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Keep Calm and Buy British: Supermarkets Support Local

In an act of solidarity with British farmers, Co-op and Waitrose have launched "Best of British" sections on their websites. The move underscores their commitment to homegrown produce – a sentiment resonating strongly with shoppers seeking locally sourced food.

The timing couldn't be better. With the Olympics on the horizon, these initiatives tap into a surge of national pride bound to influence consumer choices.

The popularity of online grocery shopping has seen a sustained rise in the post-pandemic era. A recent GlobalData survey indicates that a quarter of UK consumers plan to keep their online grocery shopping habits, with even more intending to increase their spending in this area.

Given this climate, The Co-op has cleverly launched a "Best of British" range with same-day delivery for 100% British fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, and dairy. This online focus appeals to their existing customer base while also attracting shoppers who value sustainability.

A key benefit is the support offered to local farmers through these promotional campaigns. Consumers focused on the environment, carbon footprint reduction, and animal welfare are likely to favour this shift.

Rising living costs further amplify interest in locally produced food. Waitrose has also astutely launched a similar "Best of British" online section and promises to expand its range if successful. Data suggests UK consumers associate local products with affordability: over half believe in 'buying local' as a cost-saving measure.

With almost a third of UK consumers reporting increased grocery bills, and over a quarter cutting back due to rising prices, budget-friendliness will remain a critical factor in purchasing decisions. While quality and personal values still influence purchases, local produce often benefits from a shorter supply chain, potentially translating into lower prices.

The UK government's timely announcement of an eight-week consultation on clearer food labelling will further boost this movement. The goal is to ensure British farmers' products receive due recognition and that consumers can make choices aligning with their values.

Many UK shoppers already perceive British meat and poultry as superior for reasons ranging from taste to ethical production standards. Thus, adding “Best of British” e-commerce sections presents a win-win situation for supermarkets, consumers, and local suppliers.

Those retailers yet to follow suit risk missing a significant opportunity as government and consumer focus on locally sourced products intensifies.


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