Germany: Alnatura back on growth track
by Susanne Gschwind (comments: 0)
After the discontinuation of Alnatura products at the German drugstore chain dm had led to significantly lower sales increases in recent years, the German trading company Alnatura is back on course for growth. In addition to current figures, targets for the coming year were presented at the annual press conference.
Sales up by 6.8%
Alnatura closed the 2017/2018 financial year, which ended on 30 September, with an increase in sales of 6.8%. As Alnatura announced at the annual press conference in Frankfurt, net sales in the past fiscal year amounted to 822 million euros. By way of comparison: In the previous year, sales had grown by one percent to 770 million Euro. Following the dm dump, the company “succeeded in realigning Alnatura together with our manufacturers and trading partners, but above all with our employees,” said founder and managing director Götz Rehn.
In 2017, France generated organic sales of around 8.3 bn euros. However, as conventional retailers are pushing their organic growth, the specialist trade is being threatened. But new trends also create new opportunities.
Markets as growth drivers
According to Managing Director Rüdiger Kasch, the opening of eight new branches in or near major German cities contributed to the positive development. In total, the number of stores grew by five to 132. Götz Rehn was also "very satisfied" with the like-for-like sales. However, he did not give any concrete figures. The square metre output, however, was at the "level of the big players". The trading company is now represented in 13 German federal states. Further store openings are already planned for the end of 2018/2019, for example in Freiburg. The largest Alnatura store to date with 900 square meters will open here on 6th December.
Focus on sustainable packaging
Next year, Alnatura plans to completely ban plastic knot bags for fruit and vegetables from all its stores and is currently testing alternative packaging for apples (cardboard instead of bags) as well as returnable instead of disposable coffee cups and lightweight glass bottles for lemon and lime juice. By mid-2019, the packaging foils for Alnatura chocolates are also to be converted from aluminum foil to wood fiber foil, enabling the company to save six tons of aluminum foil per year, according to its own figures. Götz Rehn was also positive about the abolition of the offer flyer at the beginning of the year, which will save Alnatura 56 tons of paper and 5.6 tons of Co2 per week. According to Götz Rehn, the switch to digital offers doesn’t have a negative impact.
Alnatura products are now also available in France. According to the company, over 400 Alnatura brand articles are listed in around 30 stores of the supermarket and supermarket chain Supermarchés Match.
Alnatura products in 12,300 stores throughout Europe
In addition to its own markets, Alnatura products are sold by 19 trading partners in around 12,300 stores in Germany and abroad, with Edeka Götz Rehn as the largest partner. In France, too, where Alnatura was able to win two trading partners with Supermarchés Match and Cora, the range is "extremely well received", according to Rehn, who expects a further positive development. Products from the Hessian trading company are now available in a total of 14 European countries.
Alnatura Production and Trade GmbH continues to grow with its product range and distribution facilities: At the end of the past fiscal year, the company had more than 3,000 employees for the first time - 134 more than in the previous year. Next year, the company will move its headquarters from Bickenbach to Darmstadt.
Ecological and social commitment
Like social involvement, for example in the integration of fugitives, initiatives to promote organic farming have traditionally played an important role for Alnatura. Whether it's supporting the seed fund, working for fair prices for dairy farmers or its own organic farmers' initiative, a financial support programme to help farmers convert to organic farming.