New data has revealed organic milk is continuing to perform strongly, with growth of 6.4 per cent last year.
In a new report from the Organic Milk Suppliers Co-operative (OMSCo), analysts said that the UK is the second largest market for organic dairy, with the liquid milk category being the largest, accounting for around half of all organic milk demand.
The UK retail organic dairy market is valued at £398m and is the largest and also one of the fastest growing organic sectors in the UK. Total organic dairy has grown 8.4 per cent versus total organic market growth of two per cent over the past year, driven by the strong performance of organic yogurt and milk. Both these sectors have outperformed their non-organic equivalents.
Household penetration of organic milk increased by 10 per cent to almost one in four UK households during the past 12 months, and total organic milk retail sales are valued at £151.3m, making it the third largest sector overall and the second largest premium sector
OMSCo reported that organic milk was a leading contributor to value growth in UK milk sales in the past year, despite losing retail distribution worth £5.2m. The sector experienced 6.4 per cent value growth compared to a decline of 1.6 per cent in the standard cow’s milk sector and a decline of 1.4 per cent for the overall milk category. This growth equated to a £9m injection into overall category revenue, helping to offset an over £40m loss in the standard cow’s milk sector. However, in volume terms, sales of organic liquid milk increased by just 0.3 per cent.
Explaining the reason behind the difference in value and volume, the report said: “This marginal volume growth is unsurprising, considering the number of negative trends in the retail environment for organic liquid milk. Aside from rapid price inflation, retail distribution has continued to be cut, promotional programs have been scaled back and the organic shelf premium has risen due to a fall in the shelf price of conventional milk.”
Whilst the organic liquid milk market is dominated by private label, branded products were found to represent 27 per cent of sales, and growing at a faster rate. The leading brand, Yeo Valley, performed ahead of the sector’s average growth rate, recording a 13.2 per cent increase in value sales, versus 4.5 per cent for private label.
Demand for organic milk exports has continued to move from the export of raw milk to specialist product opportunities, such as milk powders, over the last 12 months. This is a trend expected to continue.
Looking ahead, OMSCo said the underlying trend in organic milk is positive, and capable of faster volume growth than 0.3 per cent.
In other organic news, The Produce World Group has revealed that demand for organic vegetables is at all-time high
The UK’s largest grower and supplier of fresh organic vegetables has confirmed that UK consumer demand for organic vegetables during Christmas 2014 was higher than any other year, with the total value increasing by 5.6 per cent at the start of 2015 compared to the start of 2014, with total organic Brassicas increasing by some 38.5 per cent overall. The biggest increase among organic brassicas included cauliflower, tipped by many to be the star vegetable of 2015, with total value of the organic vegetable increasing by an impressive 66.7 per cent, and cabbage, which increased by 40.2 per cent. Organic broccoli also performed well with an increase of 19 per cent.
Andrew Burgess, Agricultural Director at Produce World, commented: “The Christmas success of organic vegetables is recognition that more and more consumers are realising the great taste and quality of organic options. Taste is a big reason why people say they buy organic, with vegetables supplied by Produce World representing the very best on the market. The organic carrot is now an accepted choice for UK consumers, but organic brassicas have experienced a surge in demand over Christmas, with cauliflower and cabbage set to be top consumer choices for 2015.”