Do you often hear about healthy, organic and 0 km food? There is a reason for its popularity.
The organic industry started its boom a decade ago and hasn’t stopped since. The growing awareness towards the choice of healthy food, enhanced above all by the media, has nourished the desire to understand more and more what we eat and what are the ingredients present in the foods we use at home. Thus, arose the need to refuse buying foods treated with chemical substances and the growth of the consumption of organic food.
Buyers claim they choose organic because the product is the “best choice for themselves and the family”, according to Organic Trade Association. In 2019, OTA conducted one of the most important consumer research projects in the organic world and the most relevant thing that emerged is that buyers especially appreciate:
– The prohibition to use over 700 chemicals in food products.
– The strict standard requirements behind the USDA Organic Seal
– The role that organic farms can play in mitigating climate change.
To talk about organic, we could not of chosen a better partner than La Fourche, an online store of organic food and products with the aim of making the best of organic products on the market accessible to everyone.
We know that organic food generally has a higher price than industrial products, mainly due to the high production costs. This is why Boris Meton, Lucas Lefebvre and Nathan Labat, three former HEC students, in September 2018 decided to launch the La Fourche e-commerce site, to offer organic products at prices on average 30% lower than those of supermarkets or specialized shops.
The organic food market in Europe
The organic food industry in Europe is a very profitable market, with a retail sales value of € 29.8 billion already in 2015. While the established Western European market has grown by 5.4%, Eastern European sales are catching up with a rate of 8.8%. Germany is the leading market for the sale of organic products in Europe with 11.4% of global organic sales, followed by France with 7.3%.
Even if sales of the entire organic sector are booming, organic production has yet to reach the values required by demand. Organic agricultural land – in proportion to all agricultural land – rarely exceeds 15% coverage in most countries. Same story for organic meat production. The share of organic meat compared to the overall figure is in fact very low: in the case of pork, for example, only 0.6% of the meat produced is organic.
European consumers are now particularly attentive to the issue and about 11% dedicate themselves daily to the active search for organic products. Today, the total organic food market is worth around $ 105.5 billion, approximately 2.6% of the global food market.
Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t discouraged this industry at all. According to a study published in June by Agence BIO, 7 out of 10 French people consumed organic products in this period, including 8% of new buyers.
3 reasons why the organic food industry will explode in the coming years
The growing awareness and information on the side effects of the intake of chemicals present in many food products has certainly given a further boost to the development of the entire organic supply chain.
Organic foods are in a certain way innovative, in step with the times, and they totally reflect the new organic consciousness that has exploded in a disruptive way, thanks to the movement created by Greta Thunberg.
What are the growth forecasts for this sector? Here are 3 elements that suggest a further growth in organic farming around the world:
- The spread of organic products has occurred mainly thanks to online commerce, reaching all countries of the world and making the sector particularly competitive. Greater penetration is also expected in less industrialized countries, with a consequent increase in demand.
- The price difference between organic and inorganic food is decreasing more and more: while a few years ago choosing an organic product meant spending at least 50% higher price, today the costs are much more affordable. Choosing organic is therefore really convenient, not only because it is healthy for our body but also because it still allows us to save money by bringing a certified safe product to the table.
- In India, the state of Sikkim is the first in the world to have completely eliminated pesticides, and to be certified 100% organic. The demand for Indian organic food has not only seen a steady rise in India but is receiving global appreciation. Thanks to India’s favorable agro-climatic conditions, combined with the inherited tradition of organic farming, the quality of organic food to be exported is very high. According to reports, the demand for Indian organic food is steadily continuing to grow around the world. In 2017/2018, India exported organic products worth $515 million and the export trend will increase over the next five years.
E–commerce in France
Online product sales in France are growing. During the lockdown, consumers bought online across all industries, including groceries. According to a study carried out in May 2020, the online sales of retailers in France will touch 83.76 billion dollars in 2021, will grow in 2022 and will reach 96.46 billion in 2023. To analyze all the e–commerce trends in France and other European countries, take a look at our article.
La Fourche, among the 100 start-ups to invest in 2020 for Challenges magazine
La Fourche is an online store that selects the finest organic products that are most respectful of our health and environment.
We interviewed Lucas Lefebvre, CMO and co-founder of La Fourche, to learn more about their success story.
Why La Fourche? What is your goal and your typical customer?
La Fourche is an e–commerce site for organic and ecological products that works on a membership model and offers prices up to 50% lower than other stores. The commitment of a community allows us to reduce margins and marketing expenses and offer unbeatable prices to let our members save an average of € 250 per year.
Our goal is to encourage positive consumption, from organic producers, respectful of our health and the environment. We are convinced that every purchase is an act of choice and that consumers have the means to create a fairer and more sustainable society by purchasing from brands that are first committed themselves. This is why accessibility is at the heart of our approach and we offer a free subscription to a family in difficulty for each subscription purchased.
How was La Fourche born?
We started from a 200 m2 warehouse with 3 founding partners and did everything ourselves: website, communication, acquisition, logistics and purchasing. Today we occupy a 2500 m2 warehouse and employ over 70 people.
What challenges were you able to overcome thanks to ShippyPro?
ShippyPro allowed us to have our Carriers and delivery points communicate in a single platform, and to easily manage the flow of information between our site and Carriers.
For the simple reason of reliability, ease of implementation and connection with the back offices of the various Carriers.
How essential is an optimized shipping process for you and your industry?
Our belief is to reduce our margins to offer products with discounts of 20 to 50% compared to traditional commerce. We therefore need to be as efficient as possible in terms of logistics to reduce our costs and pass this value on to our customers.
What is the impact on the consumer experience, thanks to ShippyPro solutions?
The user experience has greatly improved. Previously, users had to navigate multiple geo-localized maps to find the delivery points of the different Carriers, today everything is centralized in a single map.
What are the next goals?
The launch of our co-creation brand (over +50 products with the La Fourche brand will be launched), the change of warehouse to have more space, a new mobile app and a new UX of the desktop site to make it even more rewarding and easier our customers experience.
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