British shoppers are predicted to spend over GBP2bn (US$3.7bn) on ethical foods this year alone, up by 62% since 2002, according to latest research by Mintel.
People in the UK are said to be moving towards more ethical lifestyles, with the research group forecasting that the market will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.
Mintel senior market analyst Julie Sloan said: “Ethical-food suppliers have traded on the fringes of the UK grocery market for many years and until recently only a few sectors, such as free-range eggs, had really established themselves. But now many more ethical products have entered the mainstream-foods sector, with leading suppliers and retailers becoming increasingly involved. In the present climate, many companies may be hoping to improve their profile by projecting a more ethical stance.
“But whatever their reasonings for choosing the ethical route, this movement is certainly a step in the right direction towards a more ethically-minded society. With these products becoming rapidly more widely available, the market is set to see substantial future growth.”
According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database, 70 ethical food products were launched last year in the UK, up from just 25 in 2002 and so far this year there has been 53 new ethical food launches.
Within the ethical foods market, Fairtrade is showing high sales growth too, Mintel said, and is set to be worth GBP230m by the end of this year.