The Organic Trade Board (OTG) has urged UK retailers to take advantage of a ”tipping point” for organic produce.

Catherine Fookes, OTG campaign director, said that store owners in this country could follow in the footsteps of Denmark where it says retailers have taken the lead in helping to boost sales of organic food. 

Consumers were demanding organic food and there was “an opportunity to take the lead – just as they did in Denmark where organic has experienced remarkable sustained growth, with half of all Danes now buying organic food every week”, she said.

Fookes commented ahead of the largely European Union-funded campaign worth £1.2m in September, Organic. Feed Your Happy, designed to connect with the emotional aspect of what makes people buy organic.

Nielsen data for the year to 1 July show organic food sales are up 7.4%. It was the fifth consecutive year of growth, as shoppers sought authenticity and provenance, said the OTB.

Kantar World Panel research shows 82% of shoppers buy at least one organic item a year, up from 79.5% in 2016.

The OTB campaign, which launches next Tuesday (5 September), will target shoppers who already buy one or two organic products a month – especially young families, new mums, vegetarians and those who are conscious about fitness and wellbeing, with a view to persuading them to choose such products more often.

New research the OTB commissioned found 68% of 2,000 consumers questioned say organic food makes them feel happy because “it benefits me, it benefits the animals and it benefits the environment” and some 80% say food with great taste makes them feel happy.

Some 64% of consumers want retailers to give more space to organic food and drink – 72% among 18-25s. Sixty per cent do not think retailers do enough to support organic farmers and producers in the UK and 56% do not think there are enough shops selling organic food in their area.

The campaign will feature a series of short films featuring radio and TV presenter Sarah Cox and chef Rosie Birkett with stories of UK organic producers.

The campaign will be publicised outside stores, on trains, roadside billboards, in the press and across digital channels, using the hashtag #FeedYourHappy.