The first organic brand within the Swiss retail trade is celebrating a milestone birthday: In 1993, Coop launched the Coop Naturaplan brand in collaboration with Bio Suisse. For three decades, Coop has been committed to environmentally and animal-friendly products and sustainable projects under this own brand. In this anniversary year, customers can expect novelties, promotions and surprises, because they have contributed significantly to the success story.
In the 1990s, Coop pursued a clear vision: environmentally and animal-friendly food should be easily accessible to everyone. The official starting shot for this came with the signing of the strategic partnership with Bio Suisse in 1993 and the market launch of Coop Naturaplan. Coop positions itself as a pioneer in the promotion of organic consumption and the success story takes its course. From the beginning, Naturaplan has relied on the Knospe from Bio Suisse and thus on the strict Knospe standards, which are among the highest organic standards in the world. "Coop and Bio Suisse have succeeded in leading organic farming out of its niche together. Without Coop's support, an organic offering of this breadth would hardly have been possible," Urs Brändli, president of Bio Suisse, explains.
Today, Naturaplan is the largest organic brand in the Swiss retail trade and offers the highest organic quality at fair prices. The products meet the very highest standards in terms of quality and taste and regularly receive awards for this. "Naturaplan owes its success to the close cooperation with Bio Suisse, the commitment of organic farmers and, crucially, to our loyal customers," says Philipp Wyss, CEO of Coop. The first weeks of the new year show further growth in demand for the Naturaplan range.
Anniversary year: focus on the customer
In this anniversary year, customers can look forward to numerous attractive offers and 200 new products in the Naturaplan range. In addition, various surprises await them. Coop restaurants are offering anniversary menus and Coop's commitment to the organic sector is highlighted in the Coop newspaper and via social media. Reports and background information on individual productions and projects round off the information on offer. Finally, the Naturaplan anniversary celebrations can be experienced in all sales outlets.
Sustainable pioneering work
Hard to imagine from today's perspective, the launch of an organic brand 30 years ago was anything but easy. There was a great deal of public doubt about the possible triumph of the organic movement. Coop is not deterred by this and sticks to its Naturaplan vision. It soon became clear that the products and the organic farming behind them were well received. The first Naturaplan products included yogurts, Bündner Bergkäse and 5-grain flakes. With the first retail brand for foodstuffs from organic farming, Coop opens up a large market for these products, which is continually expanded from then on. Thanks not least to this pioneering achievement, the number of Swiss organic farms has increased more than fivefold since 1993.
However, the promotion of organic farming does not take place solely through the sale of products. Since 1997, Coop has supported the work of the FiBL Research Institute of Organic Agriculture as part of a close cooperation. "Through this, the development of varieties specifically suited to organic farming, animal welfare, and the improvement of cultivation methods and product quality are being promoted. The aim is to stay 'one step ahead' together with organic farming," says Prof. Dr. Knut Schmidtke, Director of FiBL.
With the Coop Fund for Sustainability, launched in 2003, Coop also supports projects to promote sustainability and organic research to the tune of 16.5 million Swiss francs annually. In total, Coop has already invested over 300 million.
Largest organic assortment in Swiss retail trade
In the current range at Coop, there is hardly a food product that is not available in organic quality. Since 2013, numerous Swiss branded products in Knospe quality have also been offered in dual branding with Naturaplan, for example from Rivella or Zweifel. The range also includes organic products from the mountains under the Pro Montagna label, old varieties under the ProSpecieRara brand, and biodynamic Demeter articles.
With a total of 8,700 organic products, including 5,000 organic foods and 3,800 products with the Bio Suisse bud, Coop currently offers the largest organic assortment in Swiss retailing. 54 percent of fresh bread, 46 percent of pasteurized milk and 43 percent of raw eggs are certified with the Bio Suisse bud.
Assortment development and promotion of organic farming
The development of the product ranges, with innovative new products, is just as much a focus of the Coop Naturaplan brand as the sustainable support of numerous projects in organic farming. This is aimed at conservation of natural resources, healthy food and a way to offer many farming families a better future. The Naturaplan product range is not only to be expanded, but optimized as well. By the end of 2025, for example, the focus will be on implementing the nutritional requirements of the updated Naturaplan guidelines. Among other things, this provides for a reduction in salt and sugar, as well as the use of high-quality fats and whole grains in favor of the amount of dietary fiber. In this way, Coop, as an organic pioneer and cooperative, continues to put its heart and soul into the high standard of the organic bud and thus assumes responsibility towards humans, animals and nature.
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