UK Organic market Report 2013

Doom and gloom surrounding the UK organic market partially dispelled…

Boom in online sales

  • Organic shoppers are increasingly choosing the convenience and variety offered by home delivery over limited ranges at many supermarkets.
  • A striking success in 2012 was seen by Ocado, increasing organic sales by 6.4%, and overtaking Asda and Morrisons to become the UK’s fourth-largest organic retailer – with predicted further growth of 10-15% in 2013.
  • Home-delivery specialists Ocado, Abel & Cole and Riverford, increased their combined organic sales by 10.3% in 2012, putting them as front runners of organic box scheme sales.
  • Sainsbury’s saw its online organic sales increase by a remarkable 48%.

Independent outlets

  • Independent outlets saw a 0.7% increase in sales, covering box schemes, mail order, farm and health-food shops, farmers’ markets and catering.
  • Now valued at £480.6 million, the independent sector is providing consumers with a high street alternative for the ethical consumer.

Multiple retailers

  • Reduced availability of organic products in various supermarkets has affected the market both in the short term, and looking at future growth.
  • The seven leading multiple retailers saw their organic sales fall by 3.8%.
  • Sales of supermarkets own-label ranges fell by 11.2% in 2012. Success of Duchy Originals own-label range contributed to a 1.1% increase in Waitrose organic sales.

Box schemes

  • Box scheme, home-delivery and mail-order sales increased by 4.4% to £174.3 million.
  • A third successive year of healthy growth was spearheaded by Abel & Cole and Riverford, whose turnover increased by 20% and 8% respectively.
  • Abel & Cole’s weekly deliveries reached the 50,000 mark, increasing by a quarter.


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