Food suppliers must get local message across

The results of a survey carried out by YouGov in June have shown a number of areas which could lead to higher profits for food suppliers across the UK.

Over 2,000 people were questioned about their meat and poultry buying habits, with over half the respondents stating that their shopping baskets regularly contain the same products.

Around three-quarters of all meat and poultry products are bought from the larger supermarkets, although 20% of those questioned reported that they always purchase their meat and poultry from smaller specialist food suppliers.

The demand for locally produced meat and poultry is growing, not only for home consumption but also within the catering industry, with over 30% reporting they select a pub or restaurant if the food is advertised as locally reared and almost the same proportion choosing a locally produced meal from the menu if it is an option.

Almost 80% of respondents believe that locally reared produce boosts the local economy and 50% believe that the quality of the meat is better. Half of the respondents choose locally reared meat if it is available, with a quarter prepared to pay a premium.

Many respondents to the survey reported that although they were keen to buy local meat, the provenance of products was not always clear.

The YouGov consulting director is urging food suppliers to consider how the demand for local and regional food can be exploited to an eager market, suggesting making greater use of advertising and packaging to promote locally produced food.