Organic September round-up
10 October 2011
The UK’s biggest celebration of all things organic took place last month, with Organic September being marked on organic farms, in schools, by retailers and caterers and the general public. Taking a lead from the ongoing industry wide ‘discover organic’ marketing campaign the theme of this year’s activity was ‘discover your reasons to love organic this September’.
Kicking off events the ever popular Organic Food Festival took place on 3-4 September at Bristol Harbourside. The festival celebrated the full spectrum of organic fare with over a hundred exhibitors selling delicious food and drink, organic clothes and beauty products. This was just one of many events around the country – more than 40 of our licensees registered events on our website, and there were more organised on a local level.
September also saw offers and discounting on organic produce across a range of retailers. In the large multiples M&S offered a third off on all organic products through September while Watrose offered 25% off many lines. And a snapshot survey the Soil Association conducted in the last week of the month an average shopping basket, at Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys, including staples such as milk, bread, eggs, mince, cheese, apples and carrots was just 4.4% more expensive than a non-organic basket of equivalent products with offers included.
The Soil Association was also active in both the traditional and new media worlds raising awareness of organic with the wider public. Four of the national dailies (the Express, Guardian, Mail and Telegraph) carried coverage, as did many local papers and consumer magazines. Meanwhile we hosted guest blogs on our charity site and were active on Twitter and Facebook – the #organicseptember hash tag took off, with many licensees and supporters using it to pass on thousands of tweets to each other. Many licensees who took part have reported increased web traffic to their sites as result. We also engaged with our supporters and members with a range of exclusive offers and competitions, while our Big Organic Eat-in attracted support from a number of celebrity chefs and raised money to support our work.
Over all it was a hectic and successful month of activity – we hope that all our licensees saw benefits either through closer engagement with customers or an uplift in sales. We will keep an eye on market data, and share it with licensees as soon as it is available.