Organic News

Guest contribution

Naturland has a new trading partner

The cooperation with supermarket chain ALDI

There was already a lot of press coverage in Germany in the run-up to the event, and now it is really getting underway. When this interview appears, the first Naturland certified products – including curry ketchup, lemons and basmati rice - will be on the shelves at ALDI.

We spoke to Dr. Julia Adou (ALDI SÜD) and Katrin Beyer (ALDI NORD) about the discounter's organic strategy and the plans for the development of a Naturland range.

In 2022, almost 37 percent of revenue in German food retail was generated by discount supermarkets (Source: Statistica 2023). In comparison to upmarket grocery stores, discounters typically have a smaller range of products and simpler shop fittings. They attract customers mainly though lower pricing. Each discount supermarket promotes its own house brand, which is usually cheaper than other branded products.

According to a survey in 2021, 61.3 percent of German consumers had shopped at ALDI in the previous 6 months. This makes ALDI the most popular discounter in Germany (Source: Statistica 2023). ALDI is also a global player: It operates over 10,000 stores in 19 countries. This includes 14 EU member states as well as the UK, Switzerland, Australia, China and the USA.

Naturland: The current economic crisis is unsettling consumers and farmers. The traditional organic specialized trade is reporting a significant decline in sales, whereas the discount trade is even recording a significant increase in organic sales according to the German market research institute GfK. What is the situation at ALDI? What role do organic and Naturland play in ALDI's overall strategy?

Julia Adou: Organic has been a tradition at ALDI for more than 18 years. We are now one of the largest organic retailers in Germany. Our claim "Good for everyone" also means that we want to make sustainable shopping affordable for everyone. It is true that we have seen an increase in demand from our customers for organic products. There are now more than 370 organic products at ALDI Nord and more than 550 organic products at ALDI Süd as standard, seasonal and special offer items throughout the year. We would like to expand this range and now have a strong partner in Naturland at our side to further pursue this goal.

Naturland: What are your goals for the cooperation with Naturland in the first year?

Julia Adou: Long-term cooperation with farmers in a spirit of partnership is particularly important for ALDI. That is why the conversion to Naturland articles is taking place consistently but gradually. The first year will be marked by the introduction of Naturland products and the labelling of articles that already meet the Naturland standard. These are, for example, fruit and vegetable products, dairy products, meat and sausage products and also foodstuffs such as bread, pasta, flour and rice. ALDI SÜD plans to convert about a quarter of its organic standard range to Naturland by the end of 2024. ALDI NORD is currently working on its target.

The interview partners

Dr. Julia Adou (left), Director Corporate Responsibility at ALDI SÜD and Katrin Beyer (right), Business Unit Director Fresh Food in Category Management at ALDI NORD. Source: ALDI

Naturland: With its members in over 60 countries, Naturland is also has a strong position internationally. What role does that play in the development of the organic range at ALDI? And what role does regionality play in this?

Katrin Beyer: ALDI makes it possible to do all your weekly shopping in organic quality. Most customers end up with a mix of regional and international products in their shopping trolleys. We see that regional products are becoming more and more relevant and work intensively with regional partners and producers to further develop our range. The fact that Naturland is also active internationally means that we can also offer ALDI products such as coffee or cocoa in Naturland quality.

Naturland: How and where will customers find Naturland products in the shop? Will there be a special placement or presentation, an advertising campaign?

Julia Adou: ALDI also stands for easy shopping. Our customers should be able to find what they need for their weekly shopping quickly and easily - our store design is geared towards this. Naturland certified products are also placed in the respective assortment. We will introduce the new offer to our customers through extensive marketing measures in leaflets, in the branches and on many other channels.

The interview was conducted by Markus Fadl, spokesperson at Naturland e.V.

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The interview was originally conducted for Issue 2/2023 of Naturland Nachrichten and translated from German.

This text is a translation. No guarantee can be given for the correctness.

Statista 2023: Ranking of the most popular discounter supermarkets
Statista 2023: Share of turnover of discounters in food retailing in Germany