Organic September, the Soil Association’s month-long celebration of all things organic, offers a fantastic opportunity for independents to boost takings and reach out to new customers
The month of September brings a marketing opportunity for large and small retailers, wholesalers and organic businesses to raise the profile of their organic ranges and to communicate and educate customers on the benefits and values of purchasing organic products.
Due to last year’s success in increasing sales by 9% during the event, the Soil Association will be re-running its ‘Small Changes, Big Difference’ campaign, encouraging everyone within the supply chain to convert to organic in small steps – either through stocking more organic products, building campaigns to convert customers to buying more organic products or simply providing customers with more information and ‘reasons to believe’ in organic.
The campaign aims to show how many small changes across the industry and customer base will have a big impact on farming, biodiversity, animal welfare and ultimately the health of those buying organic products.
During this month-long event there is a sustained period for promoting favourite organic brands, providing sampling of products and building customer loyalty to the organic ranges on shelf. It is a key time for creating impact through shelf displays, window dressings and customer newsletters.
Get tooled up
The Soil Association is helping support your campaigns by providing a toolkit of marketing materials. The kit will include posters for back wall displays, stickers for shop windows and other information leaflets.
Experience and feedback from independent shops shows that a significant number of both current and lapsed organic customers buy organic because they have trust in the label and they want to know more about the origins of their food and the methods used in production. The Small Changes, Big Difference campaign will aim to share more of this information for onward communication to customers.
The success of the event and the ‘call to action’ to increase sales of organic by 10% during the month depends on smaller shops as much as supermarkets. Organic customers are often very loyal to their local outlets, so please support the event by making products available and making organic accessible to all.
Get the toolkit now!
Keep an eye on the Soil Association website for the most up-to-date information as it becomes available at www.soilassociation.org and if you would like a Small Changes, Big Difference toolkit, please contact [email protected]
Top tips on getting the most out of Organic September
Here’s a list of ideas to get you started. Let the Soil Association know if you have other ideas we can share on social media and also about your success during the event. – Use the toolkit in your stores to communicate to customers both within the store and outside – Draw attention to your organic ranges via promotions, sampling, cou-pons and competitions – Feature organic products in your shop window during the month – Focus on different product areas each week and draw attention to the organic choice available – Get your team involved – challenge them to convert to an organic option within some of their own eating and drinking choices, possibly giving a bigger discount on organic products – Stage customer sessions or ‘talks’ to share knowledge on organic and its benefits – Create recipes for organic products and download examples from the Soil Association website to share with customers – Make sure that your local press know if you are ‘making a small change’ and tell the Soil Association as well!
Trade Briefing – share your success story
The Soil Association is staging its Annual Trade Briefing on Tuesday 23 September at Rudolf Steiner House, Baker Street, London. As the organic market continues to grow, this event will provide an opportunity for businesses and retailers to get together to share stories of success, as well as having an update on organic sales performance and market opportunities. The event is free for Soil Association licensees. Please advise if you would like to attend by emailing [email protected]
Don’t lose out – stock up on organic now
Organic food and drink has been experiencing a resurgence in demand, as sales have been in positive growth for more than 12 months. Latest figures for supermarket sales of organic show +1.1% to 24 May 2014 (Nielsen) with exceptional growth in dairy (+7.4%) and chilled convenience(+16.6%). Heavily branded categories such as yoghurts, tea, cereals, beer, biscuits and baby cereals are all outperforming their non-organic equivalents. The independent sector and box schemes are leading the industry growth, and achieved a massive increase of 7% and 11% respectively during 2013. A significant number of younger consumers are entering the organic market too. A recent poll by the Soil Association showed that 17% of 18-24-year-olds had purchased organic within the last week (Yougov Poll, Sept 2014), the highest penetration of any age group. However opportunities could be easily missed if the products are not stocked or aren’t readily available on shelf. The same poll highlighted that 20% of respondents found ‘it harder than it used to be to find organic products in their local supermarket’ and 17% found that ‘organic products that they wanted to buy, were out of stock.’ In addition to this information, Natural Products carried out a survey on organic in February 2014 and the results were very positive for the future of the sector. More than 70% of respondents commented that they had increases in sales of organic during 2013 and more than 65% of respondents were optimistic about selling more organic during 2014. It’s clearly a good time to review your organic range on shelf so as not to miss the market opportunity. With the right organic choice in store, you could not only bring in new customers but drive more sales through current customers as well.
What are you doing for Organic Beauty Week?
