As of 2020, the Belgian market for local products has experienced various trends indicating a strong consumer preference for fresh and organic goods. Demand for these products has surged, as highlighted by historical data from 2008 to 2017, indicating over a doubling of expenditure on organic fresh foods and drinks in Belgium, including a triple in the Brussels region. The market itself is characterized by diversity in products and is highly competitive, featuring small local producers, SMEs, and large agri-food companies. Despite this competition, there is significant room for growth as Belgians show a willingness to increase organic consumption, with projections suggesting further growth as 8 out of 10 respondents expressed a desire to consume more organic products. The market is also influenced by international trade with France remaining a key export partner for Belgium in this sector. Sales are predominantly made through supermarkets, which occupy 95.3% of the market share compared to 4.7% for retailers, although direct from farm purchases, cooperatives, and online initiatives are on the rise. Lastly, Belgium follows the European organic farming trend with a marked increase in organic farming surface area, the number of organic producers, and sales of organic products, surpassing the growth rate within the EU. Recognition of local products is facilitated by labels such as PDO, PGI, and TSG, which ensure and signal quality to consumers..Belgian Market Trends in Local and Organic Food Demand In Belgium, the inclination for local and organic food has showcased an impressive trajectory of growth, with demand more than just doubling over the period of 2008 to 2017. In Flanders alone, expenditures on organic fare soared from nearly 84 million to around 190 million euros, while the Brussels region exhibited a staggering threefold increment from approximately 22.5 million to about 70 million euros. This surge reflects an enduring and substantial appetite for fresh, organic products within the Belgian market. Moreover, when juxtaposed with the international landscape, Belgian consumers display mixed opinions about future food quality and access to healthy diets. The anticipation for improved access to healthy food is split, with close to 30% foreseeing an enhancement contrasting with roughly 25% predicting a decline. Belgians also seem to harbor less optimism regarding the quality of future food consumption, with only about 23% expecting an upturn versus another 25% foreseeing a deterioration. Local food, while gradually gaining traction amidst these perceptions, does not predominantly preoccupy Belgian consumers; a slender majority of 51% express a preference for local produce even if it restricts their options. This percentage is notably lower compared to neighboring countries like Germany and France, where the figure swings between 60% and 70%. Conventional distribution channels still dominate the market, accounting for the lion's share of purchases in fresh products. However, progressive milieus championing short supply chains have begun to sprout up. These initiatives, such as Boeren and online platforms like Local Eat, are changing consumers' buying habits, offering direct ties between producers and consumers and reinforcing the local produce movement. Even traditional supermarkets are heeding this shift by incorporating a selection of local products. The supply of organic food continues to burgeon, following European trends. Belgium witnessed a pronounced increase in organic farming indicators, with the number of organic producers rising substantially by between 80% and 85% from the period 2010 to 2017. Belgian consumers are notably embracing organic products, with nearly eight in ten expressing a desire to increase their organic consumption, particularly noticeable among the younger demographic aged between 18 and 24 years. The burgeoning local produce market in Belgium is punctuated by a roster of products bearing the PDO, PGI, and TSG labels—verification mechanisms that deliver a potent message to consumers regarding product origin, quality, and manufacturing tradition. Labels such as the PDO underscore the singular craftsmanship and geographic uniqueness inherent in several Belgian.### Key Players in the Belgian Local Products Market #### Supermarkets and Hypermarkets - The Dominant Distribution Channel As highlighted previously, supermarkets and hypermarkets claim the lion's share of sales in the local products market, accounting for 95.3% of purchases. This traditional retail model remains vastly popular due to its convenience and ability to offer a wide range of products, including local and organic options to meet the increasing consumer demand. #### Agrofood Giants and Private Brands The competition in the local products market, aside from traditional retailers, includes large agri-food companies and private labels that often have an extensive reach and resources to promote their products. These entities may offer a diverse range of local products, capitalizing on the growing consumer interest in local and traditional food. #### Local Producers and Artisans The backbone of the local product scene, local producers and artisans are those dedicated individuals or small teams who maintain traditional methods to create authentic local products. These players are crucial for preserving the cultural heritage associated with Belgian gastronomy and ensuring a continuous offer of genuine local foods. #### Emerging SMEs and Innovative Startups Innovative small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups are shaking up the market by introducing new ways to connect consumers with local products. These often include online platforms and direct-to-consumer models that aim to shorten the supply chain and provide fresher produce while supporting the local economy. #### Online Marketplaces and Geolocation Services Digital initiatives such as Topino, The Hive That Says Yes, Efarmz, and Local Eat are gaining traction by offering geolocation services and web platforms that allow consumers to easily find local producers and purchase their products directly. This business model fulfills the increasing consumer preference for both convenience and support of local economies. #### Community-Supported Agriculture and Cooperatives Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and cooperative models like the Group of Solidarity Purchasing of Peasant Agriculture (GASAP) or Farmers and Craftsmen in Floreffe play a crucial role in fostering direct relationships between producers and consumers. These models not only support the local economy but also encourage sustainable agriculture practices. #### Traditional and Local Initiatives Belgian consumers still have a strong appreciation for traditional buying methods, as evidenced by the success of initiatives such as the "C'est bon, c'est wallon" market and the local distribution platform Boeren, which adheres to a "short chain 2.0" approach. These initiatives aim to promote sustainable systems where there's a direct link between producer and
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1 Market summary

