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Germany: Research on Organic Supermarkets 2017

You pay 1,47 Euros for potatoes in an organic supermarket - or more than twice as much. There are significant price differences between the different stores. As regards the service, all companies are on a good or very good level. This is shown in the current research of the German Institute for Service-Quality (DISQ), which studied six organic supermarket chains on behalf of the news channel n-tv.

Price comparison recommended for organic products as well
Customers could save more than 18 percent on average when shopping at cheaper organic supermarkets. This result is based on a sample shopping cart with 16 selected items. In some cases more than 50 percent can be saved. The differences are especially big for fruits and vegetables, while products like butter or chocolate are mostly the same. What's striking: Not all store locations of one chain will have the same prices. The one item with the biggest price gap - a kilogram of bio apples (2,29 Euro and 4,79 Euro) - was purchased at two different store locations of the same chain.

Full Range of Organic
All these organic chains did well with their very extensive range of products - starting from fruit and vegetables, dairy products ans even drugstore items. All the stores furthermore offer vegan, lactose and gluten free products. Service counters for cheese can be found in almost all of the stores. Counters for baked goods or meats and deli meats are less popular in the bio supermarkets.

Strong Service
Friendly and competent employees can be found in all of the stores. Questions about the ingredients are answered in a detailed manner; the employees are well informed about the organic certificates as well and can give advice. Questions about vegan foods are a little more difficult though: In every third conversation, the customer does not receive the full information on vegan binding agents; in two cases there was a misinformation about apple juice generally being vegan. However, in the production process of "conventional" juices, they are often filtered with gelatin.

Bio-supermarkets have a diverse range and very friendly service. And although organic products are generally more expensive, if there are a number of stores in the area, the comparison of prices is often worth the time.

The best companies
Test winner is the Alnatura Super Natur Markt which received the quality evaluation "excellent". This chain is the cheapest on average, the shopping cart is about 18 percent less expensive than when buying from the most expensive vendor. The service wins customers over with friendly and competent employees, who are able to answer questions fully and comprehensively. The product range is very divers; seven out of the ten examined stores also have a service counter for baked goods. The appealing design of the stores is also part of the reason they won.

Ebl Naturkost came in on second place (quality evaluation: "good"). The service in this store was the test winner, with excellent qualifications. The expert-employees won the researchers over with individual advice and are helpful and friendly - even when there are complaints. Another strength is the wide product range. In all stores that were looked into, there were service counters for cheese as well as (deli) meats. The average shopping cart was among the three cheapest in this test.

The third place was taken by Denn's Biomarkt ("good"). In price analysis they came in second, especially products for the daily life, such as milk, butter and eggs are especially cheap here. The design of the stores is very appealing. Clerks are motivated and ready to help, taking enough time for customer questions. Waiting times at the check-out counters are also short and part of the good reviews of the service.

The German Institute for Service-Quality examined six bio supermarket chains (full-range providers), which each have at least 25 stores in all over Germany. Service quality was measured with ten covert visits (mystery-tests) in different locations of each company. During these visits they tested the range of products, competence and friendliness of employees, waiting times as well as quality of the store environment. Overall, 60 service contacts were taken into consideration for the evaluation. Prices were compared by using a sample shopping cart with 16 specific organic products. The analysis was conducted in cooperation with the Preiszeiger Wirtschaftsinformationsdienst.

Source: disq.de

Publication date: 9/12/2017


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