Coop Danmark and Life Europe were named ‘Retailers of the Year’ at the prestigious Natural & Organic Awards Scandinavia 2019, which took place last week at MalmöMässan, Sweden.
The event is one of the first day highlights of Eco Life Scandinavia and the Nordic Organic Food Fair, the Nordic region’s leading trade shows for the organic, eco and self-care industries.
The new retailer awards, launched to celebrate the vital role that retailers play in bringing natural and organic brands from niche to the mainstream, were presented by Johan Cejie, CEO of Moreganic Sourcing, and Diversified Communications UK managing director, Carsten Holm.
Life Europe AB – Natural Retailer of the Year
Life Europe was named the first ‘Natural Retailer of the Year’ for its ‘role in transforming Sweden’s self-care and specialist health retailing sector’. The leading health chain retailer was praised for the ‘vital role it plays in the health and wellbeing scene at community level and within national and international projects.’
This includes Life Europe’s work as a health sponsor with the Swedish Cross-Country Skiing team since 2009 and its long-running project in Kenya (established in 1997), where it runs a vitally needed health clinic and supports local education and farming projects.
“Today, Life Europe AB operates in 345 stores across Sweden, Norway and Finland, where it is firmly established as the region’s leading health chain. It embraces the latest online retail technology, while continuing to offer the friendly face-to-face experience that it is known for. Life Europe AB is perfectly placed to thrive and grow – and help its customers find balance – in the next 25 years,” says presenter Carsten Holm.
Commenting on the award win, Gunnel Åkerman, CEO of Life Europe AB, says: “We are extremely happy to have won Natural Retailer of the Year, and it is particularly exciting as we are celebrating 25 years as a retail chain. As well as the awards, Eco Life Scandinavia and the Nordic Organic Food Fair have been the best shows yet to see many interesting exhibitors. Life brought a whole team to Malmö who all found a great selection of innovative products for our stores.”
Coop Danmark – Organic Retailer of the Year
Due to their ambitious goal to double organic in Denmark by 2020, Coop Danmark was awarded as the first Organic Retailer of the Year. Not only has Coop Danmark introduced the mainstream public to organic products, but by launching an initiative together with Økologisk Landsforening (Organic Denmark) to help farmers convert to organic production, they take responsibility for the whole value chain ‘from farm to table’.
Carsten Holm says: “Coop Danmark should be recognised for being one of the first retailers in the world to introduce organic products into mainstream supermarkets in 1981. They consistently perform well with organic sales across their supermarket chains and represent 44% of the overall sales of organic products in Denmark, which is more than the general market share of 33%.”
“We are very proud and grateful to receive this recognition. But we want to share the credit with our members and customers and the many suppliers. Without their burning commitment, we would not have Denmark as a world leader in organic. We look forward to continuing our journey, where over the past five years we have increased our sales of organic by over DKK 300 million a year. For the next five years, our goal is to increase sales by more than DKK 400 million per year,” says Coop group executive director Jens Visholm.
Eco Life Scandinavia & Nordic Organic Food Fair 2020
The next edition of Eco Life Scandinavia & the Nordic Organic Food Fair will take place on 11-12 November 2020 at MalmöMässan, Sweden. For more information, please visit www.ecolifeshow.com or www.nordicorganicfoodfair.com.
Photo: Gunnel Åkerman, CEO of Life Europe AB receives the Natural Retailer of the Year Award from Diversified Communications UK managing director, Carsten Holm