Organic fresh fruit sales rose by a third in 2001 as consumer demand for organic foods continues to strengthen in Britain.

The latest strategic report by Organic Monitor  reveals that market revenues increased to US$199.1m in 2001. Widening availability of organic fruit in the multiples is driving market growth. The range of organic fruit has broadened significantly in the last few years, such that the organic fresh produce range in British supermarkets is now the most extensive in the world.

Although top fruit dominates revenues, the exotic & tropical fruit sector accounts for the highest volumes in the British organic fruit market. Of the major product categories, the organic top fruit sector is to show the slowest growth in the coming years due to product penetration reaching saturation whereas new varieties of organic exotic & tropical fruit are to continue to be introduced in retailers.

Organic apples and organic pears were the first organic fruit to be introduced in British supermarkets. However organic bananas and organic kiwi fruit have become the most popular with consumers. Organic kiwis account for over 20% of all kiwi sales in some British multiples.

The study shows that the organic fresh produce sector has become highly fragmented since 1997. Many fresh produce pre-packers have entered the organic sector with most specialising in certain product categories. Organic Farm Foods has maintained market leadership in the organic fresh produce sector however its market share has decreased significantly due to the influx of new entrants.