Organic Products in Italian Supermarkets
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
Starting with Coop and Esselunga, today all large distributing chains have room for organic products or even their own product lines. There are still those main two players, Coop and Esselunga. Coop has been in business for a long time and has followed its strategy. Its first step was taken in 1993, when organic fruit and vegetables were introduced in all supermarkets in Veneto, reports Bioagricultura Notizie.
In 1999, Esselunga has launched “Esselunga Bio”, the first product line of a distributing chain in Italy dedicated to organic. The line was mainly launched because of the growing demand for food security. In 2000, private organic brands entered the market; Coop started its line Bio-Logico and was followed by Conad, Carefour and Gruppo Pam. In 2001, Crai, Despar, Rewe Italia and Selex entered the market, followed by Auchan the following year. In 2004 and 2005, the market cooled off. The sales crisis touched the food sector for the first time. The large distributors started promotion campaigns and special offers. Only well-selling and cost-effective products stayed in the shelves. Esselunga cut down their offer from 500 to 320 items, Conad from 50 to 35, Gruppo Pam from 42 to 12. The other chains kept their product range. Especially Coop with over 300 organic products set a clear sign. To the first national distributing group with a turnover of 11 billion in 2005, organic is not the answer to a fashion phenomena but a precise choice for about six million people. As Fabrizio Ceccarelli, responsible for Bio-Logico Coop, states that Coop customers mainly buy organic products of this brand – a share of over 50 % of the total organic purchases. This product line is the one finding the most attention, followed by Eco-logico Coop and Solidal Coop. The 325 organic products of Coop had a turnover of about 80 million euro in 2005. Mainly fruit and vegetables (35 – 40 %) were of interest, but also organic meat, other animal products like eggs, milk and dairy products.
According to the latest numbers of the research institute Iri, the total sales of organic in the sector of food and beverage is stabile at 1.3 %, but fell from 331 million Euro in 2004 to 320 million in 2005.