An IGD report on “Food Consumption 2000” has revealed that the consumer demand for organic produce is rising annually by around 40%, and supermarkets are rushing to secure a piece of the market now worth around GB£546m The report revealed that weekly expenditure on organic goods per household has increased by 7% since 1996/7.

Numerous UK supermarkets are augmenting their organic ranges is response to the increase in consumer demand. Sainsbury controls a 30.6% share of the organic market, but hot on its heels are a number of other chains. Waitrose are planning to make 1000 organic lines available by the end of 2000, and now controls a 9% share. Market leader Tesco introduced an extensive range two weeks ago, and aims to make organic sales worth 10% of its total revenue by 2005.

News arrived today (6 October) that co-operative food retailer CWS is also introducing 200 own-label and branded organic lines, spurred on by the findings of the Co-op Food Crimes report. A spokeswoman from CWS commented: “There is a demand out there for organics and it is no longer the niche market it used to be.”