It's official, organic fever has gone mainstream with the launch this week of the first organic version of the country's favourite condiment - brown sauce!

HP must be truly "browned off" after missing out on this organic revolution - losing out to an organic health food manufacturer that is more accommodating of today's healthy eating requirements.

Made famous in the 1970s by the likes of Harold Wilson and more recently by Frank Bruno, brown sauce is found in every true British food cupboard. The traditional British favourite has even become a soap star in its own right - appearing in the Battersby household as often as Les and Janice!

As an essential element to many a traditional British dish from cheese on toast to Betty's Lancashire hotpot, its organic version marks the turning point in the UK organic revolution, revealing the changing image of organic consumers. Traditional organic consumers are being joined by the more mainstream members of society, now reaching everyone who enjoys a bacon buttie.

For the purpose of October's Organic Harvest Month - a Soil Association initiative - the ultimate test came today when a group of brickies sniffed at non-organic versions of their favourite breakfast snacks in favour of organic alternative.

When it came to the taste test challenge, they opted for organic versions of their favourite breakfast bites of sausage sarnies and bacon butties - topped of with lashings of Meridian's new organic brown sauce.

This comes as a significant demonstration that mainstream consumer preference is shifting. In the past, mainstream consumers have always 'stuck to what they know' but our changing preference is clearly highlighted with these builders - who knows... will they be stopping wolf-whistling next?

"It is all a question of awareness,' says Karen Rhodes, Meridian Food Brand Manager. "The popularity of organic food continues to grow at a staggering pace. During the past three months, one third of the UK population has bought organic food because they believe it to be healthier, and tastier, than its non-organic competitors. Since 1997 the UK market for organic foods has more than tripled, and it is now approaching £500 million."

Tom de Pass, of the Soil Association Association - the UK's leading campaigning charity and certification body for organic food - continues: "Research that we have undertaken shows that this figure is expected to grow by 40% year on year for the next five years. This may be a conservative estimate, taking into account the consumers' growing organic preference and the manufacturers' - such as Meridian's - desire to meet their demands.

"People chose to buy organic food for all sorts of reasons, for example it's not been treated with chemical pesticides, it's GMO free, and obviously lots of people believe it tastes better."


For further press information contact:

Emma James/Karen Lee, Communique Public Relations Ltd, Waterside, 2 Canal Street, Manchester, M1 3HE. Tel: 0161 242 5109/5122 or Fax: 0161 237 7509/7522 E-mail: emma.james@communique-pr.co.uk / karen.lee@comunique-pr.co.uk

or

Karen Rhodes, Meridian Foods, Corwen, Denbighshire, LL21 9RJ. Tel: 01490 413151 or Fax: 01490 412032.

or

Visit the Meridian Foods website - www.meridianfoods.co.uk