Organic food and drink sales increase

Organic food and drink is now on the increase within the UK and more than half of the organic produce is sold through two supermarket giants – Waitrose and Sainsburys.

Recovery of sales for organic food and drink, year on year to mid August of 2013 have increased by 0.6% from £1.22bn to 1.23bn.  The independent figures were produced by Nielson for organic food and farming body the Soil Association, which said that this is now a step in the right direction and the first sign of longer-term recovery.

2012 showed sales fell for organic produce by 1.5% and in 2011 they fell by 3.7%.  2008 before the start of the recession, showed sales of organic products totalled £2.1bn.

The published sales figures were released as the organisation that also certifies organic products in the UK through a network of licensed producers.  They have also received the ‘go ahead’ from Advertising Standard Authority to use new advertising guidelines to promote organic produce.  These guidelines are available for anyone selling organic products and will aim to provide a clearer selling message to consumers.

The figures have reveals that –

1. The dairy sector continues to show the strongest performance with sales or organic milk at £143m retail value growing 2.2%
2. Grocery, tea and yoghurts also show a increase year on year with growth sales of 19% and 9% respectively
3. Organic babyfood also shows a 57% share of trading

Peter Melchett, Policy Director of the Soil Association, said: “There is little doubt that consumers are reappraising the organic offer in stores and making choices which guarantee a high level of sourcing integrity. Organic poultry is having a revival after a few slow years – a real sign that food assurance is becoming more relevant to shoppers.