UK organic sales dip as inflation and cost of living worries deepen 

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New figures from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) show that the organic food market saw a 16% decline in volume sales in the second quarter of this year (12 w/e July 2022). 

The drop off is likely to reflect changes in consumer purchasing behaviour as inflation and cost of living worries have deepened. An AHDB/Blue Marble study from August indicated that of those struggling with their finances 27% are cutting back on buying organic food. 

Against this backdrop, AHDB encourages organic brands and businesses to emphasise organic’s environment and health benefits and consider messaging that “could go beyond generic sustainability claims to provide transparent detail”, and communicating more on issues such soil health and biodiversity credentials 

The AHDB update draws on latest data from Kantar*, which estimates the UK organic food and drink market to be worth £1.2 billion* (52 w/e 10 July 2022), representing a 1.2% share of the total food and drink industry. 

Commenting on the findings on LinkedIn, Phil Haughton, founder of Bristol-based Better Food, said: “This reflects almost exactly what we have experienced and now working harder than ever to be more relevant to our wonderful customers”.

The Soil Association will provide the organic sector with its own market updates and unveil latest research into changing consumer priorities at its annual Trade Conference on October 19. The 2022 Organic Market Report (covering the year 2021) valued the UK organic sector at £3.05 billion, recording market growth for the year of 5.2%. 

* The Kantar data excludes home delivery, beauty, textiles and organic alcohol products. 

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