One of the main fixtures of the Organic September events calendar is Organic Beauty Week. Focusing on all things beautifully organic it pulls together some of the biggest and best beauty brands around. Savvy retailers and beauty brands are already lining up special promotions to get the most out of this high profile focus on organic beauty. Whole Foods Market, for example, will be hosting a series of in-store events. On 10 September all nine UK stores will host a ‘an evening of organic bubbles and beauty’, where customers will be offered free organic beauty treatments and a glass of organic Prosecco. On 12-14 September the retailer’s flagship Kensington store will be hosting a pop up ‘Green Room’ featuring samples, demos, workshops and inspirational talks. Additionally, all the stores will be offering 20% off all organic health and beauty products in a special one-off event. Neal’s Yard Remedies will be actively promoting Organic Beauty Week through a series of special shopping events, promotions and social media activities. Through the NYR Organic Consultants, and in store, Neal’s Yard Remedies will also be previewing a new certified organic, and clinically proven age-defying serum during September: Frankincense Intense Concentrate. Organic Beauty Week celebrations will take place online and in stores nationwide and will link in with the #OrganicBeauty hashtag. Leading organic beauty brands – Pai, Inlight, Bamford, Odylique (from Essential Care) and Therapi among them – are also holding educational events, sampling, competitions and special offers. • Check for more details on the Soil Association website at www.soilassociation.org.
Organic September Listings
If there’s one essential oil to have in your cabinet, Absolute Aromas Organic High Altitude Lavender oil is the one. This Organic High Altitude Lavender combines excellent quality with Soil Association certification, resulting in a truly versatile and popular oil. Grown at altitudes of over 800m, Absolute Aromas Organic High Altitude Lavender has both relaxing and antiseptic properties. Sold in convenient 10ml bottles as well as larger sizes, this Organic Lavender is popular with both therapists and individuals alike. Visit the Absolute Aromas website for more Lavender products including the Organic Lavender Floral Water.
The Wise Herb Company has recently launched a range of four Functional Infusions based on 5000 year old Ayurvedic Recipes from the Himalayas: 100% Pure, Natural and Ethical. Slim & Fit (for Hunger Suppression) Up & Go (for Energy Boost) Calm & Relax (for Relaxing and Good Nights Sleep) Young & Fun (Rich in Antioxidants) Each variant is available in pack sizes of 15 and 28 Premium Nylon Triangle teabags in each. Retail at £4.99 and £7.99 respectively
Big Oz makes a range of allergen-free breakfast cereal which are not only delicious but also totally gluten free. All products use the whole grain and all natural ingredients so are also ideal for those looking for a tasty healthy alternative to start their day. There is a great range from Flakes, Puffs, Porridge Pots and Granolas. Our Chocolate Buckwheat Flakes with Raspberries have been awarded ‘highly commended’ in the prestigious Free From Food Awards 2014. Big Oz is a Coeliac UK registered product and is also approved by The Vegetarian Society, The Soil Association and is Kosher approved.
Pertwood Farm Organic Cereals
Tel: 0207 3879303
E-mail: [email protected]
All our cereals are part of the ‘Pertwood Farm Promise’, that all the oats can all be traced back to Pertwood Farm. That’s pure and simple organic goodness direct from Wiltshire! This incredible granola recipe from Raymond Blanc is a mix of wholegrain oats, ancient buckwheat, sesame & sunflower seeds topped with sweet sultanas and crunchy hazelnuts. We’re dedicated to producing the most nutritious wholegrain cereals grown by animal-friendly farming, to make a lovely breakfast to kick start your morning. Enjoy this granola topped with cold milk or yoghurt and compote. Or, nibble straight from the box… Made in the UK.
BodyMe Super Energy Mix is a unique and lifting blend of nature’s finest organic energy super foods including baobab fruit, guarana seed, maca root, lucuma fruit and acai berry. Each ingredient provides it’s own stimulating and invigorating properties, with essential nutrients including, vitamins C, B1, B2 and B6, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc and manganese. All ingredients are 100% Soil Association certified organic and 20p is donated from every product sale to charity Healthy Planet to help support conservation projects around the world and at home in the UK. BodyMe has a passion to help people live natural and live life.
Essential Canned Fruit is ethically-sourced and produced organically by farming partners in Sri Lanka – a network of 3,000 growers – ensuring local communities are supported and protected. The fruit is grown, prepared and canned by this sustainable project. There are four delicious varieties (rrp £1.99 400g): Tropical Chunks, Mango, Pineapple and Papaya. The succulent chunks look and taste fresh, and make you rethink canned fruit altogether. Convenient ring-pull cans capture all the goodness, vibrancy and flavour of the naturally sun-ripened fruit at its freshest. Free from artificial sweeteners, additives or preservatives, the fruit just comes in 100% fruit juice.
Sunita have increased their range of organic Mediterranean fine foods this year with the introduction of 4 new Organic Bruschetta (Brus-ketta) spreads from Italy. Made with the finest organic ingredients, their Mixed Olive, Porcini Mushroom, Red Pepper and Tomato Bruschetta spreads – traditionally a topping for toasted bread or rice cakes – are so versatile they can also be used as a relish, sandwich filler, to enhance the flavour of sauces or as a pizza topping. These new additions to their collection compliments the already popular range of organic pestos, pates, olives, olive oil, halva, tahini, sesame bars, fruit drinks and their soon to be available Organic Raw Honey.
