Posted: 24/02/2016

Indie shops leading the charge as organic grows again in 2015

soil-association-signIndependent retailers are spearheading the continued sales growth of organic products in the UK, according to the Soil Association’s latest Market Report.

Launched on February 23, the report revealed that sales of organic goods in independents hit £308m in 2015, up 7.5% from 2014’s total, while supermarkets only saw a 3.2% increase in the same period.

Independent retailers now account for 16% of total organic sales, which were £1.95bn in 2015 – the highest since the previous peak of £2.11bn in 2008.

Sales of organic have continued to outperform the non-organic grocery market which decreased by 0.9% in the same period.

Across all retail channels, the top six performing organic food and drink categories in 2015 were jams & spreads (up 28.1%), fish (25.1%), oils & vinegar (17.5%), bananas (14.4%), poultry (13.1%) and tea (12.8%)

According to small shops surveyed by the Soil Association, the top three organic categories customers are looking for are fruit & vegetables (64%), grocery (56%) and dairy (42%).

The organic accreditation body also said that rapid growth in box schemes and online sales channels, especially – Amazon’s forays into the food market – meant there was great potential for producers looking to boost their sales.

“This is a hugely exciting time for the organic sector, with the market set to break through the £2 billion mark in 2016 and reach levels seen before the recession,” said Soil Association Certification chief executive Martin Sawyer. “Thanks to the growth of online, it is now possible for retailers to connect consumers with the broadest choice of organic products.”

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