Organic food and drink sales rose by 7.4% in the 52 weeks to July 1, as consumers increasingly prioritised nutritious, easily traceable foods, claimed the Soil Association.
Organic fruit sales increased 12.6% across the year, while tomato and salad sales were up 13.1% and 7.9%, respectively.
Soil Association business development director Clare McDermott said: “Organic product innovation is demonstrating a wide appeal for consumers prioritising food quality, taste, and wellbeing simultaneously.”
Sales up 25.5%
Organic banana sales recorded the highest growth of any food and drink across the year, with sales up 25.5%. Confectionery and soft drinks sales increased 8.3%, while cereal sales were up 6.5%.
The organics sector growth was fuelling momentum in innovative products, including non-dairy milks and nut-based butters, said the Soil Association. Market demand and new product development meant organic products featured in more than 8,000 retail stores last year, it added.
Waitrose – one of the supermarkets to sell organic produce – said organic sales had dramatically increased over the past 12 months.
‘Searching out healthy options’
The supermarket’s brand manager Kate Gibbs said: “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.”
Meanwhile, earlier this year, Tesco revealed its organic food sales had increased 15% over the past year. Organic fish and dairy products proved more popular with shoppers.
Key growth areas of organic over past 52 weeks
- Spreads and preserves sales up 21%
- Fruit sales up 12.6%
- Confectionery and soft drink sales up 8.3%
- Salad sales up 7.9%
- Cereal sales up 6.5%