The organic food and beverage market has seen a decline in sales volume since October 2021, the AHDB reported.
After a long period of growth, sales were down 16% year on year for the 12 weeks ending July 10, 2022, correlating with an increase in prices.
While consumers are willing to buy organic products, price remains a major barrier, compounded by inflation, and to counter this, the environmental and health benefits of products need to be further highlighted to justify the price premium, said the AHDB.
See also: Organic dairy farming in 2022: opportunities and challenges
The organic market represents 1.2% of total food and drink volume (2019: 1%) and is worth £1.2 billion, according to retail analyst Kantar.
Organic dairy products account for 2.9% of total dairy retail volumes, but have seen a sharp decline in volume sales since January 2022, alongside a rapid price increase.
Although organic and non-organic dairy saw a 3% price increase, organic dairy only saw a 2.0% year-over-year volume decline, while non-organic dairy products saw a steeper 6.5% year-over-year decline for June 2022, according to Kantar.
Meat, fish and poultry
In the year to July 10, 2022, organic meat, fish and poultry accounted for 0.2% of total market volume.
Volume sales of organics have seen a steady decline since October 2021, when organics saw their highest sales levels yet.
This fall coincides with a significant rise in prices, with the average price of organic meat, fish and poultry increasing by 5%, from £11.83/kg to £12.40/kg.
The average price of the non-organic equivalent is now £6.52/kg, a 4% increase from October 2021.
Beef, lamb, chicken and fish all saw lower volumes year over year. The main source of this drop is due to the fact that buyers no longer buy organic meat off promotion.
Unlike other proteins, pork has done well, with 89% of sales coming from processed pork, which is generally more affordable.