Recognition, visibility, collaboration – the trinity of virtues driving organic growth in Scandinavia


A trinity of virtues – recognition, visibility and collaboration – is helping to drive record levels of growth for organic in Scandinavia, according to key actors from the sector in Denmark and Sweden.

In a special discussion at last month’s Nordic Organic Food Fair event in Malmö, Sweden, representatives from Organic Denmark and Krav explained the crucial role of retailer engagement in achieving the 20-40% growth seen in the region in recent years.

Gitte Hvoldal, from Organic Denmark (whose government-operated organic mark enjoys a 100% recognition rating by Danes), said that Organic Denmark’s Collaboration Strategy had played a key role in increasing retailer participation in organic. The strategy includes planning tools for retailers, category campaigns, producer/retailer match-making, custom campaigns for key retailers and a major emphasis on in-store visibility.

Nina Nilsson, from Sweden’s lead organic body Krav (with 98% consumer recognition and a 79% trust rating), explained how the organization planned to get organic to 20% of total food and drink sales in Sweden by 2020.

Nilsson said that Krav identified LOHAS (lifestyles of health and sustainability) followers as its key consumer demographic. Successful targeting of this group (representing 38% of the total population) has produced remarkable growth rates –organic sales were up 39% in 2015 according to Ekoweb – in recent years, and the growth trajectory from 2010-2015 gives confidence that 20% market share by 2020 is achievable.

But Nilsson said sustaining current growth levels would require increased supply of organic products in all channels (demand has been outpacing supply), strengthening networks, brands and labels, and getting more consumers to buy into LOHAS values.

Picture: Gitte Hvoldal, chief consultant, Organic Denmark