The UK’s organic market grew sales by 4.5% in 2019 and is now worth just under £2.45 billion.
According to the Soil Association Certification’s Organic Market Report, organic sales have reached their highest-ever value, with £200m spent each month.
“With the climate crisis and British farming dominating the headlines, organic is more relevant than ever as a way for shoppers looking for simple choices to reduce their environmental impact,” says Clare McDermott, Business Development Director at Soil Association Certification, says. “2020 will be a tipping point where organic becomes the go-to choice for shoppers who want to have a sustainable shopping basket”
Growth not only happened in traditional supermarkets, but also in home delivery, foodservice and independent retail sectors.
“The momentum for a systemic change in our approach to food and farming is building,” Simon Crichton, food, farming and trade team manager at Triodos Bank UK, who supported the publishing of the report, said. “This year’s Organic Market Report data reflects the great work that the Soil Association and its licensees across the UK are doing to shift mindsets and put the health of people and planet first.”
One of the biggest retail success stories was online retailer Ocado, which expanded its organic lines to over 4,500 and saw a 12% increase in sales. Home delivery overall grew at more than 11%.
The Soil Association Certification said organic veg box schemes were also key to the increases. It said independent retailers saw a 6.5% rise in sales of organic in 2019.
Supermarket sales of organic increased again in 2019, up 2.5%*, outpacing the overall market.
Organic sales have not been isolated from the rise in popularity of plant-based foods. The share of total organic sales accountable through deli and chilled convenience – where many vegan options are categorised – is 15 times bigger than it was in 2015.