A report published this week provides a timely snapshot of the Organics industry as it gears up to move from niche to a mass-market phenomenon.

Leading grocery market research company Insight Research has this week published 'Organics - The New Standard of Quality?', which provides an up-to-date market analysis and investigates strategies for future growth.

The report follows extensive three-month qualitative research with industry specialists - all major multiples (who sell 75% of organic food in the UK); organic food manufacturers; major brands diversifying into Organics; and industry bodies including the Soil Association.

What emerges is a picture of a £600m industry set to reach £1 billion by 2002, and growing at 40% a year to represent more than 5% of the total grocery market value by 2005-6. But the industry faces a number of significant issues. Insight Research Senior Partner Dan Munford explains:

"This is a seminal point for Organics. The Organic 'brand' is set to become the new standard of quality in food, but this will have an enormous impact on premium goods without organic credentials. And with Tesco now re-launching its Organics range to a mass market, following the success of Waitrose and Sainsbury, we ask 'are food manufacturer's ready?'."

The survey also looks at the development of own brands; the problems of compatibility and cannibalisation; levering economies of scale and brand equity as organics moves into major category roles; accreditation; the issues of cost and supply (the UK currently imports 70% of our organic products); and Organics marketing.

Consumer motivations are explored in the light of recent loss of faith in the food chain- whether we are 'foodies', who take a more nostalgic view of healthy organic eating; or 'greenies', who follow the fashion route to biodiversity.

Renee Elliot of Planet Organic and a Director of the Soil Association has read the report and says: "It is essential reading for anyone in the Organics industry.

Further information is available from www.insightresearch.co.uk The survey is available at a cost of £495 by emailing info@insightresearch.co.uk or writing to Insight Research, 46, Sandwich House, Sandwich St. London WC1H 9PR.