The sourcing division for fresh fruit and vegetables at Coop Trading is working to create a better offering every day for its 27 million Nordic consumers through its leading private brands: Xtra, Coop and Änglamark. The Xtra brand offers quality at an affordable price. The Coop master brand provides quality, great taste, trust, and value at a fair price. The caring and responsible Änglamark brand pioneers with organic, environmentally, and allergy-friendly products. Fresh fruit and vegetables are one of the key focus areas for the group. “From a consumer’s mindset, the fruit and vegetables category have the highest level of interaction, as these products is what you meet or walk into when you enter any store,” said Anders Lind, Nordic sourcing group manager at Coop Trading A/S. Since fresh F&V are the first category consumers meet when they enter the store, it gives them the perception of the store’s quality and price approach, thus driving customer loyalty. “There is a huge potential in the Nordic consumption of fruit and vegetables,” said Lind. The Nordic consumers want more sustainable and climate-friendly in their everyday consumption of fruit and vegetables. Furthermore, as consumers expect their buying power to decline, they are switching to value for money products.
Conventional and organic sales declined in 2022
Fruit and vegetables are not considered a need by Nordic consumers, but rather a choice. For this reason, inflation has affected the sales of organic and conventional products during 2022 and into 2023. The volume sales in 2023 are slightly down for both conventional and organic. “We are now close to Christmas, and we see optimistic sales trend on a lot of products,” said Lind.
Sustainable sourcing the new priority since 2023
For Coop Trading, working strategically with fruit and vegetables is an urgent matter due to the current challenges with climate changes. “To have our retail brands on the shelves, we need to develop a climate-forward sourcing strategy for this category, in order to ensure availability,” said Lind. The primary goal of the chain is to offer sustainable products on shelves to sell to Nordic families at the right price level. “We need to be proactive with a climate strategy for fruit and vegetables that addresses issues such as transportation, seasonal selection, European sourcing, etc.” For this reason, Coop Trading has been working since 2023 with science-based targets in its supply chains in order to require the same standards from its partner suppliers. “We need to consistently be one step ahead,” said Lind.