Independent retail has proven instrumental to the growing organic market and following new figures from Nielsen for the 52 weeks to June 18, the Soil Association is predicting overall value of the organic market in the UK to reach and exceed £2bn by the end of 2016.
According to the Nielsen data, strong organic growth has continued through the first half of 2016 and is now +5.2% compared to +3.2% at the end of 2015 through supermarket sales , against a decline of -0.9% in non-organic sales for same period.
Clare McDermott, business development director at Soil Association Certification said; “Despite an uncertain market following Brexit, Soil Association Certification is positive about the future of organic. Market growth is strong and there is a clear demand for organic, environmentally friendly and sustainable purchasing with many young professionals. The UK will still be required to comply with EU organic standards as minimum to maintain the flow of organic products to and from the EU and the Soil Association will continue to influence and improve the marketplace for organic businesses.”
Organic customers are increasingly searching out specific products and widening the range of places they buy organic – the Soil Association’s Organic Market Report showed an increase of +7.5% of sales through independent stores, and +9.1% through online and box schemes. The strength of online ordering for organic continues.
Key areas of growth in the organic market so far for 2016 include produce which remains buoyant and canned or packaged grocery, driven by big increases in cereals, tea, biscuits, jams, spreads and oils and vinegars.
Through Organic September the Soil Association encourages shoppers to look for organic through a large digital and media campaign. Many retailers including all the multiples have already signalled their support. Shops are joining the campaign with a range of activities, including on pack promotion using the Soil Association’s Organic September stickers, range promotions, organic events and sampling throughout September.
The Soil Association is helping all retailers and businesses get involved with free marketing support and involvement in the targeted Organic September campaign. A high profile media and digital campaign supports all organic businesses.