Soil Association's Organic September campaign lifts sales

06 November 2013

The Soil Association's annual Organic September campaign has delivered a strong boost to the organic market, confirming further that the UK organic market is back into good growth with positive figures since the start of 2013. The Small Changes, Big Difference campaign ran for the month of September in partnership with independent, online and national retailers.

Results* show organic food sales in September increased by nearly 9% bringing an absolute increase of £7.9m* to the sector. Monthly sales in September 2013 showed an increase of 2% with many categories such as Tea, Cereals, Yoghurts, and Poultry showing exceptional growth and far outperforming the non organic products in these categories

Rob Sexton, Chief Executive of Soil Association Certification said: "The campaign has been a great success this year, the sales figures speak for themselves. But that is only part of the picture, the Small Changes, Big Difference marketing theme has been adopted by some major brands this year which is something we want to build on in the future." He continued, "This year's campaign has been a great success and we are already excited about next year."

This year's campaign centred around individuals being encouraged to make a personal 'small change', such as switching to organic milk or buying an organic beauty product and highlighted the benefits or the 'big difference' to the environment or farming economy as a result, for me this year's campaign has shown how successful we can be when we start where people are at, with a small change and not perpetuate the myth that it is all or nothing."

Many licensees, small and large, took part in the month-long marketing campaign. The Soil Association distributed over 1000 poster packs to independent retailers and organised theme events such as the highly successful Organic Beauty Weekend. Artwork was created in three themes, Food & Farming, Fashion & Textiles and Health & Beauty.

This year, the Soil Association focused on communicating the campaign through the independent retailer sector: this sector has remained strong throughout the last few years and maintained a very personal relationship with their customers. A recent Soil Association survey, to evaluate the campaign, confirmed that 95% of the independent shops who sell organic products were aware of the Small Changes campaign and that more than half were made aware through receiving the poster packs. The majority of respondents agreed that September achieved a similar uplift to last year with many reporting increases between 5-15%.

Gary Youren, Brand Manager for Seeds of Change said: “Seeds of Change worked closely with key retailers during Organic September – we know the power of “events” in retail, and Organic September is a key event which both brands and retailers can make the most of. This works best when the event, the brand and the retailer come together. With promotions, hot sampling in Sainsbury’s, coupon-at-till and online activity supporting both Seeds of Change during Organic September we were rewarded with our highest value sales month for over two years. While activity played a part in driving this, we also saw our base sales increase by 11% that month compared to the previous 12 months. This suggests there was some consumer response to the messages in store and elsewhere and shows the power of focusing on event activation for maximum impact.”


For press enquiries please contact:
Natasha Collins-Daniel, Press Office Manager – 0117 914 2448 / 07827 925380
Holly Black, Digital Communications and Press Officer – 0117 314 5170

Notes to editors

* Data from Nielsen

  • Results* show that for the 4 weeks to 28 September versus the 4 weeks to 31 August 2013 there was a sales increase of +8.93 and an absolute increase of £7.9m* to the sector. September 2013 versus September 2012 showed an increase of 2%, the highest year on year increase for many months. (Data from Nielsen)
  • The Soil Association is a membership charity campaigning for planet-friendly food and farming. We believe in the connection between soil, food, the health of people and the health of the planet. See for more information.
  • Organic September is supported by Good Energy. Good Energy is a 100% renewable electricity supplier. It supplies the national electricity grid with an equivalent amount of renewable electricity to match all its customers’ demand over the course of a 12 month period. Since it was founded in 1999, Good Energy has been a catalyst for change in the energy market. A champion of independent renewable electricity producers, it supports a community of 52,000 Feed-in Tariff customers and supplies over 34,000 homes and businesses. Good Energy’s main tariff is certified by the independent Green Energy Supply Certification Scheme, the energy industry equivalent to organic certification. To find out more visit



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