Finding hope for a brighter future in the response to COVID-19

Eight out of 10 consumers who shopped locally during the Covid-19 lockdown intend to continue their new habit once the crisis is over, new co-op study shows.

One in three shoppers say that they have used local retailers more since the pandemic struck and 80% of them aim to carry on shopping this way in the future, according to a YouGov poll for Co-operatives UK.

Experiences of food shortages have made reducing food waste a priority for consumers. More than a third of people (35%) surveyed say they have been planning meals to reduce waste, and 82% of those who’ve done so say they’ll carry on after lockdown eases.

Social distancing measures have also promoted changes in the way we travel and keep in touch, with 75% of respondents travelling less since the end of March, and 31% saying this will continue even after restrictions have been lifted. Meanwhile, 48% say they will stay in touch with family and friends remotely.

The poll findings were published just ahead of Co-op Fortnight (22 June to 5 July) which highlighted co-op support for communities through the pandemic.

Barry Wood, CEO for Chelmsford Star Co-op commented “Co-operative Societies are looking at immense challenges during the pandemic”

Co-operatives have always thrived in periods of social and economic change, when needs go unmet and people look to themselves and others for support. All co-operatives share the principle ‘concern for the community’ and this has been at the heart of our response to the crisis.