the fruit and vegetable section before they reach the refrigerated shelves.

Regional products from Hesse

What is striking is that the majority of the products come from Hessian producers. More than 600 are organized in the marketing company Gutes aus Hessen, with which REWE works closely. "We support local agriculture with our focus on regional foods," says Katrin Allstädt, Press Officer Region Mitte at REWE Markt GmbH.

While REWE presents the train at IGW as an innovative retail concept, but does not sell food, it was actually in action in Hesse last year. It made stops at stations in Frankfurt am Main, Darmstadt, Giessen, Kassel, Wiesbaden and Fulda. Customers were able to do their shopping in the 150-meter-long train with a full range of products. 180 REWE trainees managed the project.

From art to consumption

"The idea came about after we set up a full supermarket in the neo-baroque Staatstheater five years ago at the Wiesbaden Biennale on the theme of 'What comes after the sale of art?'" explains Katrin Allstädt. REWE took the idea further and found cooperation partners in Deutsche Bahn and FAIR TRADE for its supermarket on rails.

The REWE bus, which is parked right next to the tracks, is also on the road with a full range of products. Starting in the spring, it will serve rural areas around Kassel without a supermarket of their own, giving people the opportunity to shop at fixed times. "The bus is planned as a pilot project for two years. It also fulfills a social function, as villagers can meet each other while shopping," says Katrin Allstädt.

REWE is showing even more commitment to regionalism in Hall 3.2, with a model of a sustainable supermarket in Wiesbaden showing how food production can take place directly on site: On the upper floor, perch are bred in a fish farm. Their excrement serves as fertilizer for basil beds on the roof, where herbs mature in pots ready for sale. Food can hardly be produced more locally.

Visitors will find the Rewe train on the open-air site between Halls 1 and 4.

A woman with products in a basket and behind her is a train from REWE