The horse meat scandal has once again put the spotlight on the sourcing of food, with concerns raised over the way in which meat from overseas has entered the UK food chain. And new research from Mintel reveals that the scandal has already made its mark on British consumers when it comes to food provenance as buying British, local and regional food grows in importance among today’s consumers.
In an exclusive report looking at provenance in food and drink, consumer attitudes were compared pre-horse meat scandal (Dec 2012) and post revelations (Mar 2013). The research found British origin continues to rise in importance among the nation’s shoppers, indeed, in December 2012 four in ten (40%) Brits agreed that British food was better quality than imported food, in just three months this figure has risen to one in two (49%).
In addition, Mintel asked consumers about factors which would influence their buying choice in food and non-alcoholic drinks - British origin (34%) was the most important issue to shoppers- a figure which had risen from three in ten (30%) at the end of 2012. Being of local origin has also risen in importance, from 17% in 2012 to more than one in five (21%) in March 2013. Regional, likewise, saw a rise up from 10% in December 2012 to 14% in March 2013.
While “traceability” is only of concern to 14% of British shoppers, this latest research shows it is an issue which has shown the greatest increase in importance amongst today’s more savvy consumer - a figure which has risen from just 6% in three months.
Not only is British origin growing in importance, but consumers are also becoming more passionate about supporting British farmers and growers. Three quarters (74%) of all consumers feel it is the duty of the retailers to support British farmers and growers - up from (68%) in December 2012.