The UK organic products market has grown from a seedling sector to blossoming business.
According to commercial stats site Statista, products that declare they’re ‘cruelty free’ and ‘without preservatives’ are among the most looked for by consumers when buying in the cosmetics and personal care category — and in 2016, sales of ethical cosmetics reached £721 million.
The Guardian also recently reported that the organic fresh produce and dairy market is now worth a record £2.2 billion per annum — a rise of 4 per cent since last year.
It’s now a diverse industry that covers everything form alcoholic drinks to face masks. If you’re tempted to throw your hat in the natural products ring, here are a few dynamic subsectors that might prove interesting.
Brits like few things better than a dollop of ketchup on their bangers and bacon, as well as ethically-sourced sauces for adopted dishes like pasta.
Organic versions of the above have been available for some time but are sometimes criticised for not evidencing their green credentials at every stage of the supply chain.
But UK-based natural sauce specialists Mr Organic pride themselves on stringent quality control that guarantees ethical sourcing and excellent quality from seed to shelf.
Tomatoes are the core ingredients of many ranges and they’re all grown in Pontinia near Rome, just a few miles from a production base that’s completely powered by renewable energy.
This firm understands that sophisticated customers are scrutinising their product choices more thoroughly than ever.
Choosy chocoholics are also being more careful about the environmental impact of sourcing and processing for their favourite bars and boxes, hence the popularity of high-profile organic brands like Green and Blacks.
But there’s room for enthusiastic newcomers too — like startup organic chocolatier Seed and Bean.
Based in Corby, Northamptonshire, most of their products are Fairtrade certified, 100 per cent organic, use single origin cocoa, are handmade in England and feature fully recyclable packaging.
Despite direct orders and a presence in health food stores like Planet Organic, the brand isn’t yet carried in major UK supermarkets — securing such exposure would sustain success in the long-term.
Nevertheless, if you’re a budding organic confectioner, Seed and Bean’s story should provide encouragement.
Environmentally-conscious beauty customers believe that that products applied externally to their skin and hair should be as natural as those that end up in their stomachs.
And a wander through supermarket cosmetic and hair care aisles reveals a plethora of products featuring exotic ingredients sourced form the ends of the earth.
But discerning punters get peace of mind from a dedicated eco-conscious beauty supplier like Kijani Living that employs nutritionists and dermatologists to test the ingredients, sustainability, origin and effectiveness of every product in their catalogue.
This type of systematic testing regime requires discipline and money to maintain and sets a high bar for new entrants to the sector who want to compete effectively, but it’s one way to differentiate your offering.
Post-Brexit, the organic sector could make a significant contribution to ensuring the British economy remains buoyant. But since many constituent companies rely on relationships with the EU as well as the wider world, this would rely on future trade agreements being as frictionless as possible.
Nevertheless, if you’re got the requisite expertise, Britain’s organic products market could prove fertile ground for commercial success.