Shopping legacy of lockdown Focus on local outlets
Covid-19 has sparked a shift in the region’s shopping habits, according to a new report.
And the main trend has been “unprecedented” support for locallyproduced food and small independent shops.
However, high levels of concern over visitors potentially bringing in Covid-19 were also noted.
Savour the Flavours, the region’s food and drinks brand, published the research last week.
It was based on an online consultation last month which drew in 1,450 responses.
Key findings include:
● Covid-19 has changed how almost everyone shopped for food and drink during lockdown;
● People shopped less frequently but much more locally, partly driven by necessity;
● 84 per cent of respondents said they would like to buy more local food and drink than they currently do;
● 81 per cent said they would prioritise local in their shopping as lockdown eases; ● A large majority want buying local to be made easier and more convenient;
● 79 per cent said they were worried about tourism bringing Covid-19 back to D&G.
Savour the Flavours’ Lorna Young described the research as “a valuable snapsot”.
She said: “It suggests unprecedented levels of support for local businesses within our communities.
“This probably reflects appreciation for their efforts in keeping essential supplies flowing at the height of lockdown.
“From a local food and drink point of view, it’s clear that people in Dumfries and Galloway are serious about supporting local businesses.
“But those businesses need to get serious about making it easier for people to buy their produce.”
Ms Young also pointed to tension between local people’s concerns and the needs of the visitor economy.
She said: “As a region we need to acknowledge and address that tension.
“Businesses need to reflect upon these concerns about Covid and respond sensitively to them.
“People expect local businesses to be cautious in introducing Covid-careful measures and adaptations.
“The more we can pull together as a region, be sensitive to worries and look after each other, the more sustainable our economic recovery will be.”
Wilma Finlay of Cream o’ Galloway near Gatehouse said: “The survey findings are very useful.
“We had already addressed many of the points raised, such as online ordering to minimise queues and introducing a oneway system, so it’s reassuring to see that the data reflects the informal feedback we were already getting.”
The report is being shared widely with the industry, public agencies and regional food groups.
It can be downloaded on www. savourtheflavours.co.uk.
Snapshot Lorna Young
Useful report Wilma Finlay