You might’ve noticed that the UK’s good habits have changed over time. But how? And, where are the trends heading? Retailer of garden bark chips, tell us more:

Growing popularity of organic

According to sales figures, organic food sales have been growing steadily in recent years. Now worth a huge 2.09 billion, the market witnessed 7.1% growth in 2016 alone. In fact, organic food and drink now represents a 1.5% share of the total UK market, according to the 2017 Organic Market Report. On a global scale, the UK’s organic market makes up 4% of the $81 billion worldwide organic sales.

So, what has caused the increase in popularity of organic food? Overall, 80% of consumers said they had knowledge of organic food, with 39% buying it on a weekly basis.

It could also be influenced by Britain’s growing fitness culture and usage of social media. As images of toned, healthy bodies litter our news feeds, we’re inspired by self-improvement. Given that organic food is often fresher, containing fewer pesticides and no genetic modifications, it’s the route many people choose as part of living and eating better.

In terms of who is benefitting, supermarket and independent retailers have experienced similar growth rates (6.1% and 6.3% respectively). But, it’s the foodservice market that has achieved some of the strongest growth. Sales of organic food within the UK’s foodservice market rose by 19.1% in 2016 to be worth a staggering 76.6 million.

Restaurants, pubs, cafes and food outlets are responding to the change in consumer behaviour too. In order to continue to capture sales from increasingly health-conscious customers, outlets must change their menus accordingly, driving the growth of organic food. Many well-known restaurants have made the switch to organic, including Jamie’s Italian, McDonalds and Nando’s.

This means that wholesalers too must change. Between 2015 and 2016, there were almost 25% more licensed organic wholesalers, responding to the growing demand for wholesome food.

The public sector is getting involved too. With schools, universities, hospitals and workplaces serving more organic food under the Food For Life Catering Mark, it’s clear that organic is on the rise – and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

Heading to the allotment

Following 2007’s recession, we’ve witnessed an increase in the number of Brit’s growing their own produce, in an effort to battle rising food costs. In 2012, for example, the BBC reported that almost a third of British adults grow their own food. A further 51% said in a survey that they would take to the vegetable patch if food prices were to rise further.

In a report by YouGov, it was revealed that 77% of gardeners listed eating produce that they have grown in their own gardens as the main benefit of gardening. What’s more, 44% grow enough fruit and vegetable to share with their friends and family, while over 25% said that growing their own food was now their hobby.

More recipe boxes

As a nation, we’re always on the lookout for time-saving tips. Our busy lives and dependence on technology has given rise to the recipe box. Pioneered by the likes of Hello Fresh and Gousto, but now massively expanded with the rise of local services, like this meal prep in London box courtesy of Key To Food, these boxes contain all of the ingredients you need to cook tasty meals, along with instructions on how to do it.

The boxes bring convenience to cooking. It’s no surprise that they’ve experienced exceptional success. In 2015, the recipe box industry has achieved some 702 million in worldwide sales. By 2025, predictions estimate that this will grow to 3.8 billion as the market goes from strength-to-strength and more companies emerge.

Did you know that UK households threw away 13 billion of edible food in 2017? Recipe boxes – which only provide the ingredients you need for each recipe – seem like a good idea to combat the issue. According to analytics by Cardlytics, spending on recipe boxes grew by 64.6% in the first half of 2016, with the volume of orders increasing by 47.6%.

Of course, the supermarkets are feeling threatened. Tesco and Waitrose have both launched a recipe kit range within their stores. With Waitrose vowing to make them a permanent part of their range, Tesco is still in the trial stages.

From organic food to vegetable patches and recipe boxes, it’s clear that Britain’s attitudes to food are shifting as we strive to eat better as part of our increasingly health-conscious lifestyles.