Edeka planning organic markets

Germany's largest food retailer, Edeka, is planning its own organic markets. What is being discussed are shop-in-shops in large Edeka stores, but also separate stores under the "Naturkind" brand, wrote the well-connected in the industry journal Lebensmittel Zeitung on Friday. In addition, the group also wants to expand its own brand "Edeka Bio" with up to 440 seasonal items.

Organic farmers must, among other things, abstain from chemical synthetic pesticides, which is better for both nature and people's health. Animals must be given more space in the stables. But so far, only 5.5 percent of the food market in Germany is organic. If the largest food retailer extends its organic supply base, this could increase overall organic sales.

The Edeka headquarters in Hamburg has stated that the report would "not be confirmed" and "for competitive reasons" would not comment on it. But one thing is certain: Edeka already has two logos with the words "Naturkind for conscious enjoyment " registered at the Trademark Office. According to the newspaper, a test market is already under discussion in Hamburg. A few Edeka merchants have been operating organic markets for some time, but the new eco-offensive is being planned by the cooperative's headquarters in Hamburg.

If Edeka were to actually open separate organic stores nationwide, this could put pressure on, for example, the two top dogs in the organic food trade: Denn's and Alnatura. Alnatura apparently is viewing these plans as an opportunity, because since 2015 the Hessian organic chain has been selling some of their products in Edeka stores. "If Edeka wants to expand its distribution channels in the future, they will have the Alnatura range at their disposal," said Robert Poschacher, member of the Alnatura Executive Committee.

Specialist market leader Denn "is not really worried"
Denn CEO Joseph Nossol said it would "not really" worry him if competitors wanted to copy this retailer. Rather, it would encourage him to "continue to develop the organic retail trade together with our industry colleagues".

Once before a conventional grocery retailer failed with its own organic specialty stores: Rewe opened its first "Temma" branch in 2009. Last year, however, the Group closed 7 of the 9 stores, 2 of which it sold to a former Rewe manager. But that does not have to mean much for the chances of success of the Edeka plans: The Rewe concept was too vague, according to supermarket blog.

Reaction to Lidl's Bioland action
The Edeka plans are also a reaction to the fact that eco-market leader Aldi and the chains Lidl and Kaufland are relying more and more on organic products. Lidl, for example, is currently running a large-scale marketing campaign, because a large part of its organic label is currently being switched to goods with the logo of organic farmers' association Bioland.

The conventional food retailing currently sells most of the organic products in Germany: Around 60 percent of the organic sales in 2018 were done here, said the Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft (BÖLW) in February. Edeka alone is responsible for 11 percent, according to Lebensmittel Zeitung.

Source: TAZ

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