Organic Market Growth Continues
Soil Association finds third consecutive year of growth
The organic market grew by 4.9% in 2015 according to new research from the Soil Association.
The 2016 Organic Markets report shows that there was a third consecutive year of growth with the market now worth £1.95billion.
Growth across all sectors
The Soil Association say that UK shoppers are now spending £1.73million per week on organic products.
This growth is across most sectors with, for example, supermarket sales up 3.2%, independent retailers sales up 7.5% and box scheme sales up 9.1%
The Soil Association believe that changing consumer habits generally are at the root of the growth as they switch to independent retailers and away from big chains.
Martin Sawyer, Chief Executive of Soil Association Certification said:
"This is a hugely exciting time and we're set to break the £2billion mark in 2016. This is largely thanks to a change in shopping habits and the growth of online."
Helen Browning, Chief Executive of the Soil Association adds that:
"As shoppers continue to move away from the big shop, signs are looking positive for future organic retail sales and home delivery is doing great business."
The change is thought to be partly driven by young and socially and environmentally conscious 'millenials', people born between 1980 to 2000. This assumption is in part based on new research from the US which shows that whereas a third of Americans over 65 try to include organic in their diet, 53% of 18 to 29 year olds do. This should give us confidence for the future.
The Soil Association say that:
"These consumers are increasingly choosing organic because they want to know the origins of their food and are willing to pay more for products where standards are supporting the environment, society and animal welfare".
Other highlights from the report include:
- The organic catering sector has increased by 15.2%
- The organic health and beauty market increased by 21.6% to £54.2million
- More than £9 million is now spent on organic food through the Soil Association Catering Mark, an increase of 28.5%
- Organic has a 1.4% share of the food and drink market
- The grocery sector also performed well driven by products such as jams and spreads (+28.1%), fish (+25.1%), oils and vinegars (+17.5%), and tea (+12.8%)
The report is available from the Soil Association website
We use data from the Soil Association in our Ethical Consumerism Report.
We'll be covering organic box schemes in the next issue of the magazine.