Shoppers embraced local produce during the Covid 19 pandemic and the momentum is set to continue

By Lydia Baines, Digital and Communications Manager Puratos UK

21 Aug 2020


As a nation the British are known to be a stoic society that pulls together and supports their neighbours, we are also known to be resourceful and make the best out of a bad situation.

The world has changed drastically in every way imaginable. Shopping behaviours have adapted at an accelerated rate into the ‘New normal’. Surveys show that consumers have adapted and, in many ways, they do not want to revert to pre-lockdown behaviours.

Our recent consumer study highlighted 5 key areas that are seen as ‘winning products’ over the Covid 19 lockdown, in which shoppers are actively interested in: Healthy products, packaged good, indulgent treats, affordable and locally sourced.

In this blog post I am going to dive into why locally sourced has become such a big trend, the reasons behind it and as manufacturers how we can embrace these trends to grow our business

73% consumers are looking to keep buying local*

1). Storytelling is “storyselling” – get sharing yours!

It’s no secret we love a good story – the more the better!! Think Kettle crisps and their packaging whether its ingredients, the flavours, the health benefits or the baking process we lap it up!

But… what was hot at the start of the year such as claims of hand finished, hand rolled products to Sicilian Lemon Panettone made to Nonna’s recipe in her hometown in Italy may have lost their appeal somewhat.

Consumers are looking to support the UK and the counties and countries within, we are looking out for our own. Farm shops are buzzing with shoppers who are paying more for their local products so really highlight this!

Are you using a traditional recipe? Has your sourdough got a rich history? TELL the consumer. For hygiene reasons consumers are demanding packaging – use this space and get creative!

Previous convenient measures such as self-service and touch-screen options are proving less popular. Make sure your front of house staff are sharing those stories and enticing with delicious serving suggestions.

Key areas of focus for locally sourced products

·       Seasonal and celebration products

·       Locally sourced ingredients

·       Highlight ‘local’ ingredients

·       UK provenance claims – including countries and counties

Pinterest has seen a surge in searches as the trend for #SupportSmall continues to trend

2). Convenience has opened up new routes to market and quality has moved up the list of priorities for day to day life

Pre-covid we were dashing into the supermarket to get everything we need, eating breakfast on the way to work and grabbing our usual favourites from the shelves without much thought.

But what happens when you ‘favourites’ are no longer available?

We are out of our comfort zones; we need to start shopping high street again! And the high street responded fast. Shops were adapted to sell ingredients such as eggs and flour that couldn’t be found anywhere else and of course providing fresh, baked in store scrumptious breads and baked goods. Suddenly taste buds were awakened again!

Online shops suddenly started popping up and the high street delivered. Now it is as easy for a consumer to shop for high street goods just as conveniently as going to the supermarket.

Don’t have an online store yet? We can help – click here for more information.

Startup Stock Photos

3). Freshness goes hand-in-hand with local produce

Freshness is the no.1 buying criteria when it comes to buying bread and a close 2nd in patisserie and when buying ‘local’ this is almost a given in the consumers eyes.

With locally sourced ingredients they will not have travelled a great distance and to have been locally baked / produced implies freshness.

Freshness sits well within the storytelling trend so highlighting all elements is key and there are many ways of doing this;

“A favourite of mine was when visiting a local farm shop, my eye was drawn to the fresh veg - the vegetables were hand-picked from a family run (3rd generation) farm five miles down the road the previous day the display showed pictures of the ripe veg on the plants and of the team harvesting them. They included a QR link to their website so you could read the full story”


Consumers believe that locally sourced products are more authentic and are often prepared to pay more for them, whether you are a big brand or a smaller artisanal bakery make it work for you, source locally and share, share, share that story!

We would love to here your story email us at

Next week: Affordable products

Source: Puratos online survey, 8-12 June  2020, 500 consumers nationally representative for gender, age and region. *The Wellness impact report, the Balance edit