Organic sales soared in September, growing by 7.1% in the four weeks to September 30, according to new Nielsen Scantrack data released this week by the Soil Association (SA). The numbers show that overall sales of organic also hit a high of 1.6% penetration during the month, which the SA claimed was proof that organic won a higher percentage of shoppers’ baskets.
Organic categories driving growth included produce, which increased by 7.6%, eggs (+11.5%); cheese (+15.4%) and wine, which increased by a 41% – a result of organic wine being more widely available in retailers, including Aldi and Lidl.
Meat (driven by bacon and sausages), fish and poultry was up 13.8%, indicating, which the SA said pointed to consumers taking an increased interest in animal welfare and provenance. Bacon recently featured as part of the Soil Association and tech start-up Provenance’s blockchain pilot, which brought the story of organic to the forefront of shoppers’ in-store experience. Also within the meat, fish and poultry category, sales are driven by organic salmon and seaweed (up +51% in Sept against a continuing 52 week trend of +9.8%).
The SA highlighted that organic consumers were increasingly interested in organic fruit, driven for the most part by organic bananas. However, in September, sales of all organic fruit rose by 11.7%, driven by soft fruit and apples. Organic butter has also seen sales rise by 41% as more consumers make the switch from margarine.
Other categories experiencing growth included: Homebaking +11.6%; Tea +23.6%; Preserves & Spreads +26.1%, driven by nut butters and Oils & Vinegars +18.6%
Clare McDermott, Soil Association business development director, said: “We’re really pleased to see such strong growth for organic in September, which has highlighted to us that when consumers see a clear message about what it means to be organic, together with increased prominence and availability through multiples, they do buy in. The key growth areas of fresh fruit, grocery, and meat, fish and poultry, all meet shopper demands from health to food provenance, and strengthen the role that organic plays in meeting these interests.”