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Alnatura CEO Götz Rehn takes a "pessimistic-realistic" view of the next year

by Michael Stahl (comments: 0)

Götz Rehn
Alnatura founder Götz Rehn: "It is no longer possible to plan at all". © Annika List

The organic retailer Alnatura has continued to grow in the second year of the Corona pandemic. In the past financial year 2020/2021, which ended on 30 September 2021, sales climbed by seven per cent to 1.15 billion euros compared to the year before. The outlook is "pessimistically realistic as a precaution", Alnatura CEO and founder Götz Rehn said at the digital press conference on Wednesday. "We are assuming very moderate growth in the current financial year", a large single-digit increase will probably not be achieved in 2021/2022, Rehn announced.

He cited the unpredictable development of the pandemic as the reason. Until recently, the German-wide incidence kept climbing to new heights, the federal government's vaccination campaign has been sluggish and another lockdown is no longer out of the question. "There is no more planning at all," Rehn said. In addition, one is still running into a previous year's situation with very high growth rates. If one combines the two past financial years, most of which fell during the Corona crisis, turnover rose by a total of about 28 per cent and 251 million euros respectively. Before Corona, the company needed more than five years for this growth.

Cooperations and partnership models

For the current financial year, Alnatura announced the opening of further Super Natur stores in several German cities. In mid-November, Alnatura opened its first store run by an independent merchant. Co-managing director Rüdiger Kasch said that a decision has yet to be made on whether to roll out this merchant model.

More concrete are the plans for another partner concept of the company, namely the provision of independent food retailers with products that Alnatura also offers in its markets. A cooperation already exists with six independent organic retailers with a total of twelve markets, Kasch announced. "Further partner markets are to be established next year as well, because we are convinced that there is definitely a good development opportunity here and also the possibility for farm shops, for independent organic grocers to enter into close cooperation and partnership with Alnatura," Kasch explained.

Outside Germany, Alnatura was able to gain a new retail partner in Austria with the Unimarkt Group. The Alnatura range is thus available in almost 400 more stores there. Another new retail partner is the Rohlik Group, which offers up to 900 Alnatura products in its online shops Knuspr and Gurkerl in Germany and Austria as well as Rohlik and Kifli in the Czech Republic and Hungary. According to Kasch, online trade has "strongly gained in importance" for Alnatura.

Rehn on 30 per cent organic by 2030: "How is that to be achieved?"

Rehn announced further changes for the management, which has grown to six people in 2021. He welcomed the coalition agreement with regard to the goal of the future traffic light government to increase the share of organic farming in agriculture to 30 percent by 2030. However, in view of the annual growth rates of more than ten per cent required for this, he also posed the question, "how is this to be achieved?" In 2019 and 2020, the share of organic land grew by 6.1 and 5.5 per cent, respectively.


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