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Aldi, Rewe and Co. have already responded

Lidl challenges competitors with organic-offensive

In the future, Lidl will be able to label its own brand with the Bioland seal. As early as October last year the company, which belongs to the Schwarz Group, had announced a cooperation with cultivation association Bioland. As reported in the "Lebensmittelzeitung", the first dairy products and herbs will be adorned with the label.

The announcement has triggered violent reactions among Lidl's competitors.

Aldi, Rewe and others start organic advertising offensive
The conversion of Lidl own brand of "Bio Organic" to Bioland labelled products unsettled the competition at the beginning of this year. As reported by LZ, Aldi Nord and Süd have started a massive print advertising campaing for their organic assortment. Tegut, Edeka, Rewe and Penny have taken similar measures.

Still, Lidl is bounding ahead. Not only is it taking up the mantle of pioneer with the current conversion to the higher-quality organic seal, but also in regard to marketing, the discounter is not easily shaked by its competitors. Several posters, sporting the slogan "Good. Better. Bioland", various radio commercials, as well as five elaborately produced television commercials are only a part of Lidl's sales strategy.

Organic industry on high alert
While Lidl is likely to be pleased with rising sales figures, many specialist retailers and suppliers, loyal to the trade, fear additional price pressures. According to LZ, the industry is suspicously looking at the pricing policy of the discounter.

There are currently no indications of price differentiation on the part of Lidl. According to a supplier, they orient themselves "like everyone else in food retailing, at the low Aldi prices". In addition to all this, Lidl has promised ... "not to market Bioland products according to pricing, but according to the added value of the commodity".

The current developments show that consumers are more and more often choosing organic products. Tegut purchasing manager Robert Schweininger also sees the increasingly important role of organic food within discounting: "The cooperation between organic companies and discounters shows that more consumers are becoming more bio-oriented and the discussion about organic quality is intensifying."


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