With Organic September upon us, EHL Ingredients, a leading importer, blender and packer of food ingredients from around the world, has reported a sharp increase in sales its of its organic ingredients, for the first time since 2007.
EHL stocks around 200 organic ingredients, with dried fruit, lentils, seeds and peppers experiencing the most popularity in the run up to Organic September. Sales in these innovative ingredients have increased, due to a rise in consumer demand for organic products.
EHL’s full organic product range includes herbs, spices and seasonings, nuts and dried fruits, beans, pulses rice and peas, seeds and flakes, dehydrated vegetables, salt sugars and syrups as well as other ingredients such as honey, flour and fruit concentrates. All of these have seen a steady increase in demand with projected sales set to hit £3 million by the end of the year.
Food manufacturers and producers are adding organic dishes to their portfolios to capitalise on the renewed increase in demand for organic foods. According to the Soil Association, overall organic sales were down by 3.7% in 2011, with multiple retail sales hit by a 5% decline. On the other hand, the restaurant and catering sector grew by 2.4% in the same year, thanks to an increase in schools, nurseries and hospitals offering organic foods and the Soil Association’s Food for Life Partnership.
While the market does seem to be showing signs of stabilising, Keynote has predicted that the market will show steady growth over the next five years, increasing by 11.8% between 2012 and 2016, reaching a value of £1.86bn.
Tasneem Backhouse, sales director at EHL Ingredients says: “We have certainly noted a significant increase in demand for our organic ingredients during 2012, following a dip during the recession and up until the end of 2011. The summer months have been strong for us, with our bespoke organic BBQ blends, summer herbs and spices, and ingredients such as seeds and grains showing strong growth. This is positive news for us and for the organic sector as a whole as it shows there is a revival in consumer interest in organic foods and Organic September will certainly help to boost awareness of the benefits and availability of them.
“Our ingredients are aimed at companies that manufacture foods such as soups and sauces, international ready meals, as well as bakery good such as breads, cereal bars and snack products. We also supply bespoke herb and spice blends for companies to sell as a ready made mix or marinade for meat or vegetables, which is an area of growth for us too. In addition, they are available to wholesalers, co-packers, health food stores and to large co-operatives. Many food manufacturers now offer an organic alternative alongside a conventional product while at the same time we have seen the emergence of brand new organic food manufacturers.
“To ensure the ingredients we supply are 100% organic, we carry out a rigorous audit process for all our suppliers. We are accredited with the Organic Food Federation. At our headquarters in Stockport, Cheshire, we follow strict hygiene processes and systems to ensure no cross-contamination and we stock ingredients and produce blends on specialist lines using only top of the range ingredients that will produce great tasting foods.
“We have always supplied organic ingredients, but this year has been our most profitable and successful since before the recession. Over the last 17 years, we have added products to our range following demand from our customers in the food manufacturing sector and with the promising news from Keynote that the industry is set to grow over the next five years, we are hoping to add more products to our portfolio and strengthen our position in this competitive marketplace.”
EHL Ingredients has been sourcing the finest natural and organic ingredients from around the world for over 17 years in order to produce quality blends for the food manufacturing industry. The company has also achieved a grade A certification in its BRC accreditation following a rigorous audit process. Customers can rest assured that EHL Ingredients adheres to the most stringent quality and safety management processes.
EHL Ingredients’ organic products are available in various packaging formats and quantities from 1 to 25kgs and in poly pots of 250 and 500g.
 Soil Association Organic Market Report, 2012
 Keynote, Organic Food and Drink Market 2012