The value of the Irish organic retail market is just over €110m, Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food, and the Marine was told at a pre-Christmas meeting. Bord Bia entrepreneurship manager Eileen Bentley said there are more than 40 active organic companies on its client database, all of which can benefit from the marketing and business development support services it provides daily.
“The organic market is approximately 1% of the overall food and drink market in Ireland and, like all aspects of the market, has had significant challenges at retail level in the years of the economic recession,” said Ms Bently.
“However, in 2014 and 2015 the organic market has returned to growth and although not yet back at pre-recession value, year to date growth in 2015 is plus 9%. According to Kantar Worldpanel data, this growth is being driven by more shoppers buying more products more often.”
She said vegetables, yoghurt, and fruit make up more than half of the retail market for organic sales in Ireland.
“It is interesting to understand who is purchasing organic products and, again through Kantar data, we can see the key segments are the pre-family group, the over- 45s with family and households with older dependants,” she said. “Appeal is greatest in households with highest levels of disposable incomes. The majority of retail sales for organic are through multiple retailers. Super Valu has performed strongest for organic sales in 2015 but Tesco is the most important retailer in volume. The biggest share growth in 2015 was in Aldi, an indication of the importance of the discounters to the future growth of the sector in Ireland.”
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