Millennials' shopping habits boost organic sales

Shopping for fruit

The overall market for organic food and products grew for the third consecutive year in 2015, by 4.9 per cent, thanks in part to an increase in young, socially conscious shoppers and a shift towards independent retailers.

The figures, from the Soil Association's 2016 Organic Market Report, also show a 9.1 per cent rise in sales of box schemes and online sales of organic products, while the organic catering sector has increased by 15.2 per cent.

Grocery brands and products are notably more popular with sales of organic jams and spreads up 28.1 per cent, oils and vinegars up 17.5 per cent and tea showing a 12.8 per cent rise.

A massive sales increase of 21.6 per cent has been enjoyed by the organic health and beauty market, which is now worth £54.2 million.

In total, British shoppers spent an extra £1.73 million a week on organic products in 2015 and UK sales of organic products are now worth £1.95 billion.

"This is a hugely exciting time for the organic sector, with the market set to break through the £2 billion mark in 2016 and reach levels seen before the recession," says Martin Sawyer, Chief Executive of Soil Association Certification.

"Thanks to the growth of online, it is now possible for retailers to connect consumers with the broadest choice of organic products."

The Soil Association notes that millennials 'are increasingly choosing organic because they want to know the origins of their food and are willing to pay more for products with quality assurance standards supporting the environment, society and animal welfare'.