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Research published by Barclays reveals how British consumers have changed their grocery shopping habits as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. One quarter of UK consumers now claim to buy produce in local shops and farm stores, instead of supermarket-only purchasing, reports The Financial. Over 7 million consumers who had never visited a farm shop prior to the pandemic now visit regularly. In addition, 63 per cent of Brits claim they will be buying more home-grown produce as a result of the pandemic and Brexit.
The research uncovers an appetite for sustainably sourced foods, with just under half looking to purchase seasonal produce, an indication that consumers recognise their role in helping the sector become carbon neutral. Additionally, just over half believe grocery shopping from local stores and farm shops is better for the environment, and 45 per cent think purchasing from these outlets helps them to better understand where their produce has come from. Around two thirds of farmers plan to sell and process at least some of their produce locally within the next three years.
British consumers are keen to understand how they can further reduce their carbon footprint, with 56 per cent wanting to support farmers more so the industry can become carbon neutral. Nearly half of those surveyed suggest they would like to see a dedicated aisle in shops for sustainably sourced foods, and 61 per cent think that shops need to provide better information on how shoppers can improve their carbon footprint. This would be hugely helpful for the industry’s ambitions, as 45 per cent of respondents didn’t know if it was possible to buy carbon neutral foods.