During the novel coronavirus pandemic induced lockdowns in the United Kingdom, the demand and sale of organic food and drink rose sharply. Over the past year, the demand and sale of such products have grown at a rate that as double that for non-organic equivalents.
The organic food products that were in the highest demand during the lockdown were bananas, chicken, eggs and wine. Since January, the surge in demand for such organic products have propped up sales growth of supermarket chains in the country to their highest for the sector since December 2016.
In the year ending May 2020, the rate of growth of sale of organic food and drink was at 6.1 per cent which was almost double the rate of growth for non-organic food and drink products which was at 3.2 per cent, showed data from the market research company Nielsen. The report also found that there was an 18.7 per cent surge in sale of organic products during the 12 weeks to the end of May that included a total of 10 weeks of complete lockdown in the country. In comparison, the growth in sale of non-organic equivalents was at 14.2 per cent in the same period.
Soil Association, the trade body which licenses organic products and promotes organic farming, released these comparative figures.
The association said that by the end of the year, the sector is poised to touch revenue of £2.6bn which would be greater than what was previously forecst for th sector – which was £2.5bn.
“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.”
With customers getting more conscious of about health and provenance, a “steady increase” in the popularity of organic produce was noted by Tesco, the largest supermarket by volume in the UK, Tesco. The company said that on an average, about 261,000 bananas per day is bought by customers in the form of its most popular organic product – the Fairtrade banana which is available in a pack of five.
During the year, there has been a 5 per cent growth in volume in the sale of organic fresh produce, the company said. And during the 10 weeks of the complete lockdown in the UK, the sale growth figure had reached more than 12 per cent compared to the same period a year ago. Apart from its organic fresh fruit and vegetables, the most popular organic product at Tesco is its organic egg six-pack of which, over the past six months, the company sold more than 48 million individual eggs.
There was a 13 per cent year on year growth in the sale of organic food and drink at Waitrose.
The sales of its organic wines outperformed those of its total range this year, said the The Co-op convenience retailer.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)