UK organic wine sales increase 47%

Wine was the ‘big winner’ in the Soil Association’s UK Organic Market 2020 report, with the total organic market growing 4.5% in 2019 to a record £ 2.45 billion.

The industry’s charity, the Soil Association, said sales of organic products in the UK have grown for eight years. Consumers now spend an average of £ 200million on organic food and drink every month.

The UK organic market is expected to reach £ 2.5 billion by the end of the year. The Soil Association report analyzes data from supermarkets, home delivery services, foodservices and independent retail.

Organic wine

The report found that organic wine was the flagship of supermarkets, with sales up 47% in the year ending Dec. 28, according to data from Nielsen.

He noted that large retailers emulated discount retailers by expanding their organic wine lines last year, with “great success.” Over £ 1million on average is now spent on organic wine per week in the UK, with total sales of around £ 50million.

The Soil Association has also said that more organic wineries in the UK are being converted this year.

“The explosion in organic wine sales and our changing climate are encouraging more companies to explore this interesting market,” he said.

UK growers with certified vineyards include Albury, Davenport, Seddlescombe, Oxney, Ancre Hill, Sunnyhill Vineyard, Forty Hall, Laverstoke Park and Bridewell.

Jamie Matthewson, Wine Buyer at Waitrose & Partners, said: “Demand for organic wine continues to shine, reflecting buyers’ interest in where their food comes from, and in turn, where and how their wines are made, which means that more buyers than ever are looking on organic wine.

Overall organic

The report found that the biggest growth channel for organics was online and home delivery, with sales increasing by 11.2%. Ocado, the UK’s largest online retailer, increased its organic product lines to over 4,500 last year and enjoyed a 12% increase in organic sales.

Meanwhile, independent retailers reported a 6.5% increase in organic product sales in 2019, while supermarkets reported a 2.5% increase.

The share of supermarkets in the UK organic market fell from 1% last year to 64.6%. In addition to wine, sales of organic poultry and eggs also saw a marked increase of over 12%.

Sales of organic foodservice grew 8.3%, helped by more organic milk and snacks sold at grocery store chains including Pret a Manger, McDonald’s and JD Wetherspoon.

Clare McDermott, director of business development at Soil Association Certification, said 2020 will be a “tipping point” where organic becomes the “first choice” for environmentally conscious consumers.

She added: “With the climate crisis and UK agriculture hitting the headlines, organic is more than ever a way for buyers looking for simple choices to reduce their environmental impact.

“Organic certification means that people can be sure that what they are buying has been produced to the highest environmental and animal welfare standards. The remarkable success of organic wine last year is proof that the demand for nature-friendly products is there, and that if retailers stock more organic products, buyers will buy it.

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