UK retailers reported a surge in sales of organic food and drink during lockdown. Organic bananas, chicken, eggs and wine are among the main drivers of growth, according to Nielsen data. Organic food and drink sales were up 6.1%, compared to the 3.2% growth recorded in the year ending May 2020. Data from the Soil Association, a trade body which licenses organic products and promotes organic farming, an 18.7% increase in organic sales was registered in the 12 weeks to the end of May – which includes 10 weeks of lockdown – compared with a 14.2% increase in non-organic equivalents.
The sector is on track to hit the £2.6bn mark by the end of the year, exceeding the £2.5bn originally projected, the association said.
“Organic farming is a whole system approach that nurtures the soil, biodiversity and our planet,” said Louisa Pharoah of the Soil Association. “The Covid-19 pandemic has meant more people appreciate where food comes from, and with the increased interest in growing veg in our gardens and home baking, there’s never been a better time to talk to people about the benefits of organic farming.”
The UK’s largest supermarket chain, Tesco, reported a steady increase in the popularity of organic produce, with its Fairtrade banana five-pack the most popular organic product. An average of about 261,000 bananas are sold per day in this format.
At Waitrose, sales of organic food and drink have increased by 13% compared with last year. Categories which have shown some of the biggest sales increases include chicken (up 42%), vegetables (up 23%) and eggs (up 13%).
Source: The Guardian