Retail & E-Commerce

Reduction in Prices of Plant-Based Products at BILLA Results in 33% Increase in Sales

Recent figures revealed that Austria is leading the way in Europe in terms of veganism, with the vegan population rising from 3% to 5% since 2021. Whether for regional, animal welfare, organic, or purely plant-based products – a sustainable and conscious diet is becoming increasingly important in the lives of people in Austria. Rewe Group’s BILLA chain has been consistently reacting to this shift in recent months and would like to set new industry standards, with plant-based foods in particular playing a key role.

The Vegavita own-brand has been an integral part of the world of plant products for more than 20 years. As a pioneer, BILLA set a milestone with PFLANZILLA, the first store in Europe by a classic food retailer with a purely plant-based range. BILLA also celebrated the opening of a temporary PFLANZILLA pop-up store in Graz in November. In addition, BILLA PLUS stores offer Austria’s largest plant-based range with thousands of purely plant-based products.

BILLA Veganuary promotions

+33% sales of price-reduced plant-based products

BILLA is also a pioneer in the much-discussed pricing issue in plant-based foods, with the aim of making plant-based products affordable for everyone in Austria. In addition to the 30 equally cheap or cheaper products, BILLA already reduced the price of 20 additional items in November last year to ensure that all Vegavita items are priced the same as an animal counterpart or even cheaper. These price reductions have resulted in a 33 percent increase in sales since implementation. Future new Vegavita products for which there is an animal comparison product will automatically be set at the same price level or, if possible, offered at a lower price.

“We are clearly investing in the right place. It makes us proud to be setting an important example”

Verena Wiederkehr, BILLA Head of plant-based business development, says: “Part of our plant-based strategy is to always keep an eye on prices – and has done so since the beginning. It is our goal to make plant-based enjoyment affordable for everyone. Putting animal products on a par with their plant counterparts in terms of price is an important step on this path and is very well received by our customers. This is proven by the enormous increase in sales of discounted [plant-based] products by 33 percent. We are clearly investing in the right place. It makes us proud to be setting an important example and to be covering the costs incurred as a food retailer.”

vegan milks at Billa
© REWE / BILLA, image credit Robert Harson

One in ten milks sold is purely plant-based

Plant-based milk in particular is becoming increasingly popular. Between 2020 and 2022 alone, sales in Austria increased by 21 percent. At BILLA and BILLA PLUS, every tenth milk sold is now a plant-based variant. However, plant-based milk is still taxed at 20 percent and animal milk at only 10 percent. This difference is between 15 and 25 cents per pack or liter, which is particularly noticeable in times of high prices and inflation. For Veganuary this year, BILLA is setting an example and giving its customers this extra VAT in January on all chilled and non-chilled plant-based variants – i.e. on around 100 products.

“Giving plant-based and animal milk the same tax treatment would not only provide a financial incentive for our customers, but also give them a real choice based on their individual tastes. “Especially in times of inflation, it is important to relieve the financial burden on our customers, as has already been the case in various European countries such as France, the Netherland,s and Finland, which have enshrined VAT equality in law,” said Wiederkehr.

new alternative milk by wunderkern
© Wunderkern

Expanded BILLA GOOD FOOD board focuses on plant-based and organic

The BILLA range offers customers many options for pursuing a sustainable and conscious diet. To better support them on their conscious eating journey, BILLA launched the BILLA GOOD FOOD Board. This includes experts from gastronomy, nutritional science, professional sports and lifestyle and has been sharing useful inspiration as well as tips and tricks on all platforms for almost two years. The BILLA GOOD FOOD Board is all about conscious, purely plant-based and organic enjoyment.

The BILLA online shop is also celebrating Veganuary with many promotions on purely plant-based products. A separate tab shows the plant-based variety at a glance and from January 16th to 18th, customers receive a 25 percent discount on all products in the “purely plant-based” category.

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