Shopping locally and sourcing local products has increased significantly as a habit. Just under half of consumers say they have made a purchase specifically to support local businesses during the pandemic, and about the same proportion say they are eating more locally produced food now. This demonstrates the growing link between the environment, as consumers seek out shorter supply chains, and society, as consumers look to support their community, beyond their immediate friends and family. There is an issue of trust here, too, with more than half of consumers saying they trusted farmers/producers most to ensure a safe supply of food, ahead of manufacturers, governments, NGOs and scientists.
More than a third of consumers say they are choosing brands based on local provenance/traceability credentials more now than they did pre-pandemic – equal to the amount choosing brands based on sustainability credentials. There is an opportunity for brands that use locally sourced ingredients and partner with local organisations, allowing consumers to make choices that benefit their own communities. Heritage and tradition is a part of this trend, offering opportunities for products with traditional recipes and heritage ingredients, as well as heritage designs and local patterns and languages on packaging.