Healthy organic food has a long standing tradition in Germany. The term Bio (eco) is an abbreviation of Biologisch (ecological) and refers to health products in general. To enable consumers to identify and trust ecological products, an official seal of approval was developed in 2001. Strict regulations, rigorous controls and high penalties serve to prevent offence and abuse.
Many small organic or whole food shops are to be found as can a few organic supermarket chains. Most mainstream supermarkets and discounters also have their own organic product lines. This section of the market stands for the development of a broader group of buyers, but also a more aggressive price policy. That also means that smaller whole food stores have to bear the brunt, in spite of their good quality.
A few elusive organic names can be seen on some products. Those wishing to ensure an authentic product is bought, should only purchase goods with the official symbol.