UK organic sales reach record high

The UK organic market is now worth £2.2bn, the highest it has ever been and growing 6 per cent in 2017

According to The Soil Association's 2018 Organic Market report, the market has now had six years of steady growth with organic accounting for 1.5 per cent of the total UK food and drink market.

Independent retailers' sales saw a 9.7 per cent increase, while supermarkets saw sales rise 4.2 per cent.

The findings also reveal that the use of organic produce in foodservice is on the rise, with £84.4m spent on organic in foodservice over the past year. That equates to around £1.62m being spent on organic in the catering and foodservice sector every week across the UK.

Clare McDermott, business development director at Soil Association Certification said, “Foodservice is a growing market in itself, and although right now organic still has a small share in this industry, it’s one of the fastest growing areas of the organic market and there is huge potential to accelerate that upward trend as people put more and more value on knowing where their food has come from.

"Our consumer research shows that a growing number of people are on the lookout for organic when they dine out, but 67 per cent of people told us that they find it difficult to know whether organic is on the menu, which is why schemes like Organic Served Here are so important for driving more growth of organic in foodservice.”

Recent research carried out by Soil Association Certification found that half of those surveyed would be more likely to choose a restaurant that highlights its ethical and sustainable credentials, while 41 per cent felt dishes described as ‘organic’ are more appealing.

However, 67 per cent believed it is not easy to determine whether organic food and drink is available at some establishments, and 47 per cent thought more restaurants should serve ethically or sustainably sourced dishes. The results highlight the growing demand for organic in foodservice: this is encouraging for restaurants and cafes already serving organic, but also demonstrates the opportunity for more food places to introduce organic to their menu.

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