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UK: organic market tops £2 billion

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The 2017 Organic Market Report was launched by the Soil Association on Monday, 21st of February. The report reveals that the UK organic market is now in its fifth year of growth and worth £2.09 billion. Total sales of organic products increased by 7.1% in 2016 while non-organic product sales continued to decline.

UK: organic sales statistic

According to the report, organic products represent about 1.5% of the entire UK food and drink market. Clare McDermott, Business Development Director at Soil Association Certification, said: “It’s a positive time for the organic market as it ticks lots of boxes for consumers. Organic production is extremely relevant for customers who live in line with trends like eating better food, wanting to know where their food comes from, avoiding pesticides or antibiotics, and ‘free from’ diets. Increasingly, we are watching consumers who choose organic products as an access to a healthy lifestyle - and this trend will continue. Despite the uncertainty about the Brexit and its consequences for all of us, the British peoples' decision provides lots of new opportunities, too. Particularly for the export of British organic goods and more innovative products.”

More consumers are seeking organic

Recent research from England Marketing reveals that 39% of customers buy organic food on a weekly basis. 80% of all consumers claim that they have some knowledge about organic food.
Key trends include:
•    Supermarket sales of organic products have grown by 6.1%
•    Independent retailers increased sales of organic goods by 6.3%
•    Sales of organic products through home delivery have grown by 10.5%
•    Sales of organic products to the foodservice market have grown by 19.1%
•    The organic beauty and wellbeing sector has grown by 13% is worth £61.2 million
•    Soil Association textile licensees increased organic sales by 30% to £28 million

Supermarkets account for 69% of total sales andcustomers are also ordering more organic products online as the internet provides a wider range of innovative options. Organic food is more available than ever. Many high street food chains like McDonalds, Jamie’s Italian, Nando’s and Pret include organic products on their menus.

More supermarket chains are offering wider ranges of organic choices and new independent food stores are growing rapidly. Meanwhile, the cost sector is growing strongly (+19.1%) as more schools, hospitals and workplaces serve organic food. The demand has strongly been driven by the Soil Association Food for Life Catering Mark with £15 million now spent on organic food - an increase of 66%.

UK sales are catching up with market growth rates around the world. The global organic food market is valued at $81 billion and the UK represents around 4% of global sales.  In many countries, British organic products are seen as the best goods you can possibly buy - particularly in the Far East, US and Europe. Overall, nearly half (49%) of Soil Association Certification licensees are exporting products with an estimated value of exports at £250m.

First market report on the organic beauty and wellbeing market

UK organic beauty sales

In 2017, the first market report on the organic beauty and wellbeing market by the Soil Association, reflecting the continued growth in organic and natural beauty (+13% to £61.2 million), was presented. Soil Association certified beauty brands are also on the up, and have increased by 22% in 2016. Future predictions show that there will be a greater crossover between people who buy organic food and non-food items. More consumers will enter the organic market by buying health and wellbeing products.


Consumer Behaviour

Great Britain



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