Published Date : Feb 23, 2016
In the U.K., shoppers spent an additional £1.73 million on organic products last year with the growing appetite for the niche food sector. According to the industry body The Soil Association, the organic food market has grown by 4.9% to £1.95 billion in 2015. The organic food products market has outperformed the wider food and drink market where sales have registered a dip of 0.9% last year. The demand for organic food products was negatively affected during the recession. When the financial crisis occurred in 2008, consumers cut back their weekly shopping bills, thereby hitting the organic products market. However, the upbeat figures suggest the slow recovery of the market.
Changing Shopping Patterns Boost Demand for Organic Food
The rising popularity of organic foods has provided relief to the independent retailers who have reported a 7.5% hike in sales last year. The small players in the market have also benefitted due to the changes in shopping habits of consumers, including fewer weekly shopping trips and the growing trend of buying fewer items at more frequent intervals. For example, independent yogurt producer, The Collective, has reported a significant rise in its annual sales, from £9 million to £15 million owing to stronger consumer demand for organic products. Regular health warnings regarding over consumption of sugar have led consumers to opt for natural, unsweetened yoghurts.
Dairy Products Dominate U.K. Organic Food and Drinks Market
The Soil Association reports that oils and vinegar, jams and spreads, and fish were the strongest organic growth segments last year. The sales of organic poultry and organic bananas rose by 13% and 14% respectively. However, diary food products have been the most popular segment in the regional organic food market and has accounted for 26.6% of the overall market. The sales of organic milk and organic yoghurt have witnessed significant rise.