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Proximity to production, selection, effective communication

The three winning ingredients for the success of organic fruit and vegetables

The workshop organized as part of the activities of the European project It's Bio co-financed by Aop Gruppo Vi.Va and, in particular, by Almaverde Bio, Canova and Apofruit gave numerous ideas for discussion and in-depth analysis on the strategic aspects that give value to organic in fruit and vegetables .

In the last 10 years (from 2012 to 2023) the penetration of organic has reached 90% of Italian families, going from 13 to 23 million purchasing families. According to Nomisma data, presented at the last edition of Marca, the overall market for organic products reached €5,754 million (a.y. July 23), marking a +7% in value in home consumption (€4,207 million) and €1,268 million € (+18%) in away from home. On the contrary, in the period January - September 2023, according to CSO Italy data, sales of organic fruit and vegetables reached just under €520 million, marking a +2% in value and -7% in volume compared to 2022.

Despite the slight countertrend in food in general, organic fruit and vegetables recorded a contraction in consumption. The 2024 consumption trend, as reported by the Coop Winter Report, sees a marked improvement in the propensity to purchase fruit and vegetables with 45% of the sample of consumers who will be guided in their 2024 purchase by the choice of healthy products. Well-being and respect for the environment are the two main drivers for purchases of organic fruit and vegetables, according to data presented by Claudio Scalise of SGMARKETING.

The research presented by SGMARKETING on the propensity to purchase organic products by Italian large-scale retail trade generally highlights a defensive perception on the part of the buyers interviewed who see the sector still in difficulty even in the medium term. Given this experience, a segmentation of the category is highlighted with the presence of 3 different consumer groups, heavy, medium and light consumers, towards which differentiated sales policies must be developed.

In particular, some strategies emerge from the research that the brands are implementing to enhance organic products in their offer, to relaunch consumption of the category. Among the main ones we highlight: the rethinking of the exhibition layout, the reorganization of the assortment giving greater emphasis to seasonal products, the reorganization of the department's communication to better highlight the value of organic products, the development of MDD and the reorganization of promotions.

These indications strengthen the choice of the Apofruit Group which, as highlighted by General Director Ernesto Fornari, has organic agriculture in its DNA. Apofruit started with organic production in 1993, founded Canova, the company specializing in organic fruit and vegetables, in 1997 and finally created, in 2000, the Almaverde Bio brand, leader in Italian organic produce.

The heart of the success of the Apofruit organic ecosystem is Canova, a highly specialized company which is certainly unique in Italy and has 4 dedicated Apofruit factories, a technological park for the processing of cutting-edge products. Numerous refrigerated cells and processing areas, 4 partners with operating platforms distributed throughout the national territory by O.P. Terra di Bari (table grapes), GULLINO (apples, kiwis), COOP. SOLE (strawberries, melons, salads), TERRE DELL'ETRURIA (vegetables).

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