Coop opened its first Karma store in the Zug train station, south of Zurich. The store (and formula) is named after its vegetarian private label, which is obviously very present in the store’s product range.
For the flexitarians
The small 140 sqm urban supermarket offers the largest range of vegetarian and vegan products in Switzerland, including fresh and preservable food and drinks, cosmetics and paper. About a third of the product range is organic or fair-trade in nature.
Consumers can browse a coffee and tea bar with seating area, home-made breakfast bowls, smoothies, salads, sandwiches and vegan hotdogs. Thanks to a collaboration with recipe website Fooby, the store can offer a weekly vegetarian recipe with every ingredient present in a gondola.
Coop feels the formula has plenty of potential, as 40 % of Swiss consumers consider themselves flexitarian. Nevertheless, the company should be careful: German chain Veganz, the very first vegan supermarket chain in the world, is in financial turmoil despite lofty ambitions. Even though vegetarian and vegan restaurants pop up all across Europe, store chains of this nature are hard to find. Vegansuper (Groningen), Veggie4u (The Hague) and Vegabond (Amsterdam) are three smaller, independent Dutch initiatives for instance.