UK grocer Waitrose has reported that more shoppers than ever are seeking out organic food and drink, with the pandemic forced lockdown feeding a growing interest in provenance, animal welfare – and with it shoppers’ appetite for organic food.
Recent OnePoll research by Waitrose revealed shoppers increased interest in ethical sourcing with over half of respondents now wanting retailers to show more information about ethical practices on packaging. Three-quarters of respondents said they wanted to see more British sourcing and over 44% of people now actively seek out products with less packaging when shopping online.
Searches on Google for the Waitrose Duchy Organic private brand almost doubled during the lockdown and the interest in organic food and drink has been reflected in the aisles, and online, with sales of organic food and drink at Waitrose up 13%.
Rob Hues, Waitrose Agriculture Manager says: ‘For many the time at home has meant more time to prepare home-cooked meals and with that an increased awareness of where and how food comes to our kitchen tables. Provenance, animal welfare, taste and value have never mattered more to our shoppers and we see this increased interest-only continuing.’
Organic categories that have shown some of the biggest sales increases include; organic chicken up 42%, organic vegetables up 23%, and organic eggs up over 13% compared to last year. On Waitrose.com, 52 bags of Waitrose Duchy Organic carrots, 34 blueberry punnets, and 39 bags of bananas are now sold every hour showing the popularity of these organic fruit and veg.
Andrew Martin, who has supplied organic eggs to Waitrose for a dozen years from his farm in Gloucestershire says: ‘Shoppers increased interest in where their food comes from has seen a growing demand for organic eggs. I’m delighted that the care and attention I put into producing organic eggs for Waitrose is recognized by shoppers – our hens not only enjoy organic food but also plenty of time for outdoor roaming and foraging which they love!’
This week Waitrose is launching organic British blueberries, the first time a UK supermarket has been able to offer the organic crop in commercial quantities from a British farm. The Waitrose Duchy Organic blueberries have been grown in Herefordshire by a longstanding Waitrose supplier, who has supplied fruit to Waitrose for over 25 years.
Waitrose was the first UK supermarket to sell organic products in 1983 and its Waitrose Duchy Organic range has grown to become the UK’s largest own-label organic food and drink brand with 24% of the current UK market share*.
Organic food is farmed in harmony with nature, respecting animals, and the environment. Organic farming standards promote sustainable production, the highest welfare standards and vibrant farmland wildlife. Produce and grains must be grown without artificial chemicals or fertilizers, and animals are raised on an organic diet without the routine use of antibiotics.
Waitrose Duchy Organic was originally founded as Duchy Originals by The Prince of Wales to promote organic farming and food production. Uniquely, sales of Waitrose Duchy Organic provide a donation to The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund, supporting good causes across the UK. Over £23.5 million has been raised over the past ten years to support a wide range of projects and communities. The Waitrose Duchy Organic brand is not only popular in the UK, but it is also exported to over 30 countries worldwide.