Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of EasyJet is planning to open a discount food chain selling no-brand-name packets and tinned foods in 2014.
The budget airline company has sparked interest in the media after registering easyfoodstore.com as a trademark and setting up a holding website.
Ioannou said his interest in the food retailing business comes after reading about the widespread use of food banks by the needy and his own experience with the "Food from the heart" charity via his philanthropic foundation in Cyprus.
"I have a feeling there is a gap in the food retail market – a niche below some of the current budget operators such as Aldi and Lidl," he said in a statement.
I am only working on launching one pilot store from an already acquired freehold property in South London. So this is a low risk experiment in a new market sector for easyGroup.
Low risk pilot store
“It should be seen in context of our recent acquisition of the old Metlife office block in Addiscombe Road, Croydon, UK, (a nine storey building) to house a number of "easy" branded businesses.”
He said the top three floors will be converted into an easyHotel, with a couple of the lower floors rented out as short term office space via easyOffice.co.uk with an option to use a further two floors to house an easyGym.
"The ground floor will provide a site for a low risk pilot store easyFoodstore. Concentrating on affordable, basic "no-brand-name" packet and tinned foods at bargain prices, easyFoodstore underlines the need for additional reliable day-to-day provision of basic foodstuffs. No other details have yet been decided,” he added.
If the pilot site shows there is a need for an easyfoodstore it could be rolled out on a wider basis from 2014 onwards using freehold retail sites.