The UK's organic food sector is hoping for a billion-pound sales boost over the next three years after unveiling its first-ever generic marketing campaign.

The £2m, three-year campaign, called Why I Love Organic and part-funded by the EU, kicks off next week. The first press adverts, which aim to convey the benefits of organic in a more accessible way, will run in OK and Heat magazine and will be followed by ads in the Radio Times, Closer, Hello, Waitrose Kitchen, Tesco Magazine and Tesco Real Food Magazine over the next nine months.

New ads will appear in years two and three of the campaign, which hopes to rejuvenate sales of organic fare after a turbulent couple of years for the sector. In 2009, the UK organic market was worth about £2bn, down 13% on 2008 [Soil Association], although it picked up in 2010.

Huw Bowles, chairman of the Organic Trade Board, said Why I Love Organic was targeting a 15% increase in sales for every year of the three-year campaign. Based on a market value of £2bn, this would take the sector to just over £3bn.

The goal was to convince shoppers to switch to organic for one or two additional products in their weekly shop rather than trying to "convert" them to an organic lifestyle, said Bowles. But to convince consumers to pay a premium it was essential the sector had a clear message.

"In the past, communication about organic has been too complex," he said, which is why the campaign would instead focus on four messages 'better animal welfare', 'better for nature', 'great tasting food' and 'more natural food'.

The OTB also wants to raise awareness among shoppers that the premium for organic food is not as high as many think. A report by, commissioned by the OTB, found that the average price difference between a basket of 20 organic versus 20 non-organic staples, such as milk and bananas, was £4.75 (comparison ­carried out between 6 December 2010 and 3 January 2011).