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Sales Down But Positive Future For UK Organic Market

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Sales Down But Positive Future For UK Organic Market

Sales Down But Positive Future For UK Organic Market
March 25
15:36 2013

The 2013 Organic market report by the Soil Association highlights key areas of growth in online retail, independent outlets and a shift towards younger consumers during 2012. Overall, the market has dipped by 1.5% as the UK continues through its most challenging economic downturn for many decades. However, the report predicts a positive future for the UK organic market.

The Horsemeat scandal has also had a positive impact. Recent figures from Kantar Worldpanel show in February 2013 that total supermarket organic sales increased to their highest level in nine months, indicating consumers choosing to buy organic as a guarantee of integrity. February sales increased 8.4% versus January. Some independent organic meat suppliers have also reported an increase in sales of up to 20% over the past month.

A strong growth of the global organic market of 25% in the past three years along with urgent questions being asked about our reliance on cheap, low-quality, untraceable food and recent positive sales figures all suggest the market will return to growth.

Report findings show organic shoppers are increasingly choosing the convenience and variety offered by online shopping and specialist stores versus the limited ranges and stock at many supermarkets. Indeed the three leading brands Ocado, Abel & Cole and Riverford saw a 10.3% increase in sales. Another key trend is the ‘Jamie Generation’ of ethically aware consumers. Under 35s significantly increased their average spending on organic products in 2012, pointing to a healthy future for the organic market.

The organic dairy sector, non-food and catering are also showing a positive uplift. The food service sector is opening up rapidly, supported by the Food for Life Catering Mark, where the organic range is in demand and growing.

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