Over half of UK shoppers prefer buying local brands to help support small producers according to a recent survey.
In a survey of more than 3,300 consumers from seven European countries, shoppers from across the continent are moving towards 'geocentric purchasing' according to IRI, with 55 per cent of UK shoppers seeking local produce, putting them ahead of their European counterparts.
The survey reveals older shoppers show a preference for buying local, while the millennial age group (18-24) are more inclined to buy international brands, which they perceive to be more innovative and affordable.
Price was the key factor against buying local, with a third saying local brands are more expensive than big brands.
Olly Abotorabi, senior regional insights manager at IRI, comments: “Consumers are increasingly aware of the fact that food grown closer to home means fewer carbon emissions, will be fresher and supports the local economy, and as a result we’re seeing local and national brands starting to win consumers’ hearts and minds.
“In the UK in particular we have a vibrant and innovative ‘local scene’ where challenger brands are emerging as winners, driven by huge amounts of creativity and a desire for authenticity and provenance. Increased uptake of free-from and vegan products and movements like plastic-free and zero food miles are often well embodied by smaller, challenger players.”
Abotorabi said the survey results show there is an opportunity for food manufacturers and retailers to capitalise on local preferences.
He added: “We’re seeing more retailers in this country champion local food suppliers in an effort to cut food miles, support local businesses and differentiate their offerings by devoting more store space to local products. But both the retailers and the food producers themselves need to work together to ensure they can convert those who are interested but not yet ‘buying local’ by ensuring the price is right and that shoppers can find the products on shelves before they walk out of the store.”
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