‘Last year, the supply of organic goods at Maxima stores grew by a few percent but the demand compared to 2017 soared by 20%. One of the most important factors causing this rise is that Lithuanians trust our country’s manufacturers, appreciate the freshness and quality of their products and give them priority over others. Out of more than 300 different names of organic products available at our stores, the majority – over 80% – are of Lithuanian origin. We receive them from more than half a hundred producers from all over Lithuania’, says Vilma Drulienė, Chief Commercial Officer of Maxima.
The growth rate of the sales of some Lithuanian-origin organic goods last year was impressive. For instance, the demand for organic eggs increased more than three times, for fresh meat and poultry – almost five times, while for frozen meat and poultry – 7.5 times. In 2018, the sales of total organic groceries from Lithuania saw an increase of 75%, baby products – 67%, frozen products – 55% compared to the year before, while the demand for organic fresh food has increased by almost a tenth.
Another factor affecting consumer preferences is the increasing availability of organic products. As supply and competition increase, the price of these products decreases, which allows stores to attract an ever-larger pool of customers. The decreasing price difference between the ordinary and organic products encourages middle-income consumers to choose high-quality eco-friendly products more often.
Also, Lithuanians pay increasingly more attention to their and their loved ones’ health. This is shown by the fact that the highest demand for organic products in our country is in the food category: milk products, groceries, baby products, drinks, bread products, fruit, berries and vegetables.
Vilma Drulienė underscores that when creating Maxima’s product range, the aim is to offer organic products suitable for various customers: young families with little kids, people who have pets, as well as other customers.
‘Baby products have always been among the most popular organic goods and this trend remains – in the last year, the growth in demand for such products exceeded 50%. Little by little, Lithuanians are discovering organic pet food as well: although less of it is sold than other organic products, in the last year alone the sales of cat and dog foodstuffs almost doubled’, compared Maxima’s CCO.
This record-high popularity of organic products shows that Lithuanians care not only about health but also about the environment they live in. Organic products are marked with a special green-leaf symbol and eco-friendly production certificate number which is given only when at least 95% of a product’s content comprises organic-origin ingredients. Environmental standards must be adhered to in every stage of production and supply: from raw-material extraction, storage and processing to product transportation, warehousing and supply to the end-consumers. Only such products are considered organic in Europe.
Maxima stores organic products at five certified warehouses in Lithuania, and each company supplying the retail chain with such products is certified in accordance with the national agriculture and food quality system.