Retail Innovations 9: Global Retail Trends 2013 Part 3—Customization

Customization is now reaching critical mass. From breakfast cereals and decorated cakes to vitamins, sporting goods and luxury automobiles, customers can now create a product that is truly their own. Retailing and manufacturing was once predicated on scale, mass producing goods to achieve efficiency. Henry Ford once famously said, “You can have any color you want, as long as it’s black.” Customization has come a long way and is now an expectation for customers.

Let’s take a look at two cases on Customization from Retail Innovations 9.

mymuesli (Germany – Munich)


mymuesli’s business concept is simple, yet effective. Users may mix and customize their preferred muesli cereals online, which are either shipped to their homes or delivered to the nearest mymuesli store. Not only are mymuesli’s creations appealing, but so too are the organic, regional ingredients they are made from.

mymuesli’s founders learned the importance of customer involvement in the value chain very early. Along the lines of “create your own muesli,” customers may create their own favorite muesli combinations on the company’s web page. A muesli base can be enhanced with seeds, oats, nuts, or fruits according to one’s preferences and, according to mymuesli, up to 80 different muesli ingredients are currently available, amounting to 566 quadrillion possible mixes. Customers can even choose the mix’s name and have it printed on the packaging. Besides creating a muesli mix from scratch, customers can also choose from predefined mixes such as the Blaubeermüsli (blueberry muesli), the Bircher Müsli (bircher muesli) or the Gipfelstürmermüsli (summiteer’s muesli).


mymuesli does not only sell muesli, but has expanded its product portfolio to Muesli2go, Oh-Saft (orange juice), tea, and coffee beans. The product is always organic, and fair trade and regional products are preferred.

Although the online business still accounts for the major share of revenues, mymuesli’s bricks-and-mortar stores are also becoming increasingly significant for its business model. Customers can pick up their Click & Collect goods here to avoid shipping costs, linger in a store’s café or taste the latest muesli mixes created by the company.


Thrive Vitamins (UK – Durham)

Thrive Vitamins offers personalized vitamin plans, dispensed by robots in 28-day daily dose pouches, which are then delivered to the customer’s home.

Thrive 01

The UK vitamin market is currently underdeveloped when compared to markets such as the US. Thrive aims to make vitamin tablets a convenient part of the consumer’s daily routine by simplifying the dosage process and removing the need to visit a specialty retailer. surveys each customer individually using an online lifestyle survey to tailor a vitamin plan to the consumer’s own lifestyle, bringing pharmacy-assured service to the online marketplace. Using state of the art robotics, alongside the company’s professional experience in pharmacy and e-commerce, the vitamins are sealed in convenient teabag-sized daily pouches, each printed with the customer’s name and the contents. This changes the way in which consumers access this currently under-utilized sector of the health market, since it makes vitamins accessible and convenient for all types of consumers while also exploiting consumer interest in the personalization of products.

Thrive 02

Thrive has created an effective means of combining the current trend towards online shopping and convenience with modern technology in order to tap into what is currently an underdeveloped market in the UK.

It takes a product that is traditionally retailed in larger high street retail units and offers the customer individualized, separately packaged daily doses.

Thrive 03


Involving customers in product creation has become an increasingly popular trend in recent years. Retailers compete to capture share and grab attention by offering customers the ability to generate their own unique assortments. From charm bracelets to athletic shoes, the possibilities are endless and more and more businesses continue to adopt this “made-to-order” strategy.

About Retail Innovations 9

RI9 - imageRetail lnnovations 9 is J.C. Williams Group’s and Ebeltoft Group’s ( latest compilation of leading edge innovation, highlighting individual ideas and the key themes that emerge from studying the whole.

This edition features 54 of the best innovation cases from 23 countries and pinpoints the nine global innovation trends.

To obtain a copy of this publication, send an email with your name, company name, and telephone number to


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