The organic market has again performed strongly this year, enjoying year-on-year growth of 13.4%. The market is now firmly over the billion pound mark in value terms.

Dairy and produce still hold the largest shares of the market. Both have performed well this year, largely due to consumers' perception of organic produce's health benefits. Some 41% of consumers stated that they chose organic because of the perceived health benefits.

However, there have been some questions raised this year. Affordability is one issue that may detract from organic's appeal, with 65% of consumers saying they would be more inclined to buy if products were cheaper.

The over-45s, children under five and females are the key organic consumers, while teenagers and younger adults are the least likely demographic to seek out organic products. As more scientific evidence emerges to support organic's health benefits, this may be a key factor in encouraging both the elderly and parents of young children to choose organic.

Consumer attitudes towards organic products are becoming more favourable each year. Since 2003, the number of consumers agreeing with positive statements such as 'preferring to eat organic foods' or 'considering them to be of a higher quality' has increased year on year. However, further growth has been stunted due to supply limitations on UK products.

The fastest-growing organic sector is chilled food and drink. The growth is mainly being driven by an increase in prices, while a significant proportion of new buyers have also been attracted to the market. Perhaps due to price increases or the current concern over finances, there has been a decline in the amount being spent per household.

Green & Black's has joined the Top 10 Organic Brands this year, which could be attributed to its takeover by Cadbury. Meanwhile, Rachel's Organic has also emerged as a force to be reckoned with. However, six of the top 10 brands remain unchanged this year, including the top four: Tesco Organic, Sainsbury's So Organic, Waitrose Organic and Yeo Valley Organic.

Waitrose has continued to overtrade in organic, and its share has slightly increased this year due to changes in share for Tesco and Sainsbury's.

Martin Keane, TNS Worldpanel