The UK's organics market has experienced massive growth since 2000, with sales increasing by 94% in the past five years, new findings released by market research group Mintel suggest. Profits for this year have been valued at £1.2bn (US$1.7bn).

This increase is reflective of the fact that organic produce, particularly fresh staples like fruit, vegetables and meant, are increasingly entering the mainstream. Today, as many as 54% of UK adults have purchased organic fruit and vegetables in the past year, while 26% have bought organic meat.

With sales valued at £442m this year, fruit and veg constitute the largest sector of the organics market, with a 37% share. However, meat and poultry have experienced the biggest growth in value, having grown by almost 150% since 2000.

Over the next 5 years, Mintel forecasts that the organic food and drinks market will increase by 72% to reach a value of £2bn by 2010.

"Although the organics market is now reasonably mature, sales are being driven by consumer interest in healthy eating, locally sourced produce and concern for the environment and food safety.  Despite the fact that organic products account for little more than 1% of overall food and drink sales, there is no doubt that these products have joined the mainstream" explains Julie Sloan, senior market analyst at Mintel.