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The UK organic market: Recovery and expansion

  • September 2014
  • -
  • MarketLine
  • -
  • 23 pages


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Sales of organic products in the UK witnessed a return to growth in 2013, following four years of contraction. The market is now worth £1.7bn. This case study looks at how the organic market is defined and product requirements. It also looks at the organic produce, organic health and beauty, and organic textiles industries, as well as the leading retailers distributing organic food.

Features and benefits

* This case study looks at the organic products sold by food, health and beauty, and textile companies.
* The case study also looks at how big distribution channels are, which are the fastest growing, and why.


According to a survey by YouGov and the Soil Association in February 2014, the top reasons for buying organic were: fewer pesticides/chemicals (37% of respondents stated this as a motivating factor); natural/unprocessed (34%); and healthier for the respondent and their family (33%).
In the UK, organic produce is far and away the largest segment of the organic market. It accounts for nearly 97% of organic sales in the UK, while the health and beauty market has a share of just over 2%, and the textiles market has a share of 1%.
One product that is finding organic versions increasingly favored is baby food. Over half of spending (54.8%) on baby food goes on organic products. Sales of non-organic baby food fell by 7.9% in 2013. Baby food represented 10.4% of the UK organic market in 2013, up 1.2% from 2012.

Your key questions answered

* How is the UK organic market performing? Which products are witnessing strong growth?
* Why do people buy organic products, and which consumer group is more likely to purchase organic?
* Where do people buy organic products from?

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