Pop-up store with beer grain bread wins first prize

Will visitors to the MegaStores shopping centre soon be ordering bread made from grains remaining after beer brewing? A jury with representatives of MegaStores was quite impressed by this green shop concept, the brainchild of students in the Consultancy & Change minor programme.

Feel like eating some beer grain bread? What kind of bread? “Beer grains are a protein-rich beer brewing residue,” explains Eva Ballieux, Climate & Management student. “They are used as cattle feed or are discarded, but can also be used to bake bread.” Ballieux learned about this from a TV show. When she had to come up with an idea for the Advice & Change minor for a green pop-up store, she remembered this.

Shop concept

The assignment was to prepare an action plain for a pop-up store in MegaStores. This shopping centre located next to The Hague University of Applied Sciences main campus has been struggling with occupancy rates. The Innovation Networks research group asked fifteen interdisciplinary student groups from the Advice & Change minor to develop a shop concept for MegaStores.


Ballieux and fellow students Anie Azatjan and Niels Verbree worked as a team. “In my Climate & Management degree programme, I’ve spent countless hours on the circular economy. This made it easier for me to come up with an original idea. I noticed that students from other degree programmes struggled with genuine sustainability and the appearance of sustainability. It turned out that I had more knowledge about this than they did.”


But Ballieux had much to learn in another area. “Retail is a completely different subject than that of my degree programme,” she says. “I had to work with a commercial client, while my study programme is oriented towards the government. I learned that appearance and look & feel are very important. You can’t just open a pop-up store and expect people to come.”


The group of students spent much time thinking about how to make the concept appealing and attract people to the store. Ballieux explains, “Our idea was to bake the beer grain bread ourselves in the pop-up store and to hold workshops for kids and adults. This was also intended as a way to inform adults about the circular economy.”


The five best working groups presented their idea to a jury on 17 January. Jury members Anja Overdiek, from The Hague University of Applied Sciences, and Isabel van de Maas and Marcel van Steck from the project developer Bright! assessed the plans. They considered the ecological footprint, originality, whether the idea was suitable for MegaStores and whether it was based on an interesting business model.


Broodbrouwers, which is what Ballieux’s group called itself, won first prize. Whether the pop-up store will become a reality is still uncertain. “The transition of our shopping centre to a more sustainable centre cannot be accomplished in one step and with the current customer groups. We are currently considering a layout with various squares, one of them being 100% ‘green’,” says Isabel van de Maas, Marketing Manager at Megastores.