French organic retail pioneer Naturalia says it wants to introduce more “pleasure and playfulness” into the organic retail space. The retailer, which turns 50 this year, has 240 stores across France and sales generating EUR 355 million.
The new approach forms part of a wider strategic repositioning at Naturalia. The launch of a new concept store on Rue d’Aligre in Paris aims to project the retailer’s new take on organic and natural food retailing.
Posting on LinkedIn, Naturalia CEO, Allon Zeitoun, said: “We see our primary role as accompanying the French on a road towards healthier food, by pragmatism, not dogmatism. We have listened more seriously to consumers who consider organic stores to be too austere and intimidating.”
Beyond the organic label, Zeitoun wants Naturalia to be messaging more about the enjoyment of food, amplifying its gourmet credentials. “We believe the way to bring more consumers into our stores is to through the pleasure route. So our stores must exude pleasure”. He says that entering a modern organic store “should not be experienced as moral obligation or necessity to preserve health”.
The new Paris store is a projection of these ideas. Zeitoun says it intentionally “breaks some of the rules” of specialist organic retail. He describes it as “warm and playful” in mood and “celebratory” about the “authentic craft food producers” it works with as partners.
While restating Naturalia’s commitment to organic (currently accounting for around 95% of the total retail offer), Zeitoun has indicated that Naturalia will in future consider listing some non-organic products if they meet high sustainability and processing standards.
Image: Naturalia CEO, Allon Zeitoun, tours the retailer’s new concept store in Paris (montage from Naturalia video)