Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Organic wine ‘big winner’ in 2019

Published:  05 February, 2020

Organic wine was the “big category winner” in 2019 as supermarkets cashed in on shoppers’ environmental concerns, according to the Soil Association Certification’s annual Organic Market Report 2020 released today.

Sales of organic wine surged 47% to around £50m said the report, which predicts that 2020 will be a “tipping point" for the total organic category as record growth continues.

Organic wine sales were boosted by retailers from Waitrose to Aldi responding to shoppers’ demand for low-impact wines made without pesticides and expanding their ranges, said Clare McDermott, business development director at Soil Association Certification.

“Organic certification means people can be sure that what they are buying has been produced to the highest environmental and animal-welfare standards. The remarkable success of organic wine last year is proof that the demand for nature-friendly products is there, and that if retailers stock more organic, shoppers will buy it,” she said.

Commenting on the report, Jamie Matthewson, wine buyer at Waitrose & Partners said: “Demand for organic wine continues to sparkle, reflecting shoppers’ interest in where their food comes from, and in turn, where and how their wines are made, meaning more shoppers than ever are seeking out organic wine.”

After eight years of growth, overall organic sales have reached their highest ever value with £200m spent each month on organic food and drink in the UK.

The total market is expected to be worth £2.5bn a year by the end of 2020, with the report showing growth across all areas, including supermarkets, home delivery, foodservice and independent retail.

“With the climate crisis and British farming dominating the headlines, organic is more relevant than ever as a way for shoppers looking for simple choices to reduce their environmental impact. 2019 was another exciting year for organic and 2020 will be a tipping point where organic becomes the go-to choice for shoppers who want to have a sustainable shopping basket,” said McDermott.

The biggest growth channel for organic was online and home delivery, with sales growing 11.2%.

Soil Association Certification put the success of this channel – which includes organic veg box schemes and online retailers like Ocado – down to savvy shoppers turning to the internet to choose from the widest ranges of organic products available.

Ocado, the UK’s biggest organic online retailer, benefitted from this trend, expanding its organic lines to over 4,500 and enjoying a 12% sales increase.

Independent retailers enjoyed a 6.5% rise in sales of organic in 2019 while supermarket sales increased 2.5% outpacing the overall market, despite their overall share of the UK’s organic market falling 1% to 64.6%, as other channels ate into their dominance.

Certifying organic food and farming since 1973, Soil Association Certification certifies over 70% of all organic products sold in the UK.

The report is based Nielsen RMS data for the organic category Soil Association defined for the 12-month period ending 28 December 2019 for the GB total retail market.