Market research suggests people will continue to shop more locally

Eight out of ten consumers who shopped locally during the coronavirus lockdown intend to continue their new habit once the crisis is over, a new Co-op study shows.

One in three (30 per cent) say they have used local retailers more since the pandemic struck and 80 per cent of them aim to carry on shopping this way in the future, according to a YouGov poll released today (18 June 2020) by trade body Co-operatives UK.

Reducing food waste has become a priority for consumers after the experience of food shortages. More than a third of people (35 per cent) surveyed say they have been planning meals in order to reduce food waste, and four in five (82 per cent) of those who’ve done so say they’ll carry on even after lockdown eases.

Social distancing measures have also prompted changes in the way we travel and keep in touch with loved ones. Three quarters (75 per cent) of respondents reported a reduction in travel since the end of March, while three in ten overall (31 per cent) saying this is something they will continue even after restrictions have been lifted. Meanwhile, nearly half of survey respondents (48 per cent) say they will continue to keep in touch with friends and family remotely.

The poll findings have been published ahead of the annual Co-op Fortnight campaign (22 June to 5 July).

Co-operatives UK Chair Nick Matthews said: “It’s heartening to see that the public has seen the benefit of shopping locally, reducing food waste, increased recycling and exploring their local area. The fact many people are planning to continue their new behaviour shows they can see the positive impact. Our Co-op Fortnight campaign is all about encouraging and supporting people to keep co-operating.”

He adds “Buying from independent businesses such as co-ops means creating local jobs and supporting organisations who put strong values at the heart of all that they do.”

Co-operatives are businesses that are owned and controlled by their members, together contributing 38 billion pounds to the UK economy and spanning all sectors from high street retailers to community owned pubs, fan owned football clubs to farmer controlled businesses.

Watch the Co-op Fortnight video and listen to the podcast featuring co-ops across the UK and their stories of co-operation during the COVID-19 pandemic

Watch the Co-op Fortnight video and listen to the podcast featuring co-ops across the UK and their stories of co-operation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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