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'Significant growth' for organic wine

Published:  10 February, 2021

Supermarket sales of organic beer, wines and spirits (BWS) soared in the last year, growing ahead of overall organic supermarket sales.

BWS supermarket sales were up 32.9% for the 12 month period ending 2 Jan 2021, according to Nielsen, compared to 12.5% growth for overall organic supermarket sales during the same period, as revealed in the Soil Association Certification’s Organic Market Report 2021 released today,

Moreover, the Soil Association Certification told Harpers that organic wine continued to go from strength to strength, following on from last year’s report, which pinpointed wine as the “big category winner” in 2019 as supermarkets cashed in on shoppers’ environmental concerns. 

“Organic wine has seen another year of significant growth at almost double that of non-organic during 2020. With a wider range of organic drinks available on supermarket shelves and online, shoppers are making informed choices that will benefit the planet and nature,” said Finn Cottle, trade consultant, Soil Association Certification.

Meanwhile, year on year growth for the total organic market rose 12.6% to £2.79bn in 2020, according to the report.

This marks the highest year on year growth rate in the organic market since 2005, with a 10th consecutive year of growth, and the market on target to reach £2.9bn by end of 2021, said the Soil Association Certification.

Online and home delivery sales fuelled much of the growth, with sales increasing 36.2%, meaning this channel to market accounted for almost 25% of the total sales (including supermarket online sales).

“The unprecedented crisis of 2020 has brought immense challenges across the entire food supply chain – not least for organic businesses. So, it’s significant that in times of crisis, people are turning to organic products for the assurance of transparency, integrity and quality they provide,” said Cottle.

“Organic is now rightfully recognised as the cornerstone of a resilient food and farming system and a vital part of the solution to the climate, nature and health crises."

Independent retailers faced mixed fortunes. Whereas several city centre stores closed, high street and community stores experienced "huge increases”, with citizens choosing to shop locally. 

Overall this amounted to a 0.9% rise in the organic market through independent retail.