NATURASI’: The Organic Supermarket in Italy

September 11, 2014

In Italy, where traditional food is internationally appreciated, the biological project standardized according to business processes of mass begins to be considered very seriously a demonstration of the commitment lavished on the territory by NATURASI’, a chain founded in 1992 with headquarters in Verona.

Editor’s note: We are pleased to introduce you to a new column, written by Antonello Vilardi who will focus on retail and food trends in Italy

Usually it happens that the consumer in the supermarket shelves looks for a signal to alert him to the presence of organic food, which is representative of the highest quality and naturalness of a product, evocative of a shared philosophy based on respect for the environment.

Through the format of the organic supermarket, reading the display of commercial proposals offered by a social community, every citizen has at its disposal a whole range exclusively made up of genres produced according to organic principles.

This is a clear sign of how the retail trade is directing on targeted offers, specialized on specific topics, but using those established methods of self-service consumer packaged categories, supplemented by assistance in clearly defined sector of the fresh (for meat, poultry, deli, bakery / pastry).

Systems are in use to supermarket chains, typical of a certain size, certain catchment areas, those mechanisms offer automated and detached.

In Italy, where traditional food is internationally appreciated, the biological project standardized according to business processes of mass begins to be considered very seriously a demonstration of the commitment lavished on the territory by NATURASI’, a chain founded in 1992 with headquarters in Verona.

It has organic supermarkets in direct ownership or managed affiliate, whose main features are:

1. The sales area of 250/500 square meters;

2. Catchment area of about 50,000 people;

3. Input with fruit and vegetables, the main body of the store dedicated to everyday items strictly organic (including frozen and perishable items, fixed weight, exhibited in refrigerated display cabinets). Butcher’s shop, deli, bakery and pastry shop are at the service, the mineral water is located at the end of path (in the immediate vicinity of a tiny barrier of cash positions), and there is absence of liqueurs and spirits in general, except for a very small portion of beers (craft) and wines;

4. Higher average prices, which are assumed to be justified by high quality and authenticity of the products;

5. Presence of ethnic food organic, generally hard to find at any other common retail channel;

6. Presence of natural cosmetics and eco-friendly detergents;

7. Spread information about the values at the basis of the type of business carried out;

8. Journal of biological, by title “INFORMARSI’”, a bi-monthly edition, distributed free inside the store;

9. Proposal offers monthly that wink at the prices and thus intend to help bring "niche assortments" to the general public;

10. Localization in high traffic areas with high frequency of access and easy parking facilities in or close to large distribution centers in non-food (electronic, house, clothing, sports and leisure).

Today, the distribution model is based on over a hundred shops, spread evenly throughout the Italian territory (they were also open two stores in Spain, in Madrid), but the company is planning a major expansion, convinced that a business deal that works , however, motivated by recognized social function and laudable purposes.

At the center of the decision-making of the company, slogan that resonates solemnly: "the economy should be at the service of man, not the opposite".

As mentioned, however, does not exempt from deeper reflections.

Organic food is basically derived from accurate premises:

1. The products follow processes for which it has banned the use of chemical fertilizers;

2. Crop rotation respect the structure of the soil and the percentage of organic matter present in it;

3. Adversity plants are fought exclusively through herbal remedies, minerals, and animals that have nothing to do with the chemical synthesis;

4. The breeding of animals follow techniques which respect the well-being and a diet based on organic vegetable genres. Each task force of growth, every method according to industrial farming is ignored;

5. Organic foods are absolutely free from residues of pesticides (fungicides, nematicides, insecticides, weedkillers, herbicides, plant growth regulators, rooting).

No one can doubt the five points indicated, however, must be considered as they do not give guarantee of scientific products more healthy and nutritious than conventional products and non-organic.The science does not conclude in a resolute way that natural and organic necessarily correspond to "good" to an extent remarkable and diverse with respect to conventional food production.

It should also be considered as an entirely organic production, it has a lower average yield of 25/45% compared to the traditional one, and consequently supports the same levels of conventional production and would result in an impact difficult to maintain if a consumer niche is turning into a global phenomenon.

Here they are then, in principle, the opinions of visitors to an organic supermarket in NATURASI’ teaches:


Good organic vegetables and (when possible) local;

Good assortment of ethnic food;

Good organic coffee;

Good selection of cosmetics and beauty products;

Good biodynamic milk and yogurt (lineANDECHSER);

Very flavorful tomato sauce (lineFATTORIA DI VAIRIA);


The quality of the “pasta” (here the judgment of an Italian consumer is normally very strict) does not seem very good, but the assortment is aligned with the best homemade pasta in terms of high prices;

The wine selection is based solely on certifications, but proves stingy in terms of quality;

Frozen foods have an average price expensive, but are of low quality (ice cream line VALSOIA);

Hovers, in some cases, the feeling that the shelves are exposed articles of nature "organic-industrial complex,” which is a type of food production kept within the limits of the certification in order to reassure consumers and tick the highest prices without actually represent a clear break with the traditional system with which procures food.

Indeed, the last in the row of judgments could worry about the consistency of an important message: “the economy must be at the service of man, without always having in mind the profit.”

Here are some typical products on the shelves:

BIOWURSTEL PIG BIOVIDA (ideal for summer barbecues and prepare hot dogs, soy and pork, are gluten free and dairy products);

KEFIR ANDECHSER (refreshing drink made of milk and milk enzymes active, of Caucasian origin, similar to yogurt, creamy, delicate, pleasantly sour aftertaste, ideal for breakfasts, snacks or fresh breaks);

MOPUR VEGETALFOOD (aromatic “carpaccio”, sliced vegetable flavored with a delicate blend of spices, is a proposal for a vegan);

BEER HELLES RIEDENBURGER (historical brand of Bavarian tradition in the production of high fermentation beers, made with spring water, malt and hops from organic farming, ideal as an aperitif or to be sipped during warm summer evenings);

FACE CREAM MAN - AFTER SHAVE BJOBJ (for use after shaving or moisturize the skin daily, contains shea butter, aloe juice and calendula extract, argan oil and sweet almond);

NATURAL COCONUT JUICE DR. ANTONIO MARTINS COCO (package 0.33 liters, produced by young walnut plantations carefully selected);

WHITE EGGS CASCINA MALA (organic eggs from the shell unusually white, produced in a “closed system”. Hens, reared on the farm from the first day of life, are free and open, fed with cereals grown in the same soil).