Local authentic British food gets a boost

Local authentic British food received a boost last year

Local British food and drink has seen a boost in the past year, according to supply chain standards organisation GS1.

A rise in small businesses producing authentic British food and drink becoming GS1 members showed a growing trend of consumers buying local products, the organisation claimed.

The trend was boosted by consumers seeking food and drink that demonstrated its local heritage, while decreasing the amount of food miles, particularly air miles, products have to travel.

The provenance of food was considered by 79% of consumers, claimed GS1 in its Buying British in 2017 report. Of those consumers, 63% said they thought about it some of the time, while 16% said they thought about it all the time.

Three-fifths of shoppers said place of origin was at least as important to them as other factors, such as price and quality. More than half (55%) specifically said they preferred to buy UK brands to support British businesses.

‘British back in vogue’

GS1 UK ceo Gary Lynch said: “Buying British is back in vogue. And it’s the smaller companies that are driving this trend. Data shows consumers are becoming more domestically focused when it comes to their spending habits.

“Heritage, provenance and traceability are no longer nice-to-haves but increasingly important factors that can make the difference between where consumers choose to spend their money.”

Lynch said that while consumers would still buy products from larger companies, they were now more likely to support local start-ups.

GS1 also reported a rise in British drinks, fuelled by consumers’ thirst for craft beers and ciders. Britain now has more breweries per capita that any other country – more than 1,700. The number of gin distilleries has doubled in the past six years.

Thirst for craft beers

Craft brewer Brewdog has been a prime example of the success of small British drinks firms, with demand seeing its products exported to more than 50 countries.

Jam manufacturer Mammy Jamia’s – a GS1 member – ceo Andrew Cairns added: “Buying British food and grocery is essential for the sustainability of UK food businesses, food self-sufficiency, jobs and growth.

“There are surely a variety of great reasons why buying British products from British companies has a positive effect on the whole picture of our economy.”

Meanwhile, GS1 has more than 31,000 members working across food and drink, retail and foodservice. The organisation helps businesses involved in producing, distributing and trading goods automate and standardise their supply chains.

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