AEON Co., Ltd., the leading Japanese supermarket chain is continuously expanding their organic business with a wider range of products and new partners. On May 16, 2016, AEON concluded a basic agreement on the establishment of a joint venture with Bio c ‘Bon, Inc. which operates organic supermarkets in France and is expanding its business to other countries.
In response to the increasing health consciousness, the organic market across the world continues to grow at rate of 15% or more per year. With a total sales volume of about 573 billion yen * ※, France is on rank three, following No. 1, the United States, and Germany.
The French government has started a program/campaign “Ambition Bio 2017” aiming to double the area of organic farmland and to increase the consumption of organic food by 20% with a focus on meals served in staff cafeterias until 2017. This is one of the efforts of the government in promoting the expansion of the market nationwide.
Japan is now the seventh biggest market organic market in the world with annual sales of approximately 143 billion yen ※ and there is still much room for growth. This forecast is based on several facts and trends: Increasing health-consciousness, growing interest in safety and sustainability of food and other products among consumers, especially families with small children, which all leads to more demand for organic products. Furthermore, more market growth is anticipated in connection with the release of basic guidelines in the procurement code regarding sustainability for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 in line with the London Olympics 2012 and the Rio Olympics 2016.
Bio c ‘Bon was established in 2008 and until now has opened 90 organic supermarkets
in Paris which offer fresh perishables and reasonably priced products. The company continues to expand its business in urban areas and abroad, such as in Milano and Madrid, in a rapid pace, leading to the expansion of the overall organic Market in France.
Ever since the Organic JAS system was introduced in 2000, AEON has actively worked on expanding the organic market in Japan in cooperation with public organizations and producers.
AEON was also a pioneer in offering Japan’s first certified organic products.
With the establishment of Bio c ‘Bon Japon, the new company is determined to take a lead in the expansion of the organic market in Japan by taking full advantage of the assets and know-how of both companies. The first branch of Bio c ‘Bon is scheduled to open in Tokyo by the end of this year with more to follow. Customers can expect an attractive and wide range of products and services meeting their requirements for health, wellness and happiness.
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※ Quote from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
“Towards the expansion of organic and eco agriculture (September 18, 2015)”