Italian company Natplus has expanded its presence in the organic food retail segment by acquiring the MelaVerdeBio banner.
Natplus, which operates the NaturPlus chain, comprising 24 stores, now plans to further expand its network with the acquisition of 16 MelaVerdeBio stores.
In a statement, Natplus said it plans to continue to develop synergies between the online channel and its physical stores. One of the initiatives will be to enable stores to stimulate sales by providing a discount code to customers for the naturplus.it website.
MelaVerdeBio founders Claudia Catacchio and Cristian Liguor will continue to work at the newly-merged group.
According to Natplus founder and director genera Mauro Bruno, the acquisition will provide numerous advantages, such as centralised marketing, use state-of-the-art management software, and the marketing of 200 exclusive products under the NaturPlus private label brand, reports local portal Gdonews.
In addition, the group's central purchasing unit will allow for delivery in 24/48 hours of more than 3,000 products.
The Italian organic food retail market consists of over 1,200 specialised stores as well as a growing presence in the large-scale retail trade.
Organic food sales in the large-scale retail channel in Italy are worth €1.56 million, up 4.5% compared to one year ago, according to data from Nielsen and AssoBio, the national association of organic food processing and distribution companies.
Sales in supermarkets grew 15.8% and in hypermarkets by 11.7%, while the number of organic references has increased by 18%.
An estimated 6.5 million Italian families regularly buy organic products (at least once a week), while 21.8 million do so occasionally.
The most popular organic products are eggs, puffed cereal cakes, fruit jams, dairy substitutes, extra virgin olive oil, fresh milk, pasta, shelled dried fruit, whole yoghurt, and biscuits.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.