Focus Bio Bank 2020: organic sales in Italy grow up, 47% in supermarket chains (IT)


The fourth edition of “Focus Bio Bank - Supermarkets & Specialized 2020” is online (in Italian).  It presents up-to-date data on the increasingly close confrontation between large-scale distribution and organic stores. 92 pages full of data, infographics and images, to be consulted freely at this LINK.

The Focus Bio Bank presents:


  • organic food, fair trade food and organic cosmetics in large-scale retail brands
  • a glance at the brands and a visual overview of the products
  • the growth of references from 2001 to 2019 and the leading chains

Specialized stores

  • the evolution of organic food stores from 1993 to 2019
  • variations, trends and identikits of the specialized stores
  • specialized store chains
  • the distributor’ promotional programs.

The data processed are those collected by Bio Bank since 1993 for organic stores and from 2001 up to 2019 for large-scale distribution. In 2020, sales of organic products are growing by 11%.

The supermarkets

In ten years, supermarkets have become the driving force behind the sales of organic products. Their share has risen from 27 to 47% of the total domestic market between supermarkets, specialty stores, other channels and restaurants. Specialized stores, on the other hand, fell from 45 to 21%. Sales of organic food in large-scale distribution are estimated at 2 billion euros in 2020. But the pace of growth slows down: + 2% in 2019, + 5% in 2020, while in previous years they showed double figures, with peaks up to 43%. At the same time, the number of organic branded products in large-scale distribution also continues to grow, passing from 4,300 in 2018 to 4,700 in 2019, and marking a + 8%.

The Italian chains surveyed by Bio Bank remain 26, and the first three chains result to be the same as in 2018: Coop with 750 organic branded references, followed by Esselunga with 485 and Pam Panorama with 366. Only nine chains have fewer than 100 references and these are largely of discount. There are 8 chains surveyed with fair trade foods present in their brands. The brands of organic or natural cosmetics are also increasing, now they are present in 11 chains, even if the growth is held back by the lack of European legislation and by the easy shortcut of a slightly "greener" but not certified product.

The specialized stores

On this shop category, sales are estimated at 924 million euros in 2020, + 8%. There are 1,339 organic stores surveyed by Bio Bank in 2019 (-1%). If closures seem to have stopped, turnover remains high, with more than 200 stores entering and as many exiting the market. Small shops that made organic history are throwing in the towel, while those with surfaces over 150 square meters are growing. In 2019, the stores linked to the chains fell for the first time since 2011, reaching 42%.

Source: Bio Bank