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UK Organic Sales Growing

01 October 2014

UK - The UK’s organic grocery market is showing accelerating growth - outperforming non-organic sales in supermarkets.

The figures from Nielsen, as presented by Mike Watkins at the Soil Association annual market briefing, show growth in the organic grocery market of 3.2 per cent for the four weeks to 16 August 2014 compared with a fall in the non-organic grocery market of 0.9 per cent in the same period.

This continues a trend where organic sales have been growing at 1.2 per cent compared with a stagnant non-organic market for the year to 16 August 2014.

Organic sales in the UK now make up a 1.3 per cent share of the £96 billion food and drink market.

Despite household budgets still being under pressure, 83 per cent of UK households now buy organic in some form and 29 per cent of shoppers are willing to pay more for products that are ethically produced or kinder to the environment.

The growth trend is reflected in Soil Association licensees’ organic sales which increased 8 per cent year on year, with an 11 per cent increase since April 2014.

The acceleration in growth follows research into the nutritional benefits of organic crops compared with non-organic crops, published by Newcastle University in July.

As part of the Soil Association’s Organic September campaign, Small Changes, Big Difference, the Market Briefing was an opportunity for the organic supply chain to hear from suppliers, retailers and industry experts.

Rob Sexton, chief executive of Soil Association Certification said; “The UK’s organic market is fast improving.

“In fact, on top of the positive Nielsen data, our own figures show that Soil Association symbol holders are reporting an increase of eight per cent in organic sales year on year.

“Consumers have evidence to help them feel confident about what they buy, in the wake of the Newcastle University report showing how we farm absolutely does impact on the quality of the food we eat.

“We are also seeing supermarkets and brands making more space for organic on shelves and investing more in innovation and marketing.

“Combined together, all these indicators reveal the growing confidence in the organic market is well justified.”

TheMeatSite News Desk

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