The Soil Association’s Organic Market Report revealed that shoppers spent an extra £1.5m a week on organic products, and that there was an increasing interest in buying grains with a UK provenance.
The report found that sales of organic cereals were up 4.2% and organic biscuits up 7.2%. It pinned the growth mainly through online shopping, organic box sales and large independent retailers.
The leading product sector in increasing organic spend was dairy accounting for 27.9% of all organic spending. Sales of eggs and poultry were up 15.8% and 8.2% respectively.
Helen Browning, Soil Association chief executive, said: “Three years ago, commentators were writing off the organic market in the UK. Now, with a third year of steady growth, and against a falling overall food market, it’s clear that reports of organic food’s demise were premature, to say the least.
"This reinvigoration may be partly related to an improving economy, but it’s also testament to the fact that retailers and manufacturers who continued to invest in organic lines have continued to thrive. Now, even the discounters are beginning to stock organic ranges.”
The report also praised research by Newcastle University, which boosted the nutritional credentials of organic food, when it showed organic crops and crop-based foods (including fruit, vegetables and cereals) were up to 60% in a number of key antioxidants compared to non-organic.