Sales of organic fruit at Tesco have grown by more than 18 per cent in the last year with soft fruit, bananas and citrus leading the way.
Demand for organic strawberries, blueberries and raspberries has jumped by 34 per cent in the last year, Tesco said, followed by bananas (up 27 per cent), citrus (up 17 per cent), mangoes and other exotics (up eight per cent) and top fruit (up eight per cent).
The retailer said the interest in organic produce is a “direct result” to offering a wider range, and continuing to cut prices. The figures, released by Tesco today, come following news that in the last year UK demand for organic fruit has grown by eight per cent across the market (IRI data January 2015).
Tesco fruit commercial manager Gareth Wilcock said: “We strongly believe that great quality, organic produce should be an affordable option for families.
“The revival of organic foods has been gathering pace over the last few years, with keener prices and better availability both playing a major part in that. We have been working hard to get quality, organic produce into stores as quickly as possible, to provide extra days of freshness for customers."
Wilcock said that smaller snacking pack sizes for several key organic berry lines has also aided portion control, reduced waste, and helped drive sales growth.
Tesco’s primary UK organic fruit supplier and grower is Evesham-based Organic Farm Foods (OFF), which supplies the retailer with apples, pears, grapes, watermelons, kiwi and mango.
OFF managing director Adam Wakeley said: “Traditionally the two biggest challenges for organic produce have been price and availability and we have been working closely with Tesco and our growers around the world to improve availability as we move between seasons.
“We are particularly focusing on bridging gaps in supply to ensure customers can receive a consistent year round offer.”
Paul Moore, chair of Organic Trade Board, said: "We are delighted to see Tesco enjoying growth in organic fruit sales. Nearly two thirds of organic consumers have entered the market since 2009 and are young, highly motivated and engaged with food."