“The ethical aspects of food are becoming more and more important to Finns: according to K Group’s Food Trends 2019 survey, conscious consumerism plays a role in the everyday food choices of as many as 55% of Finnish people, and 18% of conscious consumers say they will choose organic foods more often this year,” says Harri Hovi, Vice President of Commerce at K Group.
The rising popularity of organic products has been obvious for a long time at K-food stores, where the sales of organic foods have increased throughout the decade, with the growth amounting to 15-20% annually in recent years.
There is still room for growth because according to the Finnish Organic Food Association Pro Luomu, organic products account for 2.4% of all food sold in Finnish grocery stores. In Sweden, organic foods account for 9% and in Denmark for 13%.
“Sweden and Denmark are setting a great example regarding the growth potential of organic products. Responsibility plays an increasingly important role in the food choices of Finnish people, too. The development of organic product selections has a strong influence on how fast organic products gain market share in Finland,” says Marja-Riitta Kottila, Executive Director of Pro Luomu.
K Group is responding to the growing demand and in 2019 will introduce new organic products to the Pirkka range that meet everyday needs. The selection will grow from its current roughly 120 products to nearly 200.
“As consumers are already familiar with the Pirkka brand, this is an easy way for an increasing number of people to try organic products. We will introduce dozens of new products during spring and autumn, including kidney beans, chickpeas, nuts, corn snacks, children’s foods, vegetables and meat products. Texmex is now an everyday food for Finns so we will also introduce taco and salsa dips,” says Hayde Furubacka, Development Manager for own brands.
The look of Pirkka organic products will also be updated, making them easier to find in the stores.
As a result, the already extensive organic selection at K-food stores will significantly increase.
“K Group has a very extensive selection of organic products with more than 2,100 items. The selections vary from store to store and many retailers buy organic vegetables and organic meat from local producers. We have the stores with the largest organic selections in Finland: the K-Citymarket in Kupittaa, Turku, stocks more than 2,700 organic products, while K-Citymarket Easton in Helsinki and K-Citymarket Iso Omena in Espoo have over 1,800 organic items in their selections. Many K-Supermarkets also have more than 1,000 organic products,” says Hovi.
According to statistics, the organic products K-food store customers buy most frequently are milk, eggs, bananas and coffee. Consumers are most likely to choose organic in the Åland Islands, Uusimaa and Ostrobothnia. Organic products are least popular in Kainuu, South Ostrobothnia and Satakunta.