The organic retail industry is facing several challenges that need to be addressed to adapt to the needs of a rapidly-changing market.
Specialist organic stores, the major sales channel for these products, are diversifying into new sales formats, as well as concepts such as 'zero-waste' shops, local sourcing, loose product sales, and so forth.
Buyers of organic products are gradually aligning their requirements with modern trends. Retail channels must be ready to meet these needs while developing their online presence.
Given these substantial changes, Natexpo 2019 is offering tangible solutions to retail players by organising talks and roundtable sessions.
It has also lined up Retail Expert – a forum that will connect retailers to specialists for business advice.
The Evolving Organic Consumer And Transformation Of Retail
Around 1,100 suppliers will attend Natexpo 2019, illustrating the major changes underway in the organic sector.
The first stakeholders affected by this change are retail professionals, who constantly seek to understand, sense and adapt to consumer expectations.
At the Organic Trends Forum, Sauveur Fernandez from Econovateur will offer an overview on the subject in his talk entitled 'Transformation of retail: consequences for organic' on 20 October at 2:00 pm, 21 October at 5:30 pm, and 22 October at 3:00 pm.
Factors Behind The Change
Increasingly well-informed organic consumers have started to specify and buy what they believe in.
For example, the modern customer may be more sensitive to product origin, or have a preference for locally-sourced goods. Some are health-conscious, while others are concerned about the well-being of producers.
Sessions by François Labbaye, the CEO of Bio Développement, will give a few indications on these trends.
Labbaye will front two presentations on the topic, 'Organic store shoppers; key pointers and expectations, when B.I.E.N. comes into play' and 'Organic store shoppers, changes underway', on 21 October.
His third talk, on 22 October at 10:00 am, 'Organic store shoppers: how to move forward with and towards them', will complete this analysis.
Matters related to sourcing will be explored in the talk 'Fairtrade: the future of organic?' on 20 October at 2:00 pm and 21 October at 2:00 pm, by Biopartenaire and Synadis Bio.
Another topical subject on which organic stores have room for improvement is the harnessing digital technology for communication and sales.
Journalist and communications consultant, Alice Roznowiev, will discuss 'The use of social media by a specialist organic shop' on 20 October at 3:00 pm and 21 October at 3:00 pm at the Natexbio Forum.
Tancrède du Réau from Open Digital will enlighten retailers on the topic of 'Harnessing data in an organic shop' on 20 October and 21 October at 11:00 am.
Demand For Loose Goods
Food items such as cereals, rice, and pasta have been available in a loose format for many years in specialist organic stores. This trend is now picking up in supermarkets, but loose goods also have their share of pain points.
Firstly, consumers are regularly confronted with their desired product being out of stock, both in supermarkets and in specialist shops.
Secondly, the range of organic goods is not yet comprehensive enough to establish an exclusive organic shop selling loose goods.
This is the main reason why shops offer a range that combines organic and traditionally- or sustainably-produced goods.
To offer insight into these issues, Célia Rennesson from Réseau Vrac will present at the Organic Trends Forum on 20 October at 4:00 pm, 21 October at 2:30 pm, and 22nd October at 2:00 pm in a talk entitled 'Loose goods and organic'.
Natexpo's speed dating forum, Retail Expert, will enable current or future retailers to connect with several retail experts and discuss the subject of loose goods.
On the exhibitor side, HL Display France will present innovative or sustainable merchandising solutions for loose goods.
The Belgian firm Zero Waste Dispenser will explain the many ways of selling plastic-free, using stainless steel or glass.
Elsewhere, Jean Bouteille will showcase solutions for loose goods in liquid form, such as fountains for drinks and reusable or deposit-return bottles, while Belgian firm Be-Fre will highlight the importance of reusable and eco-friendly bags.
Growth In Local Sourcing
It can be safely said that locally-produced goods are gaining importance in organic shops, and customers are responsive to them.
In the same way, the availability and quality of local products are improving, which is good news for the local economy as well as consumers.
The Organic Trends Forum will unveil the findings of the new Ecozept survey on 21 October at 11:30 am.
The study was conducted across 106 specialist organic shops in 12 French regions to gauge the role of local products in organic retail.
Retail Expert Service
The Retail Expert space will provide an opportunity for aspiring retailers to meet experts that have set up their own stores.
ALV will offer advice for all stages in establishing a shop, beginning with the choice of premises to funding, planning, fitting, promotion on point-of-sale, etc.
Other participants include retail technology company HMY and La Nef, a pioneer in financial solutions.
To discover the complete list of exhibitors, click here.
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