Changes in Organic Sales Channels in Spain

Posted on Jan 4, 2019 in Marketing y Estrategias bio, Consumidor Ecológico, Consumo Ecológico, , Distribuidores ecológicos

Perhaps the greatest impact in the national sector is taking place in the sales area.

Several recently published reports analyzing the distribution of market share identify the existence of two major channels; the traditional independent or specialized channel and conventional or modern trade channel.

Changes in the specialized distribution channel

An evolution of sales formats has been identified in specialized channel. The traditional sales format of mainly small specialized stores (herbalists and ecoshops) is evolving towards bigger organic stores, with a greater product offering.

The size of a specialized store is increasing from a format of small stores with about 100 square meters to one with an average of 200-250 square meters of sales area. However, there are exceptions, with stores of up to 800 square meters.

The organic assortment in a large specialized store can be between 3,000-4,000 products on average, and about 1,000-1,500 in small stores.

The main way to achieve differentiation is via specialization with high product quality and range. In these formats, the categories that stand out the most are fresh produce, fruit, vegetables, bulk, dairy and meat.

According to the different reports, carried out by different sources, the consumption share of this channel varies between 30% and 45%.


Growth of independent specialized chains and entry of international organizations

In the last two years there has been notable growth in the leading independent organic chains due to their increase in the number of stores. Their expansion strategies are focused on large cities and tourist areas with the aim of catering for foreign customers who constitute an important target of organic products.

Besides national initiatives, international bio chains are gaining strength and the introduction of new international independent retailers in Spain is expected in the short-term.

Modern Trade

While specialized independent retail is growing, modern trade has also shown itself to be committed to increasing the offer and assortment of organic products on its shelves. In the last two years the vast majority of supermarket chains have implemented the organic category, joining hypermarkets and hard-discount stores.

The pioneers Aldi and Lidl are continually innovating and incorporating new organic products. El Corte Inglés started to implement Biosfera in their department stores in 2017. Biosfera is the new specialized commercial format placed in its supermarkets putting the full organic assortment together in a differentiated section.

In recent years, supermarkets have also begun to offer a limited range of organic products including fruit and vegetables. Some examples are Dia and Consum, among others.

However, the most innovative organization in the national market regarding the bio category is Carrefour, following the group’s strategy implemented in France. In 2017, Carrefour introduced 1,500 bio products in their new convenience supermarket concept; Carrefour Market. They are also deploying a new specialized channel, Carrefour Bio, which already has two stores in Madrid. Company sources recently announced that the organic category already represents 1.5% of the company’s turnover with a year-on-year growth of 35%