Edeka has said that it is increasing its emphasis on healthy foods by training employees to offer nutritional advice, increasing its own brand "light" offering and introducing "extensive" nutritional labelling.

The German retailer said that it is currently training 1,100 food service employees to offer customers advice on health and nutrition. This augments the group's advice services that include a customer hotline and specialist brochures available online and in-store.

Edeka is also developing its reduced fat "light" own label offering and enhancing nutritional information on product labels.

"German consumers are very concerned about health and diet and we are responding to this by increasing the information available and continuing to expand our reduced fat product offering," a spokesperson for the retailer told just-food today (2 May).

Edeka's light range includes 14 sausage varieties, milk and cheese products. Currently about 40 own label reduced fat products are available, but the company expects to increase this to more than 80 products, the company told just-food.
 
Edeka has also responded to increased demand for organic products and now offers more than 250 organic foods. Demand is especially strong for organic fruit and vegetables, the retailer said, with sales rising 55% year-on-year.

Edeka has developed a labelling system that will emphasise the nutritional content of foods by labelling the so-called "big eight" - calories, protein, carbohydrate, sugar, fat, saturated fat, fibre and salt. The labels will also highlight recommended daily amounts for sugar, fat, saturated fat and salt.

The company yesterday revealed that Alfons Frenk will step aside as CEO. Markus Mosa will replace him at the helm of the German retailer.