Irish organic sector worth €109.5m; up 9% in 2015

The Irish organic sector, after a lacklustre five-year period, is up 9% in 2015 to €109.5m, according to Stephanie Moe, Food and Beverages Department, Bord Bia.

Bord Bia attributes this improved performance to increased shopper numbers in the category, with shopping frequency and spend also showing incremental growth.

Kantar Worldpanel data on the Irish organic market was shared with Irish organic industry players at Bord Bia’s recent Organic Industry Seminar held in Athlone.

An improving economic climate and a growing focus on health are the main reasons for the increased interest in the organic category, it found, with 85% of organic shoppers saying that they try to live a healthy lifestyle.

These shoppers also have a preference for local and Irish food where available, according to Moe.

“Pre-family, empty nesters and retired consumers are the demographics over-indexing in the organic category relative to their total grocery spend, with opportunity for the sector to increase its penetration with families,” Moe said.

Bord Bia found that the largest categories within organic, vegetables, fruit and yoghurt, together with breakfast cereals account for over 60% of the organic market.

According to Moe, there is evidence of an increased retail focus on organic, with private label gaining share from branded organic sales.

“Supervalu is the leading retailer for organic sales in Ireland and is showing value growth, despite a slight drop in penetration, thanks to an increase in spend.

“Aldi is showing the strongest value growth while Tesco, despite having the strongest penetration, is losing in terms of value,” she said.