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How our appetite for organic food shows no sign of slowing

Georgina Wilson-Powell

8 February 2018

Good news for organic lovers, the market for organic products is booming - with a 6% rise in the last year. The UK organic market is now worth £2.2 billion.

The Soil Association Organic Report, announced this week, reports on increases across the board for organic food and drink, through supermarkets, independent shops and home delivery have all grown. Independent shops saw their sales of organic food and drink rise by nearly 10% in 2017.

Clare McDermott, Business Development Director at Soil Association Certification, said: “We know shoppers are putting increasing value on trust, transparency and traceability when making their purchasing decisions. Organic delivers on those values and is also increasingly seen as the healthy and ethical choice thanks to mounting evidence of the difference between organic and non-organic, both in terms of nutrition and environmental impact."

Soil Assocation Report 2018 1

Independent shops have seen close to a 10% rise in sales of organic food in the last year

However even with this growth, organic only makes up 1.5% of the UK’s food and drink as a whole and the UK lags behind our EU neighbours. In Germany organic food made up over 5% of the overall market in 2016 and in France, where it’s thought 15% of people eat some kind of organic food every day.

But it’s not just the eating at home market that has improved for organic food in the UK - the Soil Association’s Out to Lunch 2017 report has noted that organic choices are appearing on more menus - 12 out of 20 sampled, as opposed to just six two years ago (see here for some of our recent organic restaurant reviews).

However it’s nothing compared to the increase in the organic beauty sector. The Soil Association’s report reveals that the organic and natural beauty market was worth £75.9 million in 2017, up 24% on the previous year, alongside a 25% growth for organic textiles - it’s something we’ve certainly experienced first hand in pebble, seeing the huge demand and massive number of new organic skincare brands that have launched in the last couple of years (see here for some of our favourites). The Soil Association alone has 5,000 registered COSMOS-certified organic beauty brands.

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