Figures from Nielsen showed a growth of +3.2% in organic grocery in the four weeks to 16 August 2014, compared to a fall of -0.9% in non-organics in the same period.
Studies found that 83% of UK households now buy organic in some form [Nielsen Scantrack 52 w/e August 16, 2014] and 29% of shoppers are willing to pay more for products that are ethically produced or kinder to the environment [Nielsen Homescan Survey (GB) January 2014].
The figures from Nielsen were presented at the Soil Association annual market briefing.
As part of the Soil Association’s Organic September campaign - Small Changes, Big Difference - the briefing aimed to give the organic supply chain a chance to hear from suppliers, retailers and industry experts.
Rob Sexton, chief executive of Soil Association Certification, said: “The UK’s organic market is fast improving. In fact, on top of the positive Nielsen data, our own figures show that Soil Association symbol holders are reporting an increase of +8% in organic sales year on year.
“Consumers have evidence to help them feel confident about what they buy, in the wake of the Newcastle University report showing how we farm absolutely does impact on the quality of the food we eat. We are also seeing supermarkets and brands making more space for organic on shelves and investing more in innovation and marketing.
“Combined, all these indicators reveal the growing confidence in the organic market is well justified.”
The growth follows research into the nutritional benefits of organic crops compared with non-organic crops, published by Newcastle University in July.