Members give us food for thought

Thousands of members have joined in to tell us all about their eating habits and help us understand more about the kind of foods they’re looking for, as we look to ensure that we’re better placed to cater for their special diets.

From vegetarian, vegan and free-from products to simply reducing how much meat, fish and dairy they eat, our members came forward with some great suggestions for how we can best meet their dietary needs.

Members are trying to lead healthier and more ethical lifestyles by reducing the amount of meat they eat, with around a third saying they consume less meat than they did a couple of years ago.

Around 87% of members said Co-op already caters well for their dietary needs, but many said they would like to see an even better range of meat-free alternatives, including a wider selection of vegetarian ready meals, particularly in our smaller stores.

There were also a number of calls for more fresh produce, less processed foods, a better variety of gluten-free staples, cheaper and more readily available vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free items.

“More dairy free and meat/fish-free options in each store. Local stores still stock predominantly meat or fish items and it is hard to find vegan or vegetarian options.” Graeme Mckenzie, North Berwick

“You do great in some areas like vegan wine and cruelty-free household products. Well done! Just time to bring plant-based food to the surface.” Jillian Graham, Glasgow

The importance of labelling in helping members to easily cater for their special diets also emerged as a priority for the members who joined in.

“Label things that you list as suitable for vegans on the products itself like those jam and custard doughnuts. It makes life so much easier that anyone looking at the product knows it’s suitable for vegans. My non-vegan colleagues can easily find them for me too.” Satya Bhat, Cardiff

Members have given us some fantastic food for thought. We now know so much more about the types of diets members are following and how their diets direct the kind of products they’re looking for in store.

We’ll now be working through our findings with teams in our food business and responding to the steer we have from members.

There are always opportunities for Co-op Members to get involved in shaping our Co-op. Join In on your online Membership account.

Matt Walker,
Research Manager