How we improve search experience for the biggest grocery retailer in the Netherlands, Albert Heijn

EMEA Virtual

Apr 22, 2021, 4:00 – 5:00 PM


About this event

Whenever customers are grocery shopping, they start with searching for the products they like. This behavior isn’t any different for online grocery shopping. Albert Heijn is the biggest grocery retailer in the Netherlands, and our goal is to deliver the best search experience to our customers.

Our omnichannel customer technology platform is handling millions of search requests a day. Handling those requests doesn’t come without a challenge: our promise is to guarantee fast and relevant search results, to keep the customer happy, regardless the device. Last year due to Corona, online grocery shopping became popular as never before. We had to take significant steps to improve our search capacity and keep up with the demands.

To achieve this, we’ve challenged ourselves to deliver a future-proof and secure solution that can scale easily in matter of minutes rather than days. We at Albert Heijn love Kubernetes, and we want to apply GitOps practices, so our most obvious choice was migrating our current on-premise ElasticSearch cluster to Kubernetes using Elastic Cloud Kubernetes (ECK).

During this talk Arnold and Thom are taking you through their journey of migrating ElasticSearch 6.X from on-premise virtual machines to ElasticSearch 7.X pods running on an Azure AKS cluster.

Arnold will talk about why they chose to use the ECK Operator, and the benefits and challenges they ran into.

Thom will further explain the search use cases on that are implemented using ElasticSearch, diving deeper in some of the plugins that needed to be loaded with ElasticSearch.

Finally, Arnold and Thom will end the talk with some improvements that will be implemented in the coming periods. 


  • Thom Overhand

    Albert Heijn


  • Arnold van Wijnbergen


    Principal Consultant


  • Adrienne de Vries


    Community Manager

  • Carly Richmond


    Developer Advocate

  • David Pilato


    Developer Advocate

  • Naoise Rush


    Community Manager

  • Philipp Krenn


    Developer Advocate

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