Hodmedod was founded in 2012 to source pulses, grains and seeds from British farms and offer wholesome ingredients, with a commitment to providing food that’s not just British-grown but delicious and sustainably produced too. Our organic range is certified by the Soil Association and includes the first organic British-grown split fava beans, a delicious canned vaal dahl (inspired by the vegetarian cuisine of Gujarat) and split yellow and green peas. Hodmedod’s dried pulses are sold in 500g retail packs or in bulk packs by arrangement. Our range is available from most wholefood wholesalers – we’re also happy to supply directly.
To coincide with Organic September Natracare is launching the world’s first COSMOS certified organic, Cleansing Make-Up Removal Wipes. Wet wipes are a part of many women’s skincare regime. But what if that trusted wipe put on to their skin more than it was wiping off? Many conventional cleansing wipes contain a host of harsh chemicals including formaldehyde-releasing chemicals, foaming ingredients, parabens and synthetic fragrances, all linked to irritation. Natracare Cleansing Make-Up Removal Wipes are made from only organic and natural ingredients. The COSMOS certified organic cotton wipes are gentle but effective, removing waterproof mascara. Essential oils of almond, apricot and chamomile, leave your skin moisturised, cleansed and beautifully refreshed. Keep clean naturally this Organic September with Natracare.
Jeeva – Inspired by Ayurveda; Raw coconut oil is made from the milk of freshly harvested and handpicked Organic Indian coconuts. Jeeva’s oil is never heated & we cold-press and cold process which retains both the depth of flavour and the high nutritional content. Unrefined, unbleached and completely raw, Jeeva coconut oil brings a little bit of India to your table every day. Jeeva only uses sustainable farming methods and is both ethically and environmentally conscious • Certified 100% Organic, Vegan & Kosher Wonderful for Cooking, baking, frying, roasting, spreading, smoothies, as well for topical use on hair and skin.
Winter Beetroot Soup with Curly Kale, Sweet Potato Soup with Chia Seed and Quinoa and Red Lentil Soup with Apricots and Crushed Chillies.
Tideford Organics is launching a new range of mouth-watering winter soups. These gluten free, organic soups are available in three delicious flavours – Winter Beetroot Soup with Curly Kale, Sweet Potato Soup with Chia Seed and Quinoa and Red Lentil Soup with Apricots and Crushed Chillies. This innovative producer believes that tasty, healthy food can only be made with organic ingredients that are farmed responsibly with no artificial pesticides or fertilisers. All of their products are gluten free, organic and low in fat and salt, they also produce vegan and vegetarian products. For further information on Tideford Organics visit www.tidefordorganics.com.
Seed and Bean is all about nature and creativity; contemporary, natural flavours, blended with pure cocoa beans into kaleidoscopic moments of pleasure. We are 100% organic and ethical and all of our chocolates bars are handmade in England. Competitive RSPs , Artisan, Organic, Fairtrade and Made in England. Free POC and samples, small case sizes, designed for Independent Foodies. Ask for samples and information.
Thanks to hot oat’s well deserved healthier living reputation, porridge is no longer seen as simply a ‘quick fix’ winter warmer, but more of a better-for-you hot treat with fervent all-year-round appeal. In a cluttered cereal aisle where drab golden syrup often rules the roost, Hot & Steamy prefers to champion a more ‘at one with nature alternative’ in the shape of a handy-sized multi-pack that contains a magnificent maple, a truly discerning spicy apple and good olde original. N.B. There’s still time to enter our create a Gluten-free recipe competition and win £3k of John Lewis vouchers. See www.naturespath.co.uk
Gemtree Wines are an exciting new organic wine range, stocked by Vintage Roots. See them in our extensive new Wine List 2014/15, containing 66 new organic drinks. Some other highlights include new top Burgundies from Magnien, Terra Tanga from Bulgaria and new ‘Hansen’ wine from Inner Mongolia! Among some artisan new spirits are Seaweed Gin from Da Mhile and Rhubarb Vodka from Loch Ness! Our popular ‘No Added Sulphur’ wine range grows to eleven, and there’s now 50 beers and ciders to choose from. Contact us for information and to open an account.
What on Earth is a leading, award winning organic food manufacturer. Starting with just one humble, organic pizza, the company has grown considerably over the years and now produces a wide range of quality food products, all of which are high in vitamins and minerals but contain no GMOs, additives or pesticides. What on Earth sources the best ingredients from around the world for all its products and constantly strives to reduce any environmental impacts. Like What On Earth on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @WhatOnEarthFood