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Around 70% of Brits buy food online

Tue 08 Dec 2020 | 02:36 pm GMT
Michelle Urquhart | Products of Change Writer

More people than ever before are buying groceries online

Waitrose’s Food and Drink report 2021 reveals online food shopping is here to stay, and new trends of foraging, preserving and fermenting Waitrose & Partners published its annual Food and Drink report last week, which gave a clear message: our attitudes towards supermarkets and the way we shop have been fundamentally reshaped. The report revealed that the pandemic has significantly changed how we shop, with many of us now relying on online food deliveries. Waitrose’s research found that 25% of us bought food online for the first time this year, with the highest uptake being among people under 35. James Bailey, executive director for Waitrose & Partners said in the report”: “Perhaps the most seismic shift has been in how we shop. Almost 70% of the people who shopped for food online during the pandemic say they’ll continue to do so. There has been a quiet revolution. At Waitrose, we've risen to the task: we've increased our Waitrose.com weekly delivery slots almost four-fold to more than 200,000 and we’re currently growing online sales faster than any other grocer. Our online business is on track to treble its size to become a £1 billion business in its own right by the end of this year.” Also on the up is the support of homegrown produce, bolstered by growing awareness over provenance and farming standards from overseas and a desire to support the nation’s farmers. This trend extends to British seafood where sales have tripled over the last six months. Brits have also become thriftier with foraging, preserving and fermenting all emerging trends in 2020. UK social media interest in foraging is up 89% on the year. Preserving, potting and pickling are growing trends, with searches for ‘pickling’ up +222% on Waitrose.com and UK social media mentions of preserving and fermenting are up by 28%. “There’s no question that this has been a challenging year for us all,” says James Bailey in the report. “Yet from the disruption and uncertainty of Covid-19 we have seen the emergence of a new consumer worldview. Our Food and Drink Report 2021 finds that our daily rituals, our attitudes towards supermarkets and the way we shop have been fundamentally reshaped by the pandemic. These changes are here to stay. The ‘new normal’ that we all spoke about back in the spring isn’t new anymore. It’s just normal. Call it a pivot, a new dawn, or a fresh start, but one thing is clear: things will never be the same again.” Read the full Food and Drink Report 2021 here
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