Soil Association claims success for organic campaign

The Soil Association has claimed its Organic September campaign caused a ‘boom’ in the organics market, causing growth of 3.6% during the month.

Nielsen figures showed that sales of organic products in September exceeded £100 million, and the Soil Association said this was down to its campaign, “proving small changes can add up to a big difference”.

Organic September encouraged consumers to change their shopping habits for the month by putting organic food and drink in their trolleys. The campaign involved local independent retailers and online and national UK supermarkets, and reached over six million people through social media, according to the Soil Association.

Finn Cottle, trade consultant at the Soil Association, said; “This is a clear sign informed UK shoppers are becoming more loyal to organic food and drink. Campaigns like Organic September, alongside recent positive publicity and a renewed emphasis on innovation and new listings, are all helping to bolster performance. The organic sector has been performing exceptionally well since the release of Newcastle University’s research on the benefits of organic, and in fact this growth has taken place against the backdrop of a deflated non-organic sector. New products and wider accessibility to organic will continue to help secure growth in this market.”

The organics group said new figures suggested continued growth for the sector. The 52 weeks to 11 October 2014 showed growth of 1.6%, compared to the same period last year. It added that organic poultry had been one of the best performers, with growth of 6.6%. The independent retail sector saw organic sales grow by 6.9%

Mike Kilcourse, commercial director at wholesaler Tree of Life, said: “Interest in organic foods has been particularly strong recently. Sentiment among our retail customers is positive. Recent growth in sales of organic products will have been helped by marketing and promotional activities right the way through the supply chain. Campaigns such as the Soil Association’s Organic September month-long promotion, which we were glad to support this year, go a long way to help raise awareness.”

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