New research revealed by Waitrose this week, has shown that after a year of lockdowns there has been a sharp rise in shoppers turning to organic food and drink. A quarter of those questioned increased the number of organic items in their shopping basket or bought organic produce for the first time over the past 12 months.

The OnePoll research, commissioned for our weekly in-store newspaper, Waitrose Weekend, also revealed that 61% of people would like to buy more organic products in future.

Top of the list of reasons for buying more organic food and drink was a concern about the environment and climate change, cited by 39%, closely followed by concerns about food standards, and a renewed interest in cooking, both cited by 36%. A third of respondents said reconnecting with nature and wildlife had also influenced their shopping habits.

A growing interest and demand for organic food and drink is also reflected in sales for our organic range, Waitrose Duchy Organic. Sales of the range, which this month revealed a new look, are up over 10 % compared to last year with popular categories including organic chicken up over 35 % and organic fruit up 15%.

Elen Ormson, Waitrose Duchy Organic Brand Manager said: ‘More time at home has brought an increased awareness in where and how food comes to our kitchen tables. Waitrose Duchy Organic has grown to become the UK’s largest organic food and drink brand and, after a year of record sales, is sporting a new look which better reflects the animal welfare and sustainability credentials which we know are so important to our customers.’

Clare McDermott, business development director for the Soil Association, which certifies 70% of the UK’s organic food, says: “The unprecedented crisis of 2020 has meant many of us are shopping and eating differently, preparing and planning meals, buying locally and feeling more aware of our environment. And with nature becoming increasingly important to many of us, we’re thinking much more carefully about where our food comes from, how it’s produced and its impact on the environment.”

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