Nearly one in five U.K. shoppers remain loyal to organic food, maintaining their spending on such products, IGD finds; 9% to buy more organic food when they have more money to spend

HERTFORDSHIRE, England , August 20, 2009 (press release) – Nearly one in five (19%) of all UK shoppers are remaining loyal to organic, maintaining their spend. A further one in ten (9%) say they will buy more organic food when they have a bit more money to spend, according to new consumer research* from international food and grocery expert IGD.

However, 10% of shoppers say they have found other products that are cheaper but still provide the same perceived benefits. A further 8% are focusing their organic spend on fewer products where they think it really makes a difference, and another 8% say they are not sure what organic stands for anymore. Forty-one per cent have never been interested in organic.

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said: “There remains a strong core of dedicated organic shoppers – nearly one in five of the UK population – who are maintaining support, regardless of the economy. Even better news for the organic movement is that these supporters tend to be younger and more affluent - supporting our view that the organic market is experiencing a dip rather than a collapse.

“There are still challenges, however. Those that have drifted away have not performed a U-turn on ethics – they are finding value for their values in, for example, products that meet high animal welfare standards, local foods and Fairtrade.

“The organic movement has the opportunity to win back at least some of these shoppers and to increase sales among their existing customers. By communicating the full range of benefits in a clear and compelling manner, they will enable shoppers to weigh up the value for themselves.”

The Soil Association estimated the value of the organic market to be £2.1bn in 2008, representing just over 2% of UK food sales (source: IGD).

Notes to Editors

* *Which of these statements best describes your attitude towards organic food?
o 9% - I’ll buy more organic food when I’ve got a bit more money to spend (among 15-24-year-olds, 21%. Among those aged 65+, 2%)
o 19% - I’ll continue to buy organic food in much the same way as I have done before (among AB shoppers, 30%)
o 10% - I’ve found other types of products that are cheaper but still give me the same benefits and I will buy them instead (among 55-64-year-olds, 14%)
o 8% - I’m not sure what organic stands for anymore
o 8% - I’ll focus my organic shopping on fewer product types where I think it really makes a difference (among broadsheet newspaper readers, 13%)
o 41% - I’ve never really been interested in organic food (among DE shoppers, 54%)
o 5% - Don’t know

* Consumer research was undertaken in August 2009 among 1,091 shoppers

* IGD provides information, insight and best practice to the food and grocery industry worldwide and this year celebrates its centenary.

For more information contact:

Jon Neal, Communications Manager, IGD
DD: +44 (0)1923 851916. M: +44 (0)7770 640448. E:

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