With Organic September upon us, EHL Ingredients, a leading importer, blender and packer of food ingredients from around the world, reports an increase in sales of its key organic ingredients for the third year running.
The most significant increase can be seen in the sale of dried organic beans including chickpeas, haricot beans and red kidney beans, which are all showing a 10% increase compared with this time last year. These are ideal for food manufacturers to add to Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Mexican and Indian dishes, including soups, stews, tagines, chilli dishes and curries, either for vegetarian and vegan starters or meals, or as additions to meat dishes.
Organic pumpkin and sunflower seeds are both performing particularly well – with sales up by 5% year on year – thanks to their popularity and versatility in sweet and savoury bakery products such as breads, biscuits, muffins, cakes and healthier snacks bars. The health benefits of these seeds are also widely promoted and consumers are increasingly purchasing seeds as a snack product, as a garnish for salads and breakfast cereals and for home cooking and baking.
Organic arrowroot powder is also now back in stock at EHL, following high demand for the ingredient. The surge in its popularity can be attributed to its properties as a gluten-free thickening agent, making it ideal for adding to soups, sauces, stews, sweet gels or fruit sauces. In addition, bakers can use organic arrowroot powder in biscuits, puddings and cakes.
Since September 2012, EHL has experienced an increase in demand and sales of organic herbs and spices, following a dip since 2007. Soil Association figures reveal that last year’s Organic September campaign delivered a strong boost to the sector, with organic food sales up 9 per cent, bringing an absolute increase of £7.9m . In addition, overall sales of organic products grew by 2.8 per cent in 2013 bringing the total market value to £1.79 in sales .
Tasneem Backhouse, sales director at EHL Ingredients, says: “We’re delighted with the continued growth in our organic ingredients as sales are increasing year on year. For the third year running, we have seen a notable increase in the sales of our organic products following a dip in sales as a result of the recession. This year, beans, seeds and arrowroot powder are performing particularly well. We put the success of these down to several key factors – their health benefits, an increase in consumer awareness and education on organic foods and healthier eating, increased demand for meat-free and free-from foods, and the high quality of our products.
“This is not just great news for us, but offers a really positive outlook for the organic food market as a whole. We constantly strive to meet the needs of our customers in the food manufacturing, bakery, wholesale and retail sectors and we are seeing more and more of them offer organic alternatives, which sit alongside their conventional products.
“With Organic September boosting awareness of the benefits and availability of organic foods, and with the Soil Association predicting opportunities for growth in the coming year, we look forward to strengthening our position in this burgeoning marketplace.”
EHL’s dried organic beans, seeds and arrowroot powder are available in various quantities and packaging formats, from 1 to 25kgs and in poly pots of 250 and 500g.
EHL stocks around 200 organic ingredients with a range that includes spices and seasonings, beans, lentils and peas, herbs, nuts and dried fruits, seeds and flakes, grains and rice, oils, vinegars, salts, sugars and syrups, as well as other ingredients such as flour, honey and fruit concentrates.
It also offers bespoke organic herb and spice blends which can be sold as ready-made mixes or marinades. Its products are available to food manufacturers and bakers, wholesalers and cash and carries, co-packers, multiple retailers, health food stores and large co-operatives.
To ensure that all organic ingredients are 100% organic, EHL Ingredients carries out a rigorous auditing process for all of its suppliers. Additionally, at its headquarters in Stockport, Cheshire, it follows strict hygiene procedures to ensure that there is no cross-contamination, providing the very best in quality for its customers.