Czechs buy most of organic food in retail chains in 2008

Prague, July 29 (Green marketing) - Czechs bought organic food for CZK 1.332bn in the outlets of retail chains last year, CZK 461m more than in 2007, and retail chains thus raised their market share by 6.5 percentage points to 74 percent, agency Green Marketing said today.

The share of specialised organic and health food shops on the total turnover decreased by 4.5 percentage points to 18 percent last year.

The growth seen in retail chains came with the arrival of their private brands at the turn of 2007 and 2008, said Tom Vaclavik, author and publisher of a yearbook dedicated to the Czech organic food market.

Private brands of retailers make up over 30 percent of the organic food offered by retail chains.

Tesco hypermarkets have the widest offer of organic food under its brand. The Tesco Organic brand comprises 108 items.

Interspar's Natur*pur follows with 98 items. Albert Bio has 60 items, Rossmann 49 items, and the Billa chain had 40 items in July 2009.

This year in June, supermarkets, hypermarkets, discount outlets and chemists shops in the Czech Republic offered 1,317 organic food items.

As for health and organic food stores, Czechs spent CZK 324m in them last year, 11 percent more than in 2007. Their turnover lagged significantly behind the growth of the whole market (40 percent).

"Specialised shops with organic food and health food failed to ride the huge growth in demand for organic food in the last few years. Since 2005, they have lost 19 percent in the market's turnover," said Tom Vaclavik.

Organic food for some CZK 25m was sold directly on farms and in market places last year. Czechs also spent CZK 11m on organic food in restaurants, up CZK 6.5m year-on-year.

Baked goods was the fastest-growing organic food category last year. Its sale soared by 342 percent in the year. Sale of organic fruit and vegetables jumped by 61 percent to CZK 111m.

Czech manufacturers exported organic food for CZK 145m last year, 45 percent more than in 2007. Exports targeted mainly Slovakia, Poland and other East European countries.

As for Western Europe, exports included mainly unprocessed organic products, such as cereals and beef cattle. Organic farmers got CZK 130m to CZK150m for exports of organic products last year.

Czech consumers spent total of CZK 1.8bn on organic food in 2008.

The organic food market in the Czech Republic has been growing significantly for several years. The growth reached 70 percent in 2007 and 40 percent in 2008. Vaclavik ascribes the slower growth last year to the global economic crisis.

Organic food made up 0.75 percent of food consumption in the Czech Republic last year.

The number of registered organic food producers grew by 176 to 429 last year. Despite this growth, over 50 percent of the total turnover still make imported organic products.

The number of organic farmers in the Czech Republic increased significantly in the last two year to reach more than 2500 in June 2009. They worked on over 10 percent of farmland in the Czech Republic in the mid 2009.

Further information:

Tom Václavík, tel: ++ 420 541263456,