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UK’s organic food and drink market is forecast to achieve an annual growth rate of 7% by 2013 and 2014 after posting just a marginal growth of 1.1% in 2009 (2008: +0/3%;  2007: +6.4%), according to a survey by market research company Key Note. 

UK’s recession has affected consumer spending on organic foods and drink but a recovery is expected in the future. 

During 2009, fruit and vegetables took up the largest share of the organic market, at 26.1%, although it lost market share (37.7% in 2006). 

Dairy products, which saw its market grow, sat at second place, at 25.4% in 2009, mainly accounted for by milk and yoghurts/chilled desserts. 

The share held by meat and meat products increased to 11.6% in 2009, while that for bread, biscuits, other baked items and flour fell slightly, to 7%. 

Organic baby and toddler foods held an estimated 4.8% share of the market in 2009, and the balance of 25.1% share was accounted for by eggs, fish and a variety of processed items (such as hot beverages, soft drinks, wines and beers, soups and sauces, and breakfast cereals and cereal bars). 

Although organic food and drink overall are estimated to account for only around 2% of the value of the total grocery market, organic baby and toddler foods have achieved a leading 45% share of the total branded baby foods market, the survey says. 

Just under three-quarters of total sales of organic food and drink are made through the major grocery multiples, with an estimated 14.5% of sales being made through smaller multiples and specialist shops, and the balance via home-delivered box schemes, farm shops and farmers’ markets. 

The multiples have entered the box-scheme sector, and the major grocery pioneers in organic food sales — Sainsbury’s and Waitrose — continue to hold larger shares in organic food and drink sales than in the overall grocery market. The reverse is true of Tesco, ASDA and Morrisons. 

In the UK, the overall share of primary organic food sales accounted for by imports has stabilised but is still high in salad vegetables and fruit.

Significant proportions of organic fruit juices, hot beverages and baby foods are also imported. 

However, key suppliers are making visible efforts to reduce the amount of organic meat, vegetables and fruit that are imported into the UK, the survey says. 

The Soil Association continues to campaign for domestically produced organic items on behalf of UK farmers and growers, citing the Government’s target of only 30% of total organic primary produce being imported by 2010.

Source: http://www.keynote.co.uk/

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