Despite increasing competition from organic food in supermarkets, the business of traditional natural food stores is growing.
As the managing director of the Bundesverband naturkost naturwaren (BNN), elke roder, said before the biofach trade fair in nuremberg, the turnover of the organic specialist trade increased by 5.2 percent to 3.46 billion euros last year.
In the previous year, the around 2,500 natural food stores recorded only half as much growth. The world’s largest trade fair for natural foods and products and the natural cosmetics trade fair vivaness will take place from 13 to 15 June. Until 16. February instead.
the natural foods trade has regained its footing, and sales growth is stable again, roder said: "we see this as a strength of the specialist trade despite increasing competition."while supermarkets, discounters and drugstores include organic products in their assortment as an alternative to conventionally produced food, natural food stores offer "100 percent organic quality, consistent natural cosmetics and ecological cleaning products".
the industry is currently undergoing a transformation process towards larger areas, roder continued. 50 new stores were opened last year, compared to 101 closures. However, the specialist organic food trade continues to be dominated by owner-operated stores that have one or two branches but are now expanding. There are also a few chains. Another trend is the desire of many customers to avoid packaging. More and more organic retailers, for example, are filling dry products into containers that they have brought with them. In the so-called unpackaged stores, however, retailers would have to comply with hygiene regulations.
Many specialty retailers are also increasingly turning their stores into social reference points by adding a cafe or bistro, the manager explained. "this is where people meet who care about protecting the environment and climate and who want to contribute to making the world a better place through their purchases."
She sees the inclusion of organic products in supermarkets as a double-edged issue. On the one hand, consumers would be sensitized to the issue of sustainability and environmentally friendly production, but on the other hand, the wrong signal would be sent out that organic is cheap and food has a price that can be reduced at will. There is a danger that negative price competition will start, putting even more pressure on farmers.
roder is sure that even people on a budget can afford organic food: there are entry-level price brands, and the switch to organic food can also be made gradually. "if you buy the basic foodstuffs in organic quality, the price differences are not very great."if you cook a lot yourself and reduce the amount of food you eat outside the home, it also saves you money.