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Germany: sales in the specialised organic retail grows to 3.29 billion euros
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Sales are growing again - a modern specialized organic shop in Germany. Photo © Karin Heinze
According to the German organic trade association BNN sales in specialized organic food trade achieved sales of 3.29 billion euros in 2017, which corresponds to an increase of around 2.5 percent. Despite a decline in revenue growth compared to 2016 (5.6 percent), the industry is optimistic about the future. Sales figures in the last quarter 2017 were increasing again as well as the demand for organic products.
Elke Röder, managing director of the Federal Association of Natural Food Natural Products (BNN) e.V., which represents the specialized trade in organic food says: "Last year, we saw a remarkable development in conventional food retailing. On the one hand, many discounters and supermarkets have expanded their organic range. On the other hand, there has been a lot of advertising and marketing efforts from the traditonal retail in order to increase the communication of these organic components in the product range."
Dilemma of the big retailers and discounters
These efforts express the dilemma to which the big retailers are moving. After all, organic is only a small part of the product range at REWE, Aldi, Lidl and Co, Ms Röder notes. "If the demand for organic food continues - and will become so - then these small organic offers in the product range will no longer be able to satisfy customers' demands in the long term. The conventional can jump on the megatrend organic, but they can not capture it. And the organic originals continue to grow stably", she comments.
Another factor in favor of the stability of the specialized organic trade is that, with around 2,500 sales outlets throughout Germany, the market power of conventional food retailers and drugstores (around 40,000 shops) has been successfully resisted for decades. At the same time, the number of customers who use this alternative and shop in the health food store is growing. According to statistics (statista.com) in 2017, there were around 12.73 million people in the German population, for whom households bought food in health food stores. In 2016 there were still 12.11 million.
The current figures of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture also speak in favor of this development: two-thirds of respondents (66%) expect the animal welfare, for 62 %, the quality of the products is very important. For almost half of the consumers (48%) environmentally friendly production methods are important. But also politics must support this trend: The upcoming federal government must promote sustainability.