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Health interest points to record growth in Organic September

The organic market has continued to grow in the first half of 2017, driven significantly by increased consumer interest in nutrition and a desire for traceability in food sourcing. Some of the biggest areas of growth include fruit (+12.6%), tomatoes (+13.1%) and salad (+7.9%).

Bananas, meanwhile, have had the highest growth of any food and drink product in the organic sector with sales soaring by 25.5%. Sustaining the steady growth seen over the past five years, total sales of organic grew by 4.1% in the 52 weeks to 1 July 2017.

With strong consumer interest in fresh, healthy, and seasonal foods driving growth, retail promotions and brand participation in this year’s Organic September will provide a further and phenomenal boost to the organic sector.

The continued growth is driven widely by younger consumers, with the 24 – 44 age group being the most committed to buying organic. Shoppers are increasingly seeking out healthy food, as reflected in booming sales of organic produce (up 7.4%).

The rise in organic sales is in line with heightened consumer awareness and interest in well-being, with more health-conscious consumers making nutritious food choices including smoothies, salads, fresh dairy and cereals, as well as the desire to try new products.

Kate Gibbs, Brand Manager at Waitrose says: "Organic fruit is very popular at Waitrose, with blueberries being one of our top selling organic products, appealing to those who are searching out healthy options. We are also seeing significant increases in sales of other fruits such as raspberries and apricots. We also find fish and other lean proteins to be examples of the growth in organic within the segment of consumers who are focused on health and wellbeing."

Today, it’s normal to find organic on shop shelves and current figures show that 82% of UK shoppers buy at least one organic item per year, up from 79.5% in 2016.

Clare McDermott, Business Development Director at the Soil Association says: “Organic product innovation is demonstrating a wide appeal for consumers prioritising food quality, taste, and wellbeing simultaneously. With such a wide variety of products to choose from, together with nation-wide events and organic brand promotions, there has never been a better time to try organic than Organic September.”

The demand for organic food nearing an all-time high as the research showing the benefits of organic grows ever stronger, complementing growing public interest in health and well-being. Meanwhile, research for the European Parliament recently found that organic food can reduce risk of developing allergies and adult obesity.

The Soil Association is celebrating this year’s Organic September by shining the spotlight on the organic market’s anticipated record growth in September, making sure consumers understand what organic is, and is supporting nation-wide events and organic brand promotions.

Independent retailers across the country are encouraged to get involved with the first Organic September Saturday: on September 16th, celebrate the best flavours and wide variety of organic foods available by joining the hundreds of retailers and brands already offering giveaways, samplings and discounts.

The Soil Association will host a trade briefing on Tuesday, 19 September, to reveal the organic market’s growth figures between March and September 2017. The event will highlight the changing face of organic retail in the UK, including presentations from some of the best performing and most innovative organic brands in the UK.

For more information and to order a free Point of Sale pack, visit: https://www.soilassociation.org/organicseptember

For more information:
Larissa Milo-Dale
Tel: 0117 314 5149

Publication date: 8/18/2017


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