Hungarian Organic Food Market
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
About 90 % of organic products produced in Hungary are exported. In 2003, the 4 most important countries importing Hungarian organic goods were Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The most significant export products are cereals and oil crops. At the end of the last century, 95 % of organic products were exported in a raw state as commodity products.
Picture: Bioritmus in Budapest
In 2003 and 2004, many conventional food processors turned to organics, mostly in the hope of easy access to the enlarged European market. The Hungarian market reached a turnover of 4 million Euro in 2004, which is a 25 percent growth since 2003.
As the demand from customers abroad for raw materials eased during the past few years and consumers started to demand products with added value, organic food processing developed strongly in Hungary. Today, more and more companies (even conventional ones) are starting to manufacture for local and export markets, many of them as private label co-packers.
The main distribution channel for organic food in Hungary is via conventional multiple retailers, who have about a 60 % market share. About 300 specialised organic/natural/health food shops have about a 35 % market share. Organic box schemes, farmers' markets and on-farm sales have about a 5 % market share.
Three Main Organic Food Wholesalers
The organic food wholesale business is not very developed in Hungary. Only a few companies have a complete range of organic products on offer. The only exception is Ökoszerviz Kft. Other companies (Bennovum Kft - health food wholesale and discount, Aletheia Kft – organic food and natural cosmetics wholesaler, Mediline Kft, Zöld Forrás, Varga reformház) are wholesale operators but mostly only responding when there is a definite demand. In Hungary nowadays, importing organic food is the most hectic segment of the organic scene. As the domestic market has started to grow, a lot of newcomers have recently got involved in importing organic products. In many cases strong, keen and even unfair competition is found among them.
Ökoszerviz Kft is the oldest 100 percent organic wholesaler with a full range of organic goods available. It was founded in 1990 by Ferenc Frühwald, the most important figure in the development of the Hungarian organic movement. It distributes to its customers twice a week, mainly in the Budapest region. Currently it offers 400 products to about 100 clients, mainly specialised shops, canteens, restaurants and organic manufacturers.
Bennovum Kft is a health food wholesaler, operating since 1991. It delivers countrywide once or twice a week. It supplies around 1 000 organic products and delivers mainly to specialised shops. Aletheia Kft. is another wholesaler with countrywide deliveries. It supplies about 500 organic products mainly to specialist shops, restaurants and manufacturers.
Address: 1033 Budapest, Szentendrei út 93
Contact person:Ferenc Frühwald