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Research conducted by Dumfires & Galloway food brand, Savour the Flavours, has shown high levels of support in the region for buying local.
Findings from the 1,450 people from all parts of Dumfries & Galloway that took part in the survey over the 2nd to 11th June showed that people were shopping less frequently but were buying from local businesses more often. 84% said they’d like to buy more local food and drink than they currently do, and 81% said they’d prioritise ‘local’ in their shopping as lockdown eases, but people generally want it to be made easier and more convenient.
Rachel Findlay, data analyst and digital expert at Savour the Flavours, said, “Restarting our local economy was always going to be more difficult than shutting it down, and the findings of this survey reflect that, but there’s also room for cautious optimism. The extraordinarily high level of support for local businesses appears to be more than just a lockdown response. Intention to buy local in the longer term was a consistent theme in both quantitative and qualitative responses.
“There’s a big opportunity for local businesses to respond to that change in buying behaviour by fast-tracking a transition to a more circular, local economy. For businesses in the foodservice sector, who have arguably been hardest hit by lockdown, the data suggests that customers will return. The purpose of this survey was to help local businesses plan for reopening, and the survey findings are invaluable in doing just that. Businesses can now work from a robust set of data to be able to make evidence based decisions as they reopen.”
The survey also shown a widespread concern about the restart of the tourism economy. Marketing and economic development specialist, Lorna Young at Savour the Flavours, added, “The data also evidenced tension between the concerns of local people and the needs of Dumfries & Galloway’s visitor economy – as a region we need to acknowledge and address that tension. So businesses need to reflect upon these concerns about covid and respond sensitively to them. Local businesses are perceived to be at the front line in defence against the virus. People expect local businesses to be cautious – not just responsible, but actively cautious - in introducing covid-careful measures and adaptations.”
Image: Savour the Flavours