Organic now accounts for 1.5% of all food bought in the UK – equating to £45m spent by consumers a week – and is expected to grow to £2.5bn by 2020.
Commenting on the report, Soil Association business development director Clare McDermott said the organic sector was in the right place to capitalise on many of the consumer trends popular across retail.
Impact on the planet
“We know that more shoppers are looking to purchase sustainable products to reduce their impact on the planet, and this has combined with an increasing value being placed on transparency and traceability in the food system, more local and online shopping, and increasing interest in healthy options – where organic is often seen as a signpost to healthy choice.
“It’s encouraging that, despite uncertainties in the wider food and drink and non-food sectors, more and more shoppers are turning to the organic symbol as one they can trust to deliver many of the assurances – environmental, nutritional and ethical – that they are looking for.”
Categories that continued to drive growth included wines, chilled foods and canned and packaged grocery. Figures show that the chilled convenience sector, including tofu and fresh vegetarian products, saw sales grow by over 25% last year.