Soil Association’s Organic September Consolidates Organic Sales & Consumer Awareness

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Soil Association’s Organic September Consolidates Organic Sales & Consumer Awareness

Sustained growth has been consolidated by the organic market due to additional promotional and marketing support in this year’s Organic September.

Soil Association Certification is announcing renewed growth beating last year’s sales data (according to supermarket figures) and further indicating that organic is now a core part of the market.

Organic sales through supermarkets increased by +6% compared to -0.7% in non-organic sales for the 52 weeks to 1st October 2016 according to Nielsen.

  • The produce sector had a very strong performance at +9.6% with significant growth continuing on organic fruit.
  • Dairy improved its position showing a +6.3% value growth during 4 weeks to end of Sept, the highest growth since non-organic milk pricing was lowered
  • Across grocery, the key categories driving double-digit growth during Sept were cereals, biscuits, jams & spreads, oils & vinegars, and rice/pasta
  • Sales of Waitrose Duchy Organic meat and fish were up 17% in the first week of October and within that, pre-packed beef was up 28% and service counter fish was up 46%
  • Aldi have increased their range of home grown fruit and veg to 6 products and announced that sales grew at 48% year on year this September compared to 2015

The good news for organic sales in supermarkets comes at the same time as Soil Association Certification releases new research into the organic consumer. This research, completed by The Crow Flies on behalf of Soil Association Certification, demonstrates that organic is not niche and more people than ever are choosing to purchase organic.

Organic sales are benefiting from consumers who are searching out products with the most credible audited supply chains, following increasing levels of mistrust among shoppers revealed in Soil Association Certification’s new consumer research.

The research highlights some key trends, including convenience and suggests that there is an opportunity for all stores to sell more organic. Within supermarkets this offers more options for ranging the right organic products to the right stores, particularly in smaller ‘top up’ stores.

A heightened consumer awareness and interest in food production is also leading to a re-engagement with high street independents selling organic. Full market data will be released by Soil Association Certification in February when their annual Organic Market Report is completed.