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UK: Organic market shows improved growth amidst tumbling food prices

The Soil Association’s 2015 Organic Market Report reveals sales of organic products increased by 4% in 2014. The new figures announced in February 2015 show this is significant growth in a year when both food prices (down 1.9%) and food spending (down 1.1%) fell. 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. Growth in sales across Soil Association Certification symbol holders increased by 7.7%.

Organic market in the UK 2014. Source/Copyright: Soil Association


Dairy products and fresh fruit and vegetables were the most popular organic purchases. Overall, the strongest market growth was through online shopping and box schemes (11.7%) and independent retailers (5.7%) which offer the choice and convenience of extensive organic ranges in one place. More than a quarter of spending on organic products (27.9%) is in the dairy aisles with yoghurt sales increasing by 13.8% and dairy sales increasing by 6.5% -a stark contrast to the 3% contraction of the non-organic dairy market.

Sales of organic eggs and poultry were up 15.8% and 8.2%, while non-organic sales dipped by 6.2% and 3.3% respectively. There were also sharp increases for a wide range of other products against a background of sliding non-organic sales including fresh fruit (up 6.4%), tea (up 13.7%), cereals (up 4.2%) and biscuits (up 7.2%). sales of organic vegetables fell by 2%, but in a context in which non-organic sales plummeted at five times this rate. There was also significant growth in organic supply into catering, (13.6%), reflecting dynamic growth of the Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark in schools, workplaces and hospitals - the market exceeded £1 million a week for the first time and is now worth £55.8 million. Health and beauty (up 20%) and textile (up 3.4%) sectors also grew in 2014.

Source:  Soil Association press release of 24 February 2015

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