Shoppers want to buy more Cornish food - new research
The demand for Cornish food outstrips supply with shoppers
desperate for more products and more places to buy them, according
to the results of new research announced this week. The research
into how and why people shop for local Cornish food was undertaken
by Taste of the West Cornwall. At an event on Wednesday, it
was revealed that quality is the main reason people buy Cornish
products, and that more permanent farm shops may well be the
natural successor to weekly farmers' markets.
The event 'Optimising retail potential' at the
award-winning Lobbs Farm Shop, Heligan, attracted producers
and retailers from all over Cornwall, all keen to make more
of the retail potential of local food and drink.
"We needed to find out more about why and how people
shop for Cornish food," says Ruth Huxley, who undertook
the research. "We knew a lot about food production
and sales, but there was a real lack of data on shoppers themselves,
why they bought Cornish and where they liked to shop for it.
By asking these questions and analysing the results we'll
now be able to help more Cornish businesses sell more local
foods in ways and places that people like to buy them."
Fresh produce was the most regularly bought commodity, but
a surprise finding was that many Cornish shoppers are very
keen to buy new local products such as smoked foods and beer.
"Quality is the key for shoppers," continues
Ruth Huxley. "Because our Cornish produce is so
good, people are keen to try and buy new, non-traditional
products. They appreciate quality and value which is what
our producers are delivering."
According to the new research, shoppers prefer to buy Cornish
products such as cream, ice cream, milk, potatoes and cheese
through supermarkets where they are widely available. For
other local products the survey has revealed a massive opportunity
for more quality farm shops to be established around Cornwall.
"Our farmers' markets have sowed the seed for
local Cornish produce," says Angie Coombs of Taste of
the West Cornwall, "but our survey shows that people
want more access to local produce more of the time. Farm shops,
if done well, deliver a similar short food chain but are undercover
and keep business hours. Along with independent retailers,
this is the area that has the biggest potential for retail
The research was undertaken last year, first at the Royal
Cornwall Show to ascertain the shopping habits of Cornwall
residents and those from neighbouring counties, then at the
Royal Show at Stoneleigh to assess how Cornish products were
seen and sourced by people from outside the area.
People were asked about what Cornish produce they buy, where
they shop for it and why or if they prefer it to generic products.
They were also asked what might help or motivate them to buy
more Cornish products, and whether alternative shopping methods
such as online or mail order, mobile shops or extended vegetable
box schemes would appeal.
The 'Optimising retail potential' event included
a presentation by Ruth Huxley on the research findings, plus
guest speakers Michael Lough from 'Thought for Food',
speaking on national opportunities for retailing locally produced
products, and the Lobb brothers who won 'Best retail
outlet in the South West' at the 2005 Taste of the West
Awards for Lobbs Farm Shop.
Key findings – Cornish shoppers (Royal Cornwall Show):
||All those surveyed bought some Cornish foods.
||Fresh produce such as greengrocery and meat was the
most frequently bought Cornish food.
||Newer Cornish products are growing in popularity such
as smoked foods and beer.
||Quality and value are the main reasons for people to
||Where products are available in supermarkets this is
where people prefer to buy them.
||Shoppers wanted a wider range of Cornish products and
more places to buy them.
||The greatest retail potential for selling local Cornish
food and drink lies with farm shops and independent retailers.
Key findings – out-of-county shoppers (Royal Show,
|| Clotted cream, genuine pasties and fresh fish were
the most sought after Cornish food and drink out of county.
||Shoppers believe Cornish food to be of high quality
with intrinsic goodness.
||Cornish brands such as Rodda's cream and Skinner's
or St Austell beers are beginning to register out-of-county.
|| Distance between production and point of sale increases
the danger of misinformation about Cornish food.
Conclusions of the research:
||There is huge retail potential in and out of county
– demand for Cornish food and drink is not being
||Cornish food and drink has a priceless reputation.
||The development of more products needs to be encouraged.
||More retail outlets are needed, or more existing outlets
need to sell more Cornish products to meet demand.
||Awareness needs to be raised out of county of the difference
between genuine and non-genuine Cornish products.
||There is scope for new sales methods to be developed.
A full copy of the report can be downloaded from www.cornwalltasteofthewest.co.uk.
For further information please contact Veronica Newport on
01363 866927 or email: email@example.com.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in Cornwall Taste of the West
through the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund
Anyone considering a new horticulture, food and
land based industries project is advised to speak with Maria
Ford, at Government Office South West - 01752 635015 - before
commencing development as there are now only limited funds
available due to the successful uptake of funding by the agricultural
sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Taste of the West in Cornwall is a £5 million Objective
One gateway project, funded by the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF), the Department for Food, Environment
and Rural Affairs (Defra) and private matched funding. It
is part of the Taste of the West regional food group. Taste
of the West's Cornwall project includes a trade development
programme, a marketing grant scheme and a capital grants scheme,
available to small and medium sized food businesses which
produce, sell or process foods in Cornwall and the Isles of
Scilly. For more information log on to www.cornwalltasteofthewest.co.uk.
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