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Sweden: record sales of organic food

Pressmeddelande   •   Sep 09, 2014 09:14 CEST

Total sales of organic and KRAV-labelled products increased 30 per cent during the first half of 2014. An increased interest in healthy food and food not sprayed with chemical pesticides are some of the main reasons for the sales boom. The growth in sales so far this year in Sweden is unique compared to other countries with significant sales of organic products.

Sales of organic and KRAV-labelled foods have broken all records during the first half of 2014 according to a half-year report by the consulting company Ekoweb, commissioned by KRAV. The four largest retail chains all report sharp increases:

  • ICA: + 52%
  • Coop: + 37%
  • Axfood: + 44% (of which Axfood’s discount chain Willys increased by 57%)
  • Bergendahls: + 44%
  • Lidl: no data, but they are also experiencing a boom in sales of organic products

Representatives of the retail chains say that the main reason for the record sales is that consumer interest for organic and KRAV-labelled products is increasing. Furthermore, the increasing interest by consumers is taking place together with a general prevailing health trend, a growing interest in the origin of food and an increased significance of production without chemical pesticides.

– Never before have so many consumers together bought so much KRAV-labelled and organic food. 2014 will be a record year and the market share for organic products will rise a lot, says Lars Nellmer, CEO, KRAV.

Approximately 80 per cent of organic food products in the consumer sector are KRAV-labelled. The rest are certified according to EU regulations for organic food.

ICA is the largest player in the organic market, with over a quarter of the total sales of organic products. In the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2013, sales of organic products in the main range increased by 52 per cent.

– Interesting to note is that the second quarter is even better than the first, where sales increased by 62%. Thus, there is an upward trend. As well, in ICA's customer panels we see that more consumers think they will buy more organic food in the future, says Maria Smith, Senior Manager Environment & Social Responsibility at ICA.

There is also an upward trend in sales of organic products at Coop. Comparison of Coop’s sales of organic products between the first half of 2014 and the first half of 2013 shows an increase of 37 per cent. Coop is the retail chain with the highest organic share of total food sales.

– Our goal for 2014 is that the share of organic products will increase to 8%. And it looks very promising that we’ll reach it, despite the challenge that there are not always enough organic products to meet the demand. Our long-term goal for 2020 is 20% organic, says Louise König, Sustainability Manager at Coop.

Sales by Axfood, with stores such as Hemköp and Willys, increased 44 per cent during the first six months of the year. Sales were best for Axfood's discount chain Willys, where sales increased by 57 per cent.

– These sales figures are fantastic and we’re continuing to invest in organic products. Hemköp has an internal target of 6 per cent in 2014 and 10 per cent in 2017. We will continue to work with the product range and offer more organic products at lower prices, says Åsa Domeij, Head of Environmental Affairs at Axfood.

Bergendahls, with the City Gross stores, is also increasing its sales of organic products.

– During the period from January to August, sales of organic products increased by 44 per cent. We will increase our efforts with organic products, says Carola Grahn, Organic Products Manager at Bergendahls.

In the spring, Lidl invested heavily in Swedish organic and KRAV-labelled products in their milk and meat range. They also noticed the boom in sales of organic products.

– We launched several new organic products in the spring and there is a positive trend. For example, our new organic milk and ground beef are selling well as are our organic Fairtrade bananas. We continue to invest in organic products and will have more new products in the fall, says Katarina Rosenqvist, Manager Corporate Social Responsibility at Lidl.

If the sales pace does not slow down during the second half of 2014 it is hoped that the total market share of organic products will increase substantially. In 2013 the proportion was 3.8 per cent of the retail market, which is not especially large in international terms. In Denmark for example, the share was 8 per cent.

Although so far this year the increase appears to be greatest in Sweden, sales are increasing in several countries that have significant sales of organic products. In total, it is estimated that the world market for organic products in 2014 will increase by about 10 per cent.

Total sales increases (note: estimates and forecast, the data is preliminary) in other countries (to date in 2014):

  • Germany: the world’s second largest organic market, about 8-10% (greatest since 2011)
  • USA: about 10%
  • Denmark: 5-10% (preliminary)
  • England: about 1%

Sales of organic and KRAV-labelled products in previous years (note: whole year):

  • 2013: +13%
  • 2012: +6%
  • 2011: +11%
  • 2010: +11%
  • 2009: +18%

Read the full analysis in the half-year report from Ekoweb, also including sales information on KRAV-labelled meat and milk as well as contact information for all those interviewed: http://www.krav.se/sites/www.krav.se/files/halvarsrapport-till-krav-english.pdf

Contacts

KRAV: Lars Nellmer, CEO, 018 17 45 01

Ekoweb: Cecilia Ryegård, Editor, 0708-152599
ICA: Maria Smith, Senior Manager Environment & Social Responsibility, ICA, 08-561 505 23
Coop: Louise König, Sustainability Manager, Coop, 010-742 21 17, 070-635 89 99
Axfood: Ingmar Kroon, Manager Media Relations Axfood, 0702-89898
Bergendahls: Carola Grahn, Manager Organic Products, 0451-480 00
Lidl: Katarina Rosenqvist, Manager Corporate Social Responsibility, Lidl, 08-5555 7094
USA: Maggie McNeil, Director of Media Relations, mmcneil@ota.com
Germany, France, England: Kai Kreutzer, analyst, Bio-Market, kk@bio-markt.info
Denmark: Helene Birk, Export Manager, Organic Denmark, hbi@okologi.dk


Det här är KRAV:
Sveriges mest kända miljömärkning för mat, uppbyggd på ekologisk grund med särskilt höga krav på djuromsorg, hälsa, socialt ansvar och klimatpåverkan.

KRAV-märket är ett registrerat varumärke hos Patent- och registreringsverket. Registreringen ger KRAV ekonomisk förening ensamrätt till varumärket KRAV.


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