With Organic September here, ShelfNow can reveal that over a quarter of our producers now stock organic produce. In addition, the number of organic products on our online wholesale marketplace has more than doubled in the last year alone. 

So, what is the trend, why is the public increasingly favouring the purchase of organic products despite the current cost of living crisis, and what products on ShelfNow are likely to appeal to your business?


How do we define organic?

In order to be classed as organic, goods must comply with regulations drawn up by the EU and retained by the UK after Brexit. According to the Soil Association, the standards must apply to all stages of production, preparation and distribution for products to be labelled as organic.

Involvement in activities at any stage of the organic supply chain requires compliance, from farming and manufacture to packaging and distribution. It is also worth noting that if the hunting or fishing of wild animals occurs, this will prohibit any product in question from being classified as organic. 

Organic production standards that must be adhered to include the production of high-quality food in sufficient quantity, using processes that do not harm the environment and human, animal, or even plant health and welfare. Producers should also maximise the use of renewable resources and recycling.

Processing organic food requires restricting the use of additives, excluding substances and methods that might be misleading regarding the product's true nature, as well as guaranteeing that the food is processed with care, preferably with the use of biological, mechanical and physical methods. 

Some of the standards that demand adherence may seem vague, but being certified by the Soil Association or any other recognised body is worthwhile for any small, independent and high-quality artisan producer. 

Read more about the regulations here.


The growth of the organic trend

The organic trend is potentially lucrative for SMEs in the food and drink industry and has shown no signs of wavering as a result of the current volatile economic climate. UK Organic market experienced a yearly growth of 5.2% and is currently estimated to be worth £ 3 billion in 2022[1].

There are likely to be a combination of factors that are contributing to this trend, but the main advantages of organic can be summarised here[2]:  

  1. It’s better for the planet - if Europe’s farmland all followed organic principles, emissions related to agriculture could drop by 40 - 50% by 2050. Transitioning to organic could therefore be crucial for achieving net zero[3].
  2. It’s better for the welfare of animals - organic farming has the highest animal welfare standards of any international farming system. It’s undoubtedly the next best thing for animal wellbeing besides shifting to a plant-based diet, as any livestock is guaranteed to have a happy, free-range life[4].
  3. It’s better for nature and wildlife - with 41% of Britain’s wildlife species having declined since 1970 and 1 in 10 currently facing extinction, organic farms provide a safe haven for wildlife such as birds, bees and butterflies. Organic farms use fewer pesticides, protect natural habitats and support cleaner water for wildlife.
  4. It’s better for people - organic food is safer than conventional products and actively joins the dots between our own health and the health of our animals, their habitats and the planet as a whole[5]. The food contains fewer pesticides, additives and preservatives, no genetically modified ingredients, and farmers use fewer antibiotics. It is also more nutritious, with meat and dairy often containing 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, and crops 68% more antioxidants.

In 2019, 68% of consumers said that they associate organic with a clean label, due to the products likely being healthier and free of highly processed additives[6]. In addition, attitudes such as these are on the rise amongst the crucial millennial and Gen Z consumer, a market that will continue to grow in importance as today’s millennial becomes tomorrow’s organic parent in the coming years. For example, a Heinz study found that more than half of new parents are already concerned about the ingredients in prepared baby food.

With younger consumers more likely to buy into organic claims and willing to pay extra for the privilege of purchasing organic produce if necessary, it would seem logical that they will pass on these consumption and spending habits to their offspring. The global market is projected to be worth an eye-watering £322.71 billion by 2025, fuelled in large part by these millennial parents and the growing market in countries such as China catching up to their European and North American counterparts[7].


What exciting organic products does ShelfNow offer?

One organic product that has been trending this year is Caffe Barbera’s Aromagic Plus 25 pack. World-renowned as Italy’s oldest coffee roasting company, Barbera’s ‘espresso in a capsule’ is as versatile, due to being Nespresso compatible, as it is aromatic and authentically Neapolitan. Shop Caffe Barbera Aromagic Plus 25 pc here  

Also, 100% organic are Erbology’s powders, oils, fruits, drinks and general ingredients. All Erbology products are nutrient-packed, facilitate good mental and physical health and wellbeing, and support local organic farmers with a transparent supply chain that promises to only use recyclable and compostable packaging. Shop Erbology here   

Stocked by Selfridges and Ocado for consumers, we are delighted to have Doughlicious organic ready-to-eat Lite Bites available for purchase on ShelfNow. Certified by the Organic Food Federation, the products are comprised of 100% natural plant-based 

ingredients high in fibre and protein and without refined sugars, additives or preservatives. The London Dough Company is also proud of its commitment to sustainability and fairness throughout the supply chain, offering a resealable pouch that helps to keep the cookie dough fresh and fight food waste. Shop Doughlicious here 

Not found what you’re looking for? Follow this link to browse all of the organic products on ShelfNow. Shop Organic here


Have you heard about ShelfNow’s organic warehouses?

Not only do over a quarter of ShelfNow’s Producer partners stock organic produce, with the number rising exponentially, but we’ve also revolutionised the way in which food and drink products are distributed to Trade Buyers because we understand the demand for accordance with organic principles throughout the supply chain. 

Having listened to Producer feedback, we found that a common qualm was regarding the storage of organic produce. Well not to worry, as one of ShelfNow now has access to ambient, organic storage and deliveries that are organic compliant thanks to our close partnership with a certified third-party logistics company. In addition, we will be able to store and distribute organic alcoholic products, as the warehouse also holds an alcohol licence.   

The warehouse’s convenient zone 2 location also grants us access to “last mile delivery” for London-based Buyers and enables us to offer a 100% green delivery service. Powered by pushbikes and electric vehicles that include e-cargo bikes and vans, the fleet is operating sustainably and in a way that is ULEZ compliant. 

It is estimated that approximately 85% of the logistics fleet is currently completely green in the year 2022. As we acknowledge that not every business is located within the M25, we are delighted to be able to deliver orders UK-wide and within 48 hours.

ShelfNow offers Producers the opportunity to have all logistics, payment, invoicing, fulfilment and distribution handled by us and with the help of our organic warehouse partner. If you think you might be interested, please email support@shelfnow.co.uk.


Sources used

[1] Soil Association - Download the Organic Market Report 2022

[2] Soil Association - Why Organic?

[3] Soil Association - Ten Years for Agroecology in Europe

[4] Soil Association - Better for Animals

[5] Albert Howard - The health of soil, plant, animal and man is one and indivisible'

[6] Barry Callebaut - 'Organic': a booming trend

[7] Featuring General Mills, Cargill and Danone Among Others - Global Organic Food Market Report (2021 to 2030)