Welcome to our new interview series Fika with. In the run up to Eco Life Scandinavia and the Nordic Organic Food Fair which return on 17-18 November 2021, we’ll be speaking to some of the biggest names in the natural health, beauty, sustainable living and the organic food and drink world. You’ll find out how they adapt to the current climate, their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities ahead. Plus, what they are doing to support their teams and local communities.
We’re delighted to talk to Daniel Tadic, CEO/co-owner of Piggabutiken.
Daniel has over 18 years’ experience in the health industry and is the CEO and co-owner of Piggabutiken. Piggabutiken has two physical stores in Sweden as well as an online shop. Piggabutiken’s vision is to be a lifestyle destination and an instpiration source for natural health and beauty.
How did you get into the natural health/beauty sector?
18 years ago my sister called me about a health store for sale in Nässjö, Sweden. She was working as a skin therapist at the time and had an interest in health and natural beauty. I was meant to simply help her get the business of the ground, but it turned out to be a fun project in an interesting industry. After a while we decided to run the business together.
Can you tell us a little about the history of your Company?
After buying and renovating the first store we doubled our profits. A few years later we bought an additional store in Jönköping and later in Tranås. We were then franchised members of the Nordic health store chain Life. At the same time, we started Piggabutiken and started selling online from our storage facility at the Tranås store. In 2018 we decided to leave Life behind and focus our efforts on Piggabutiken for both online sales and a physical store. We also decided to sell the store in Jönköping.
What do you think are the biggest opportunities facing the natural health/beauty sector?
Even though sales of supplements and natural skincare are continuously on the rise, there is still a huge potential for the market to grow. I am sure more will discover the benefits of strengthening their immune system with supplementation, especially considering the current situation. Natural skincare will experience similar growth to supplements. Although it currently holds a fairly small market share of the total sales, there is a huge opportunity to grow.
And what do you think are the biggest challenges?
For retail, I believe profitability in general is a big challenge. Many retailers offer the same product ranges to competitive prices and low profit margins. The competition has further been increasing from international players. This, alongside large investments into digitalisation makes it difficult for companies to report profits. It’s easy to sell, creating profitability is the difficult part. Looking at some of the larger players, with a large proportion private label brands, they will be the most profitable.
What do you think can be done to educate consumers about the importance of living a healthier life?
When first I started in this industry, there were many sceptics to supplements. More and more have a more positive attitude towards supplementation and more are consuming them. Us as retailers have a responsibility to educate consumers about the benefits of choosing natural skincare over conventional, both from an environmental and personal health point of view. Same goes for supplementing in addition to getting more nutrients from foods. At Piggabutiken it is our mission to educate our customers about health benefits through our marketing channels. There needs to be a collective responsibility from the whole industry to talk about health in their marketing and not just competitive prices or products.
What role do you as a buyer/retailer play in the development of the health sector?
We made an active decision at Piggabutiken a few years back to not sell conventional skincare and only focus on organic and natural. This is one of our biggest strengths but also our biggest weakness. By only selling natural products, we are limiting both our market, product range and our growth. At the same time, we are making an informed decision, exactly what we expect form our customers. If more companies took responsibility in selling products that aren’t natural and better for the environment, the market would look very different. Walk the Talk!
How do you see the evolution of your business after COVID?
We are excited about the future. The combination of physical stores and a sharp increase in online sales, ensures we can connect customers when it suits them and use our knowledge and service across our different channels.
What do you think the impact of the COVID pandemic will be on the future of healthy living?
Hopefully it has opened the eyes of many about the importance to have a good “basic health”, meaning moving regularly, eating well, and most importantly keep our immune systems strong. By strengthening our bodies with supplements as part of this is something I believe consumers will continue to do.
Have you noticed any new consumer trends developing during the COVID pandemic?
Vitamin D has been a best seller for many years but has increased significantly during the pandemic. Many other immune boosting supplements with vitamin C etc. has sold really well. Consumers want to strengthen their immune system as much as they possible can.
Do you have any plans or news that you can tell us about?
We have just released our new digital platform and updated both the look and logo. We have also released an updated version of our free skin and health analysis where customers can get personalised advice via email or phone. The difference between our analysis compared to others is that we don’t just focus on the external, but also consider internal health reflected in the body, skin and mind. This has been a huge success and we have received fantastic response from our customers.
We do also have a new exciting project happening in the background, but I can’t reveal more than that yet…