Soil Association find the UK Organic market worth more than ever
It is always great to hear we are making a difference. The Soil Association’s 2018 Organic Market Report – launched today, 7 February – revealed that the UK organic market is now worth more than ever at £2.2 billion, growing 6% in 2017. The market has now had six years of steady growth, with organic accounting for 1.5% of the total UK food and drink market.
We are really encouraged to see that spend through the Food for Life Served Here scheme increased by 20% to £18 million in 2017, doubling in just two years across schools, hospitals, care homes and visitor attractions. This is reflected in the growing number of silver and gold Food for Life Served Here awards, requiring a minimum spend on organic. There are currently 187 award holders at silver or gold level, serving more than 1 million meals every day across the UK. Thank you to all of you that are with us on this.
Other key trends highlighted included:
- Supermarket sales of organic grew by 4.2% in 2017 
- Independent retailers increased sales of organic by 9.7%
- Sales of organic for home delivery, including box schemes, grew by 9.5% and now account for almost 13% of the organic market
- Sales in foodservice, including through the Organic Served Here scheme, grew by 10.2%
The rise of consumer demand is driving increased availability of organic in the foodservice and eating out sector, with sales in 2017 rising 10.2% and reaching £84.4 million. The 2017 Out to Lunch report found organic on the menu in twelve of the twenty five restaurant chains visited. This is double the results from the 2015 study – with Wetherspoons, Strada, Jamie’s Italian and Beefeater among those using organic ingredients.
Rob Percival, Senior Policy Officer at Food for Life, said:
"Food for Life is showing that organic food can be the norm, whoever and wherever you are. Caterers are serving organic ingredients in some of the most deprived areas of the country, to children in schools and older people in care homes. Organic food is not only better for the environment and better for wildlife, its nutritionally different. We're delighted that the organic market is continuing to grow and that caterers and food businesses are contributing towards this growth."