Sustainable Foods Summit: ‘Being responsible can be a competitive advantage’

Denmark private label marketing strategy pays off as it moves into baby products

By Jenny Eagle contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sustainable Foods Summit Coop Anglamark
Coop Denmark is celebrating the success of its private label organic brand, Anglamark, but says if it expects to stay in the market it demands investment, brand protection and innovation, with plans to launch a baby product range soon.

Speaking at the Sustainable Foods Summit in Amsterdam (June 4-5), Louisa Raith Sorensen, quality and CSR consultant, Coop Denmark, said marketing Anglamark is a sustainable brand success story which stands for environmentally friendly, allergy friendly and organic. 

Pilot project to develop more sustainable packaging

The Coop label is totally different from Anglamark. They are two different designs and now we are working on a pilot project to develop more sustainable packaging. It is not a part of our strategy right now but will evolve over the next few years for all our platforms​,” she said. 

Anglamark has had great commercial success. We call it our Golden Egg, turnover was €120m in 2014. 90% of Danish customers know the brand and it’s the strongest private label in Denmark in terms of brand awareness​.”

Sorensen said Coop Denmark is the largest retail enterprise in Denmark and operates 1,200 local supermarkets and grocery stores with 38,000 employees.

She said its stores sell food and non-food, private labels, with 40% market share in Denmark, and it is responsible for 50% of all organic food sold in Denmark.  2014 turnover was €6bn.

Anglamark was established through Coop Norden, which was founded in 2005, merging all the green national brands into a common Nordic brand. However, the agreement was dissolved in 2007 and Anglamark is today sourced and designed by Coop Trading.

'We try not to be ‘perfect’ in our design concept'

Sorensen said the design strategy for the brand is a Swedish word which means Angel mark and it targets a modern family with children, driven by health, good taste, sustainability, and is a caring concept for people making a responsible choice. 

The brand images are never perfect. We try not to be ‘perfect’ in our design concept, and there are 650 products in the assortment, mainly food​,” she added.

We believe it is successful because there is a considerable demand for organic in Denmark and Scandinavia in general, and our sales grew 8% year on year during the financial crisis​.

Since then, Coop has invested in the marketing of the concept and it has become more of a brand than a private label and we protect the brand in terms of quality and product requirements​.

The main threats in this area are increased competition - organic food is becoming more mainstream, and the media when it highlights a food scare, recalls, a crisis or product withdrawals​. 

Aiming to double sales of its organic food

We believe being responsible can be a competitive advantage in this industry and we see an opportunity with baby products as we think this is a field where we can attract new customers with our organic range​.” 

Sorensen said Coop is now aiming to double sales of its organic food in 10 years by lowering its prices.

Coop’s latest initiatives include ‘Nudging reminders’ on meat labels to buy vegetables, putting fruit instead of chocolate at the POS (point of sale) cash desk and decorating shopping carts with pictures of fruit and vegetables to increase sales of those products.

It’s important that organic foods are available to all customers and not just those who can afford it – it makes a good business case. The people who buy organic spend more money on food and this is a part of our corporate strategy​,” she said.

“We do a lot to work together with suppliers and organic and local suppliers and small companies for whom it can be difficult to deliver huge amount of groceries to ensure they can place their fruit and vegetables in our stores and we can support them and not turn our back on them.”

Related topics: Market Trends, Healthy foods, Marketing

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