Central England Co-operative reveals predicted trends in food and shopping habits for 2019

Central England Co-operative has revealed the latest research and predictions for food and shopping habits in the year ahead.

Research has revealed a number of key areas of interest including healthy eating, the provenance of food including locally-sourced products, diets free from certain types of food, alcohol trends and environmental concerns.

The new year often brings a focus on eating more healthily and sugar is high on the hit list for shoppers. Central England Co-operative’s own market research shows that shoppers are looking to reduce their sugar intake and are looking for low-sugar alternatives to everyday items and healthy snacking.

Diets which exclude one or more types of food are rising in popularity. Vegetarianism is a well-established trend but there has been a marked increase in people following a vegan diet; the number of people identifying as vegan and following a totally plant-based diet is up by over 400% in the past 10 years.1

In addition, over a quarter of meat eaters are consciously reducing their consumption of meat, with indications that this trend will continue.2 Possibly related to this, there is a continued trend in buying foods with added protein such as protein infused water, protein shakes and protein bars.

Consumers continue to seek out food that boasts local heritage, with the provenance of food being stated as important by 79% of consumers1.

Jennifer Hargrave, Local Buyer for Central England Co-operative, said “We now have many products with local provenance available in stores across the trading area including locally-brewed ales, gins, eggs and bakery items.”

Environmental issues around food and other groceries have been pushed up the agenda during 2018, with factors such as plastic pollution gaining international headlines.

Hannah Gallimore, Corporate Responsibility Manager at Central England Co-operative, said “We are working to reduce plastic waste. For instance our own-brand straws are paper, not plastic and the ambition is that all our own-brand packaging will be easy to recycle by 2023 (80% by 2020). We phased out single use carrier bags during 2018 and offer compostable carrier bags in stores where they are accepted by local authority waste collections.”

Free-from foods such as gluten free and dairy free and are now well established in the UK, with forecasts suggesting customer demand will continue to rise.4

Jody Fisher, Category Manager at Central England Co-operative, said: “Christmas saw a big demand for vegetarian, vegan and gluten free products as people are more aware of the need for such products and the desire to provide options which can be enjoyed by everyone.”

Alcohol trends indicate that gin continues to be a favourite with UK drinkers and that this is set to continue into 2019.5 Rum is expected to be the next big thing.6

Other interesting changes include beer drinking with shoppers focussing on quality and authenticity including premium and craft brews which are locally brewed or unusual. Overall, people are drinking less but are buying better quality tipples to enjoy.


1 comparethemarket.com

2 Source: GS1 2018 Report.

3 Mintel’s Meat-Free Foods UK Market Report

4 Mintel

5 Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) show a 27% increase in volume sales between the start of 2017 and the start of 2018.

6 The Grocer


Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 

It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, and property investment.

Central England Co-operative has over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.  The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2018.

Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.

Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing members@centralengland.coop or visiting https://www.members.coop

For more information visit www.centralengland.coop, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook: facebook.com/centralenglandcooperative

Rob Smyth at Central England Co-operative on 01543 414140

Email – publicrelations@centralengland.coop