Organic boost in Sweden – more suppliers needed

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All Swedish food retailers reports new record levels for organic sales. The largest is yet Coop – while Lidl is growing most in percentage terms.
“We believe that organics will continue to increase in 2016. There is no doubt that we need more organic producers in Sweden to be able to respond to customers’ wishes,” says Coop’s sustainability director Louise König.


Largest share in the industry is found at Coop. The share of sales in 2015 amounted to 9.2 percent. An increase of 19.4 percent since 2014 when Coop’s organic share was 7.7 percent – the highest in the industry. This year’s organic rocket is Coop’s organic bananas.

“We are proud and happy to put another record for organic sales despite our already high proportion. Good products, attractive offers, strong demand and Coop’s ever growing organic range delivers results. It’s incredibly fun to see that the power of our work makes a difference to customers, suppliers and the environment, “says Coop’s sustainability director Louise König.

In 2015, Coop increased the number of organic food items by 17.4 percent. Its own brand Coop Änglamark, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary, is the strongest organic and eco-labeled brand and consists of about 400 different products.
“With our focus on this week’s eco, we’ve made it even easier to choose the organic alternativ by every week and to lower the price significantly in a number of organic products,” continued Louise König.

 

Lidl shows an increase in sales of organic products by 60 percent. The majority comes from fruits and vegetables, where ecologically now accounts for over 10 percent of sales. The focus on organic products is seen by Lidl as one of the key initiatives in the coming years.

“Today represents eco products over 5 percent of the total number of articles. This is twice the previous year and we expect to double the number of eco-articles also in 2016, “says Katarina Rosenqvist, Sustainability Manager Lidl Sweden.

In terms of turnover organic sales has not more than 2.4 percent of food sales, and Katarina Rosenqvist see that there is still room for more growth.

“We’re barely out of the starting blocks and with a 60 percent increase, we are pleased and proud that it goes in the right direction. In 2016 we aim to have at least one organic option within each relevant product category. We are getting a good basic range, the next step is to get even better boost sales, “says Katarina Rosenqvist.

Bergendahls Food store chains City Gross, ECO, Matrebellerna and Matöppet also reports a strong percentage growth. Sales of organic food in Bergendahls increased in 2015 by 52 percent to a share of 5.3 percent. In 2014 the increase was 44 percent. The volume of organic foods grew more than the value of sales. But there are supply issues.

”We see a great potential and has KRAV certified all the meat departments at City Gross to be ready when the supply increases,” says Mats Sjödahl, purchasing director at Bergendahls Food.
Market leader ICA’s sales of organic products increased by 47 percent during the year. Sales of ICA’s own organic line, I love eco, increased during the same period by 72 percent.

The total share of sales of organic now accounts for 4.8 percent. The major products in the organic range is still bananas and milk, but also organic carrots are popular among customers.

“We are broadening our own range and in the spring we will launch several exciting news. Many stores have also actively drawn attention to the organic range and brought in locally produced organic products in their own product range which is positive, “says Anders Svensson, CEO of ICA Sweden.