Organic Market Grows By 7.1% To Be Worth Over £2bn

The growing demand for organic foods was highlighted yesterday in a new report which showed the market had grown 7.1% in 2016 and was now worth £2.09bn.

Whilst still only representing 1.5% of the total UK food and drink market, the positive figure comes at a time when non-organic sales are declining.

The 2017 Organic Market Report published by the Soil Association showed that supermarket sales of organic goods have grown by 6.1%. The sector accounts for 69% of total sales with shoppers also ordering more organic products online where there’s a wider range of options.

Tesco revealed earlier this week that sales of organic foods in its stores had risen by 15% in the past year with increasing numbers of its customers looking to buy organic fish, dairy produce and general grocery items, and not just fruit and vegetables.

Recent research from England Marketing revealed that 39% of shoppers buy organic food on a weekly basis, whilst 80% of all consumers said that they have some knowledge about organic food.

Jeff Hodgson, head of brand at Tesco, commented: “The Organic market is in strong growth which is predicted to continue this year. Organic food is becoming more important to more customers as we see new customers entering the market and existing organic shoppers increasing the size of their organic basket. A proportion of this growth is driven by customers seeing organic as a healthier choice.”

The report also showed that independent retailers had increased sales of organic products by 6.3% and sales through home delivery rose 10.5%. Sales of organic into the foodservice market increased by 19.1%, whilst the organic beauty and wellbeing sector grew by 13% to be worth £61.2m.

Clare McDermott, Business Development Director at Soil Association Certification said: “It’s a positive time for organic as it ticks lots of boxes for consumers. Organic is extremely relevant for trends towards eating better food, knowing where your food comes from, avoiding pesticides or antibiotics and ‘free from’ diets. Increasingly, we’re seeing consumers choose organic as a shortcut to a healthy lifestyle and this will continue. Despite uncertainty around Brexit for us all, it brings lots of opportunities too – particularly for export for British organic and more product innovation.”