Organic and Regional:
Expanded Product Range
Expanding its sustainable product range is one of REWE Group's major strategic goals. The company uses its influence and works on behalf of the environmentally conscious and socially appropriate production of foods. This effort also involves getting customers excited about more sustainable products and providing them with attractive product ranges. The fact that more customers are paying attention to organic and regional products represents a major success. But the challenges facing REWE Group as a pacesetter with ambitious goals remain large. The work to expand the product line must walk a fine line between customer demand and the number of sustainably produced foods. REWE Group continues to work on offering more sustainable alternatives in all areas of its product range, to make consumers aware of the issue and to organise value chains in a more socially and environmentally agreeable manner.
Number of Organic Products Rises
The individual sales lines of REWE Group expanded their range of organic products during the reporting period. The share of REWE organic products in gross sales value rose from 3.14 per cent in 2012 to 3.51 per cent in 2014. To further underscore the role of organic store brands, REWE Group approved a guideline for ecological products in 2014. This guideline contains requirements that apply to suppliers and farms as well as to procedures used to monitor products and processes. To ensure the availability of organic products, REWE Group is expanding its long-range relationships with suppliers as well as alliances with suppliers and producers.
During the reporting period, the previously established organic product groups milk and dairy products as well as fruit and vegetables grew significantly. Approximately 120 products of the entire REWE organic assortment bear the Naturland logo. The requirements laid down by the organic farming association are much stricter than the legal requirements of the European eco-regulation. They involve higher standards for organic farming and animal husbandry and also address social issues. Significantly fewer additives are allowed in processed products as well.
In 2013, REWE began to offer beef, pork and poultry under the store brand REWE Bio. All products in this product line come exclusively from German and Austrian "Naturland" farms. Demand for these products remains strong and currently exceeds supply.
At PENNY, the "Naturgut" brand replaced the previous organic store brand B!O in 2014. With Naturgut, PENNY brings together regional, vegetarian and organic products. The share of organic products among the store brands in gross sales value rose from 1.40 per cent in 2012 to 1.64 per cent in 2014. The Naturgut line comprises 80 organic products (of more than 100 products overall) and was publicised at the beginning of 2015 in a major campaign. In future, other products in this brand will be added to the assortment.
With TEMMA, REWE Group is applying a successful organic store concept. In addition to more than 5,000 organic products, these organic specialist stores have culinary offerings. Nine TEMMA stores are currently in operation, primarily in the Cologne/Düsseldorf metropolitan areas, the Rhine-Main Region of central Germany, Hamburg and Berlin.
|Organic brands of individual sales lines|
|REWE Bio||more than 400 products|
|Ja! Natürlich (Austria)||1,100 products|
|Naturgut (formerly B!O)||80 products|
|TEMMA||more than 5,000 products|
Promoting Regional Products
Increasing numbers of consumers look for regional products when they go shopping. Their main reasons for doing so include short transport distances, freshness and support of local farmers.
In 2012, REWE stores across Germany began to sell fruit and vegetables in particular under the store brand REWE Regional. The region of origin is printed on the package – as a German state or as a region that has its own special characteristics as a result of its tradition or topography. At PENNY, regional fruit and vegetables are identified by the German state or the agricultural or "pleasure region" like the Oldenburger Münsterland area of northwestern Germany. The origin of the ingredients and processing location are checked and certified by the support association Regionalfenster e.V., of which REWE Group is a charter member. Upon the initiative of the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture, a uniform and certified logo for regional foods was developed. Following a test phase, the information about the regional origin of products began to be provided in PENNY and REWE stores at the beginning of 2014. At REWE Regional, more than 95 per cent of products are to be evaluated and certified by the Regionalfenster through the end of 2015. The long-term goal is 100 per cent.
In addition, REWE Group promotes small suppliers and agricultural direct sellers. A total of six locality officers at the company establish contacts between REWE stores and local producers and suppliers. These groups attend events like locality conferences where suppliers can present their products. With the locality concept "Aus Liebe zur Heimat" (For the Love of Home), more than 1,000 products are already being marketed under their own name. One particularly successful example of partnership on the local level is the "Landmarkt" (Country Store) concept of REWE Region Mitte. It shows the number of stores that offer Landmarkt products, which grew from 86 in 2010 to 214 in 2014. In addition, some independent retailers have created regional product ranges. In one reflection of this work, consumers will find many regional products being sold under the name "Wir aus der Region" (We from the Region) in the 13 stores run by REWE Richrath in the Cologne area.
An Overview of the Entire Product Range
In addition to its store brands, REWE Group is also committed to more sustainable branded products. As a way of raising awareness levels regarding sustainability of about these products, REWE conducts a consumer award competition called "Hallo Erde" (Hello Earth) as part of its Sustainability Weeks. Working with the Foundation of the German Sustainability Award and its media partner, the daily newspaper DIE WELT, REWE nominates selected branded products that have been tested by the Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production for the competition (more on this issue in the special Sustainable Consumption). Overall, REWE Group has more than 6,700 more sustainable products in its range. In addition to organic, regional and the PRO PLANET labels, REWE Group's product range also includes other independent labels whose criteria are also used in part in the PRO PLANET process. For instance, a store brand chocolate bears the UTZ-certified logo. The well-known logos for more sustainable products and services in the product ranges of REWE Group's sales lines include ASC, Cotton made in Africa, der Blaue Engel (the Blue Angel), Fairtrade, FSC®, MSC, PEFC™, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certified.