Organic foods are experiencing the strongest growth in demand for over a decade, according to Tesco.
In the last year alone, the supermarket chain has seen organic sales climb by 15%.
While fruit and vegetables continue to be the most popular choice, over the past 12 months the retailer has seen increasing numbers of customers looking to buy organic fish, dairy produce and general grocery items.
Areas that have seen the strongest growth include:
*Fruit and vegetables including apples, bananas, carrots, salads and root vegetables (up by nearly 17%)
*Grocery items such as olive oil, pasta and cooking sauces (up by nearly 16%)
*Fresh meat including chicken, lamb chops, steak and eggs (up by 13%)
*Chilled foods such as milk, houmous and cooked meats (up by nearly 13%)
Tesco organic food spokesman Tina Moore said: “We’re seeing that shoppers are increasingly looking to buy organic food. But it needs to be affordable and consistently high quality all year round for it to be considered a viable option.
“Due to our long-term partnerships with suppliers and producers across the UK, we’ve been able to improve the quality, range, availability and price of our organic products for customers.”
Last Autumn Tesco teamed up with the Organic Trade Board (OTB) on an initiative to help customers discover the breadth of the range on offer in its stores. Boxes containing organic goods were provided so shoppers could create their own organic meals at home.
The Organic Unboxed initiative saw 7.5m Tesco online customers receive a free ingredients box with a recipe card and information on how to cook an organic meal, specially designed by a food blogger.
OTB recently won a share of £9m EU funding to help promote organic food in Britain and Denmark and will be working with Tesco to try to further increase the organic market. It will be working with Tesco on making organic food more visible in stores and helping to communicate the reasons for choosing organic through a number of campaigns.
Adam Wakeley, managing director of organic food supplier Organic Farm Foods, said: “The organic food revival is gathering pace thanks to retailers like Tesco offering a wider range of quality foods at more affordable prices. Tesco continues to support the organic sector and the result is continued growth, outstripping non organic foods by some margin.”
Since 2008, Adam has partnered with Tesco by supplying the retailer with apples from a dedicated organic orchard.