Hungary: Specialised Organic Shops Only in Budapest
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
The marketing structure of organic products has gained a new profile over the last five years. In 1999, 20 health food stores were the biggest players in the marketing of organics in Budapest. They offered mostly packaged goods, of which 80 to 90 percent were imported. Fresh produce was distributed almost exclusively via direct marketing channels. The capital's weekly market offered the largest fresh organic selection (in Marczibányi Square).
Picture: Harmonia Health Food Shop in Budapest
Today, the widest range of products is sold by specialised organic shops in Budapest, where the stock of around 6 top shops is between 40 and 100 percent organic. They sell mostly packaged products, bread and dairy or non-dairy drinks. There is a lack of vegetables and fruit, mainly because of the absence of an infrastructure (cooling, sorting). In the whole country there are about 300 natural/health food shops selling organic products, mostly located in the larger cities. Only in Budapest are there specialised organic food shops.
The organic sector has also been influenced by the restructuring of the conventional food retail trade. In 2000, hypermarkets and supermarkets attained a 32 % share of total food sales, the discount supermarket chains a 13 % share. Supermarkets today sell a basic selection of organic foods.
Markets selling fresh organic produce are opening up in an increasing number of towns (e.g. Budapest-Újpest, Szeged, Debrecen, Esztergom, Gyõr and Kecskemét).
A company called Top Solutions Kft runs two organic shops called “Bioritmus” (picture). The shops are located in very attractive surroundings, one in Mammut 2, which is an expensive and sophisticated shopping area, next to a food-court and movie theatre. The shop is not easily spotted, but well advertised with directional signs. It has a sales area of 120 sqm. The shop looks very attractive and professional, with a whole-frontage shop window; and it is furnished with wooden shelving and has an impressive wall of fridges.
The other shop is situated in Savoya Park, just in front of the line of tills of the Auchan hypermarket, in a very well frequented area. It has a shopping area of 160 sqm with quite large cooling units and metal furniture in a modern, practical design. Both shops keep all major organic brands, also organic meat, fresh produce and alcohol, as well as convenience foods. About 80 percent of their range is organic. The major suppliers are Ökoszerviz and Kord-int,Luiszer, but they also get products directly from importers and farms.
Bio ABC is a large shop (picture), with about 350 m² of floor space, in the centre of Budapest, in a good location in a very busy pedestrian area. The shop also has a separate juice bar (non-organic) and sells all available imported as well as Hungarian products, provided by 60 different suppliers. The percentage of organic products available is 20-30%. The shop has attractive, dark brown wooden furniture with cooling and deep-frozen storage facilities.
Nap.Ra Kft was opened in 1993 in a very attractive neighbourhood in an old residential area in the capital Budapest. Eight employees are in charge of the sales area of 80 m². The shop has a wide and growing stock of organic food, with preference given to local products. Only vegetarian products are on sale, though. Most fresh products are delivered directly from farms, and from Bennovum, Ökoszerviz and importers. About 70-80 % of the products are already organic. The shop (picture) is very attractive, a bit old-style - pine furniture and old-fashioned lights, a kind of retro-style. Outside there is bicycle parking, large shop windows and an eye-catching shop logo. One very important feature – the shop owner stands behind the till, which is very convincing. The shop is constantly expanding its range, now concentrating on natural personal hygiene and cosmetics products.
Hunyadi jános u.19
1053 Budapest,Múzeum krt.19.