UK organic market grew 4.5% in 2019, Soil Association report reveals

Soil Association Certification’s annual Organic Market Report 2020 reveals that the market continued its strong growth in 2019, up 4.5% to reach a record £2.45bn. The UK organic market is on target to hit £2.5bn by the end of 2020.

Around £200m a month is now spent on organic food and drink as the rise of the ‘conscious consumer’ sees shoppers making two more trips to buy organic than they did five years ago.

The report shows growth across all areas, including supermarkets, home delivery, foodservice and independent retail, as demand for organic continues to increase across the UK.

Organic wine was 2019’s greatest success story with sales increasing by 47%, now worth around £50 million (Nielsen).

The biggest growth channel for organic was online and home delivery, with sales growing by 11.2%. Soil Association Certification put the success of this channel – which includes organic veg box schemes and online retailers – down to savvy shoppers turning to the internet to choose from the widest ranges of organic products available.

Independent retailers, the traditional high street home of organic, enjoyed a 6.5% rise in sales of organic in 2019. Supermarket sales of organic increased by 2.5% despite their overall share of the UK’s organic market falling 1% to 64.6%, as other channels ate into their dominance.

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. Bucking this trend, organic poultry and eggs each saw sales increase over 12%.

Sales of certified organic and natural beauty products grew a remarkable 23%, while sales of Soil Association Certification certified organic textiles increased by 10% in 2019.

Download the Organic Market Report 2020.

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