Organic Sales Soar In Italy, As Shoppers Seek Healthier Options

By Branislav Pekic
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Organic Sales Soar In Italy, As Shoppers Seek Healthier Options

The priority given by Italian consumers in 2020 to health and environment issues helped boost sales of organic products in the country by 11% in the year to date, with sales reaching €2.98 billion.

According to the Focus Bio Bank 2020 report, the percentage of organic product sales in the large-scale distribution channel has grown from 27% to 47% over the past decade, while specialised organic stores have inversely seen their share drop from 45% to 21%.

Large-scale retail

Organic food sales in large-scale distribution are estimated at €2 billion for 2020, but the pace of growth is slowing, according to the report. At the same time, the number of private label organic products continues to grow, from 4,300 in 2018 to 4,686 in 2019 (+8%), working out at an average of 180 SKUs per banner.

Some 26 retailers currently offer organic private label products, with the recent addition of Leader Price Italia with its 65 Leader Price Bio brand references.


Coop Italia boasts the broadest range of organic SKUs, with 750 organic brand references, followed by Esselunga (485) and Pam Panorama (366). Only nine of the 26 retailers offer fewer than 100 private label organic SKUs and most of them are discount stores.

Specialist Retailers

On the other hand, turnover in specialised organic shops increased by 8% to €924 million.

The study found that there is some degree of churn in the specialised organic store market, with some 200 outlets joining the list in the past year, and approximately the same number leaving. Stores with a retail selling space of more than 150 square metres seem to be faring best, the study found.


Last year, specialised organic shops linked to retail chains fell for the first time since 2011, largely due to the ongoing rationalisation of the Cuorebio and NaturaSì networks and the acquisition of Biobottega and Piacere Terra by NaturaSì.

These latest developments have led to a further market concentration of the specialised organic chains in Italy, according to the study.

© 2020 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

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