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Targets and strategy

Employee and customer in store

Targets and strategy

With concrete focus areas and a purpose-driven company culture, Axfood creates better quality of life for everyone through affordable, good and sustainable food.

Axfood’s business concept is to serve as a family of different concepts working together, and the vision is to be the leader in affordable, good and sustainable food. This is how Axfood creates a greater quality of life for everyone, which is the Group’s purpose. Four objectives guide the Group’s long-term development.

Work is carried out based on a strategy comprising growth-promoting and efficiency-enhancing focus areas. To promote growth, focus is on developing and offering an affordable assortment. Apart from growing sales at existing stores, key initiatives include continued expansion through more stores, the e-commerce roll-out and the establishment of new formats centrally. The Group is made more efficient through a more data-driven work approach and continued development of the logistics solutions of the future. To stay at the forefront, initiatives and activities to strengthen the culture and engagement are prioritised to attract and develop the industry’s best employees.

Axfood is to take the lead in promoting sustainable food in Sweden by taking a stance, inspiring and offering guidance for affordable, good and sustainable food.

Axfood manages and continuously monitors the Group’s operations based on a set of strategic Group-wide targets. By maintaining a strong financial position and sustainable operations, scope and conditions are created for long-term profitable growth.


Financial targets


Axfood will grow faster than the market. In 2023, Axfood’s retail sales increased by 14.3% (11.9), while market growth was 7.5% (5.7), according to the Swedish Food Retailers Federation and HUI Research.

With different concepts and strong market positions, Axfood has grown faster than the market for several years, both in physical stores and in e-commerce. The trend has accelerated during the last two years, in particularly for Willys, and Axfood has grown twice as much as the market.


The operating margin will be at least 4.5% over the long term. The operating margin in 2023 was 4.1% (4.2).

Due to investments in logistics and the acquisition of Bergendahls Food, the operating margin was under the profitability target for the last two years. However, these investments, together with the development in the store chains, are expected to create favourable conditions for increased profitability over time.

Financial position

The equity ratio is to amount to at least 20% at year-end. As of 31 December 2023, the equity ratio was 23.9% (24.1).

Axfood has a solid balance sheet, and the business model generates stable cash flow. The aim is to maintain a strong financial position to have the scope and flexibility to make investments that will lead to long-term benefits for the Group.


Environmental targets

Sustainable assortment

By 2025, the share of sustainability-labelled products as a percentage of Axfood’s retail sales will amount to at least 30%. In 2023, sustainability-labelled products accounted for 26.6% (26.6).

Sustainability-labelled goods guides consumers to products that are made in a way that takes environmental and social aspects into account. These products are often higher in price since they are generally more expensive to produce, and in the last two years, their share of sales has declined, partly due to consumers’ increased price consciousness due to high inflation. The development of both the customer offering and customer meeting with regards to sustainability and health is a high priority within the Group.

Carbon footprint, own operations

Axfood will have net zero emissions from its own operations by 2030 at the latest. In 2023, total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 1, 2 and part of Scope 3) amounted to 46,475 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (44,571).

The climate target helps to limit GHG emissions to meet both national environmental goals and the Paris Agreement. In 2023, however, emissions increased primarily as a result of higher emissions from procured transports. To counteract this negative trend going forward, work has been initiated to accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuel by switching to using renewable fuel in both own and procured transports from warehouses to stores.

Carbon footprint, food sold

Axfood is to promote more sustainable consumption and production of food by annually reducing its carbon footprint per kilo of food sold. In 2023, the carbon footprint per kilo of food sold was 1.9 kilo carbon dioxide equivalents (1.9).

Axfood shall reduce the assortment’s carbon footprint by offering products that contribute to more sustainable protein consumption, such as a wide selection of sustainable plant-based products. To achieve this transition, new products are continually being developed that taste good and are affordable and sustainably produced. There are no comparison figures for this key performance indicator before 2022 due to a lack of data.

Gender equality

Axfood will have an even long-term gender breakdown in management positions, defined as men and women being represented within a range of 40%–60%. In 2023, the share of women in management positions was 51.2% (50.7).

Axfood is a values-driven company that aspires to reflect society as a whole. Axfood has an even gender breakdown in management positions and in total. The key performance indicator “share of women in management positions” was redefined in 2023 to also include team managers. Comparison figures for 2022 have been restated.


Axfood’s target is for at least 20% of the Group’s managers to have an international background. In 2023, 17.8% (17.2) of Axfood’s managers had an international background.

Axfood endeavours to reflect the diversity found in society, and is to offer all of its employees fair opportunities to contribute and grow. Axfood strives for a broad international representation among its employees.

Sickness-related absence

Sickness-related absence among Axfood’s employees is not to exceed 5.3%. In 2023, sickness-related absence amounted to 6.4% (7.0).

Axfood will offer its employees a healthy work environment with good working conditions that contribute to a low rate of sickness-related absence. During the year, sickness-related absence decreased from a relatively high level owing to effects from the pandemic.