UK consumers are turning back to premium and ethical foods despite the continuing impact of the recession, the latest sales data from Tesco has suggested.


“In one of the clearest signals yet that consumers are feeling more confident about their own household finances Tesco reports its Finest, organics and Fairtrade ranges are all returning to growth,” the UK retailer said.


However, Tesco conceded that it has reviewed its range of organic and Fairtrade foods in order to develop “better offers” and increase sales.


Since the onset of the recession, Tesco said it has taken various measures to encourage sales, especially for its Finest and organic ranges, increasing promotional activity and BOGOFs.


The strategy has led to demand for Finest range foods in convenience and fish, meat and poultry categories – which make up 50% of all Finest purchases – in the last year now back in growth with sales up 3% in each category.


Sales of organic produce have increased 52% since November, the retailer added.


“While it’s too early to say that we are seeing the green shoots of recovery from the recession, rising demand for our ethical and premium food brands are offering optimistic signs,” Tesco pillar brands senior marketing manager Stephanie Stewart said.