Renewed zest for ethical and premium products

Posted by James Ferre on 10th July 2009

British shoppers are starting to return to premium and ethical food ranges, the latest sales data from Tesco has revealed.The UK’s largest supermarket operator reported its Finest, Organics and Fairtrade ranges were all returning to growth, suggesting that the trends seen prior to the global recession are beginning to return.

The news flies in the face of a survey earlier this week suggesting that consumers are continuing to shun the most upmarket ranges, according to the retailer.

Demand for Fairtrade produce has risen 15 per cent in the past year and their Finest range (the most upmarket of their private label goods) has recently reaped strong sales to turnaround a disappointing start to the year. Additionally, organic produce – which has seen growth rates fall from double digits in the past year – returned to the top of the shopping list with sales soaring 52 per cent since November.
“While it’s too early to say that we are seeing the green shoots of recovery from the recession rising demand for our ethical and premium food brands are offering optimistic signs,” Tesco pillar brands senior marketing manager, Stephanie Stewart, said. “While much has been made of us introducing our successful Discounter range last year we have not taken our eye off our other brands and ethical ranges and through improved offers we are now starting to see sales rise again.”

The most popular products within the ranges have been blueberries, mince and potatoes in the organics sector; meat in the premium sector; and bananas, cashews and coffee amongst Fairtrade products.