Organic fruit demand hits 10 year high

23 Feb 2016

Brits are creating the highest demand for organic fruit for 10 years.

In the last year UK demand for organic fruit has grown by 8 per cent across the market (IRI data January 2015).

Sales at Tesco are more than twice that, growing by more than 18 per cent in the same time period – a direct result of the supermarket’s commitment to offering customers a wide range of great quality organic foods and continuing to cut prices ; making it more affordable for families across the country.

Among the most popular organic fruit items at Tesco are: 

  • Soft fruit such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries – demand up 34 per cent in the last year
  • Bananas – up 27 per cent
  • Citrus fruit – up 17 per cent
  • Mangos and other exotic fruit – up 8 per cent
  • Apples and pears –up 8 per cent

Tesco fruit commercial manager Gareth Wilcock said:

“We strongly believe that great quality, organic produce should be an affordable option for families.

“The revival of organic foods has been gathering pace over the last few years, with keener prices and better availability both playing a major part in that.

“We have been working hard to get quality, organic produce into stores as quickly as possible, to provide extra days of freshness for customers. Smaller snacking pack sizes for several key organic berry fruit lines, has also helped with portion control and cutting down on potential  food waste.”

Tesco’s main UK organic fruit supplier/grower is Organic Farm Foods, based near Evesham in Worcestershire, who supply a wide variety of fruit including apples, pears, grapes, watermelons, kiwi and mango.

Their managing director Adam Wakeley also gave some insight into the rising demand for organic fruit and how they are making sure they stay ahead of this trend. 

He said: “Traditionally the two biggest challenges for organic produce have been price and availability and we have been working closely with Tesco and our growers around the world to improve availability as we move between seasons.

“We are particularly focusing on bridging gaps in supply to ensure customers can receive a consistent year round offer.”

During the recent economic downturn, organic purchases were among the first food items to be ditched as people sought to save money on their weekly shop.

As a result, The Organic Trade Board (OTB), a non-profit organisation of more than 120 food producers and retailers, including Tesco, was formed in 2008 to promote the benefits of organic food.

Paul Moore, Chair of Organic Trade Board said:

"We are delighted to see Tesco enjoying growth in organic fruit sales. Nearly two thirds of organic consumers have entered the market since 2009 and are young, highly motivated and engaged with food.

“Our research shows motivation around health and the environment underpins the interest in organic foods with over 45 per cent of existing consumers expecting to buy more organic in the next 12 months."

Orchard

Notes to editors:

  • Last summer Tesco saw major growth for many of its berry lines- both organic and standard - thanks to the collaborative partnership with growers to produce innovative high quality fruit.
  • Last year during high peak seasons, we reduced the price and pack size of blueberries, grapes and other berries to remove, making them more affordable and encouraging less food waste.
  • To celebrate ‘Organic September’, we supported our organic produce line with promotional activity to encourage customers to try new lines.

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on 01707 918701
We are a team of 480,000 in 11 markets dedicated to serving shoppers a little better every day.