The organic food market fights back

THE 2015 Organic Market Report, produced by the Soil Association, says that sales of organic products are on the rise, increasing by 4% in 2014.

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The report has revealed that shoppers spent an extra £1.4 million a week on organic products and the organic market exceeded £1.86 billion, bringing sales back to levels in 2009. In addition, growth in sales across Soil Association Certification symbol holders increased by 7.7%.


The improved growth comes at a time of falling food prices, which went down by 1.9%, and food spending decreased by 1.1%, due to the recession.


Dairy products and fresh fruit and vegetables were the most popular organic purchases. The report found that yogurt sales increased by 13.8% and dairy sales increased by 6.5%, which is a stark contrast to the 3% contraction of the non-organic dairy market.


The report has shown that consumers are making more environmentally sustainable choices as nearly one third (29%) of shoppers are seeking out ethically sourced and environmentally friendly products, and over two thirds (68%) making the choice to support local farmers and businesses.


Helen Browning, Soil Association chief executive, said; “Three years ago, commentators were writing off the organic market in the UK. Now, with a third year of steady growth, and against a falling overall food market, it’s clear that reports of organic food’s demise were premature to say the least.


“This reinvigoration may be partly related to an improving economy, but it’s also testament to the fact that retailers and manufacturers who continued to invest in organic lines have continued to thrive. Now, even the discounters are beginning to stock organic ranges.”


The organic sector is embracing innovation in a changing retail landscape with brands adding new, innovative products and keeping customers interested in the sector. The mood among organic business is confident with 63% predicting growth in 2015 and 62% anticipating double-digit growth.