British food has long been associated with quality and trust; but with the option for cheaper imported goods, many consumers are choosing these inexpensive, more convenient products. 51% of people in the UK said they would buy British even if it meant having less choice of products available to them. However the global average for buying local is way above this, at 63%. Us Brits are at the bottom of the chart for wanting to buy local produce.
With Brexit looming over us and the weakened sterling, imported product prices are on the increase; as a result it may become cheaper and more cost effective to buy local.
Cost and convenience continues to dominate consumers purchasing decisions. Price is a big selling point and so British brands are trying to create an emotional connection between their products and the public to increase sales.
For example, Dairy Crests Country Life butter has a union jack on its
packaging; this highlights to the public where it is from, sparking an
emotional connection. All the milk for their butters and spreads, come
from British farms. The public in the UK like to support their farmers and
so by buying this product, they feel like they are doing just that.
Another example of a British brand focusing on its local roots and encouraging an emotional connection from its customers is Tyrell’s.
‘We’re still based on the same Herefordshire farm we began life on, and employ the same dedicated team of cracking crispaholics. So if it’s locally sourced British excellence you’re after, you need look no further.’ Read more here about what Tyrell’s do differently to make them so British.
Why should we buy British?
Choosing British means we are supporting British farmers and above all, we keep our countryside how we know and love. Think of it this way, no farmers, means no animals out in the countryside, meaning no countryside for us to enjoy!
Also supporting British food producer’s helps with the local economy and creates a smaller carbon footprint as the food does not need to travel as far. Eating food produced locally means eating seasonably, which is nutritionally better for you.
What is ‘eating seasonally’?
The concept of eating seasonally involves eating foods that are grown locally at the same time as you eat them.
Out of season fruit and veg can spend days and weeks travelling to get
to you and this comes with a price. Either they’re picked earlier than
they should be so that they are ready on arrival, or they spoil a little on
the way. Seasonal produce comes such a short distance that it doesn’t spoil on the way to you. It’s harvested at the very best time, therefore the taste
For the same reason seasonal fruit and veg tastes better, it is also
healthier. It’s no surprise that being locked in cargo holds and shipping
containers for days in order to reach us, does nothing for the nutritional
content of the food. In fact, in many cases it is detrimental.
As a rule of thumb; the fresher the better, and you can’t get much fresher than eating seasonally-grown local produce!
British Food Fortnight
British Food Fortnight held every September is a great way for us Brits to celebrate all the diverse and delicious local produce available in the UK! Now in its 18th year and organised by Love British Food, it encourages everyone across the country to use the high quality food produced in the UK. This year the dates are 21st September – 6th October.
This year Love British Food is focusing the 2019 campaign on catering in the public sector, with the aim for British food to be the first choice when it comes to catering in care homes.
Top Tips British Food Fortnight 2019
If you are already sourcing British produce then shout it from the roof tops, not only this fortnight but make it an addition to your menu! This could become a unique selling point for your establishment. Customers like to know where their food has come from and if the food they are eating is local, they may be willing to pay more. As well as British dishes, consider showcasing local dishes from your region. For some inspiration, check out this top ten list of regional dishes in the UK. Another way of getting involved is to offer tastings and samples of your British dishes. This will encourage customers to try something new and in turn hopefully create return business.
If you are not yet sourcing British food, why not send your suppliers a copy of the menu and ask them if they can supply British ingredients. Use British Food Fortnight to see how popular dishes are or produce a special dish going forward that uses locally sourced ingredients.