As mentioned in an earlier Food alert France is Europe’s 2nd largest market for organic goods following Germany, the French organic food market is worth 9.7bn€. The largest independent network of specialised organic food stores in France, Biocoop, started selling products on line earlier this year, using some of their physical stores for delivery. They plan to have around 200 stores representing a third of their network proposing an online option by the end of 2020. E commerce is seen as a means of recruiting the younger generation of consumers as well as satisfying needs of current customers. It also allows to increase turnover in zones where there may be less footfall. Naturalia and Bio C Bon already propose online sales and Comptoirs du Bio announced launching an e commerce site in the midst of the Covid crises. Their shoppers will have the choice between home delivery before 13h00 next day or click & collect. These later 3 are amongst the top 10 networks of organic stores in France.
A new generation of online start ups such as La Fourche and Kazidomi propose products up to 50% cheaper in return for a subscription fee. La Fourche has the additional USP of associating their product with a nutritional score from the Yuka app as well as the carbon footprint from the application Etiquettable. As described in an earlier Food alert, Yuka is a smart phone app that allows consumers to scan and analyse the nutritional benefits of their product before purchasing.
Many of these organic stores are relatively small in size and are closer to proximity stores rather than large surface retail outlets. During the Covid crises it is the smaller surfaces and e commerce outlets that benefited most for the surge in retail sales due to closure of food service channels. Organic products consequently out performed sales on non-organic foods according to Nielsen. The combination of smaller surfaces, proximity and e commerce will no doubt benefit the organic sector once a new form of post covid normality is established.