A new survey from YouGov reveals that 43% of shoppers now distrust supermarkets, believing that the quality of food being sold is deteriorating. They also feared that UK standards would be undermined by changing trade regulations and deals.
This provides a prime opportunity for Indies to benefit, by offering quality, confidence and a personal touch.
In fact, according to Martin McTag, National President of the Small Business Federation, “Our recent research with Public First shows that consumers prefer small business shopping because they want to support the local economy (72%), like service (49%) and prefer experience (38%)” .
With more shoppers looking for higher quality products for their money in a cost-of-living crisis, luxury food retailers can help save you more bang for your buck.
As Mark Kaccari, Managing Director of the Norfolk Daily explained, “A lot of what we offer is exactly what the department stores are lacking. We offer a slightly theatrical experience where many people will comment on the lovely scent present when they enter, because so much of what is available and visible is made in-store. , items such as quiches, sausage rolls, fresh salads etc. are less than 10 meters from where the customer has to pay.
This experience is missing from the supermarket which would at best be an on-site bakery, but even then, the aromas from the bakery are missing. This is a way for freelancers to get people into their stores. They can try something different, and chat with the manufacturer! ”
Cat Morley, General Manager, Yolk Farm and Minskip Farm Shop added, “When the pandemic hit, we saw a massive increase in footfall to our store; there was a positive shift in customer mindset from supermarkets to independent retailers. This happened naturally because we already saved A safe environment for shopping, with beautifully fresh and healthy products.We have gained the trust of many new customers as well as maintaining our regular customer base.
“We believe that by maintaining the same high standards, continuing to deliver reliable fresh produce and providing them with a more personalized, knowledgeable and practical experience, this is how independent retailers can take advantage of this opportunity. We value our customers incredibly and they value us.”
According to Jeff Moody, Commercial Director at British Independent Retail Association (BIRA), “Local shopping is now a catchphrase as consumers try to reduce fuel costs while also trusting the offering of independent retailers. Ukraine plays an important role in the food supply chain in Europe as a major producer For grains – especially wheat. Shipping costs remain high, with costs four times higher than they have been since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. All these factors combined have made shopping locally more attractive than ever.”
Earn the trust of shoppers
While there is a major opportunity to bridge the trust gap left by supermarkets, according to Mark, “it is individually difficult to get the message across to consumers that there is a viable alternative to supermarkets especially if supermarkets are turning people’s heads on marketing campaigns based on ‘points’. The club, ‘Nectar, is cheaper than Aldi/Lidl and where price is concerned.’
But Kat says India can build trust with consumers simply by maintaining their USP. She explained, “In most cases, I think it’s as simple as the knowledge you can provide to your customers; here at Minskip Farm Shop, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide the information customers need and love about what they buy. We are able to confidently tell customers which area or farm is being sourced.” They are made from fresh, locally grown produce and they can instantly create that bond, which in turn builds their trust in us.
“We are well known in the region for our fresh chicken eggs available; Customers can visit our free chickens happily roaming in nearly 3 hectares of orchards and grass pastures. Once again, we believe this builds confidence in us as they can see for themselves how much we value chicken’s welfare and quality of life. We are seeing more and more that it really means a lot to many of our valued customers to know where their food comes from, but also to know that they support an independent business and the local economy.”
Martin added: “We encourage independent retailers to sign up for the Good Business Charter accreditation to stand out from the crowd and lead the way on important issues, including their commitment to customers. Through this accreditation, small businesses can show a clear message to consumers that they are committed to operating responsibly and becoming Part of a larger movement to change business for the better.”
In sum, Mark concluded, “The only way freelancers can take advantage of any level of mistrust the public may have is to work with their suppliers, but on an equal footing with their suppliers to work with retailers. To work creatively and find ways in which we can Interact with the public and prove to them that there are alternatives. Alternatives that may cost a bit more, but support the local environment and the local economy.”