1.1 Definition

Local products refer to food products considered as an integral part of Belgian gastronomy, with a traditional and local component.

The market for local products is characterised by a diversity of products (dairy products, meat, fruit and vegetables, etc.) and a large number of players with a high competitive intensity (private label, agri-food giants, local producers, innovative SMEs, etc...)

In the local produce market, the performance of local companies depends heavily on consumers' commitment to these products, while at the same time attracting customers across borders. In addition, the quality of the products and the manufacturing process must be identical in order to preserve the "signal" sent, which is facilitated by the introduction of a label.

The challenge for players in the local produce sector remains to acquire a public recognition like the big names in delicatessen.


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Latest news

Savencia net profit in 2022 down - 09/03/2023
  • Savencia net profit in 2022: 68 million euros (-18% year-on-year).
  • Savencia sales in 2022: 6.5 billion euros (+16.8% year-on-year).
  • Organic growth of 16.7% in the "other dairy products" category.
  • Continued price increases for industrial dairy products between 2020 and 2022 in France.
  • Savencia presence in Ukraine and Russia, acquisition of OAO Belebey in 2018.
Foie gras: French competition authority to investigate major merger project - 16/12/2022
  • Maïsadour (Delpeyrat brand) and Euralis (Rougié and Montfort) want to create a new duck cooperative
  • Both cooperatives have been severely affected by the four bird flu outbreaks, the last of which alone forced the slaughter of over 20 million birds
  • The number of foie gras palmipeds has fallen drastically Industrial facilities have too much capacity for the number of animals to be processed
Delpeyrat invests to modernize Saint-Pierre-du-Mont - 15/11/2022
  • Automation of Delpeyrat's packaging facility in Saint-Pierre-du-Mont
  • Investment of 4.3 million euros in the automation program
  • Three production lines concerned: foie gras in jars or preserves and canned confits
  • Project objectives: productivity gains and improved working conditions.
Savencia invests in Responsible Bio with Vivre Vert. - 14/03/2022
  • Range of 13 references (ultra-fresh, milk, cheese and culinary aids).
  • Creation of two plant-based products in April: a "salad-perfect" mozzarella, an original product, and a plain spread, manufactured at the Group's French industrial sites, while other references are outsourced.
Savencia Fromage & Dairy reports satisfactory growth - 11/02/2022
  • Cheese and dairy products manufacturer Savencia Fromage & Dairy ends 2021 with sales of 5.6 billion euros, up 8.7%
  • This was due to the integration of CF&R and Alternative Foods, and organic growth of 7.3%

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Bistrot de Terroir
Boucherie Uyttersprot-Saeys
Savencia Fromage & Dairy groupe
De Ster
Brasserie Palm
Van Ouytsel
Ahold Delhaize
Au comptoir des Belges

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the market for local products | Belgium

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