Britain’s ruinous recession may have only just come to an end, but the recently-released Soil Association market update predicts a modest expansion of between two and five percent for the organic market this year.
It’s a bold forecast given the organic sector’s very public decline, but the report also highlights that organic products continue to attract shoppers from across the social spectrum – with groups including manual and casual workers, pensioners, students and people on benefits accounting for 33% of the spend.
This demographic is at odds with organic’s perception as a ‘luxury’ purchase, and, crucially, it implies that brands will now be required to appeal to a much wider audience. It also suggests that the dairy company Rachel’s was perhaps premature in its decision to drop the ‘Organic’ from its brand name last year. At the time, commentators speculated that the change was brought in because of the sector’s downturn; many customers regarded organic produce as an expensive luxury they could do without.
With the Soil Association’s forecasted upturn imminent, we envisage increased investment in NPD and brand positioning as brands evaluate how they meet their customers’ needs in this changing market.
Furthermore, the Soil Association recently announced a call for entries for this year’s Organic Food Awards. The coveted winning logo adorns hundreds of organic food and drink products stocked on shelves in stores throughout the country. Now in their 22nd year, the awards showcase the very best in organic food and drink, and highlight the imaginative and successful ways in which individuals and companies are contributing to the resurgence of organic, local and seasonal food.
Last year’s winners included familiar organic favourites such as Duchy Originals and Riverford Organic. And as with previous years, this year’s winning brands will serve as a benchmark for what’s going on in product and brand extension in the British organic market.