Being produced in Britain becomes key factor for food-buying following horse meat scandal

Food being of British origin has been found to be the most important factor to consumers since the horse meat scandal broke, research by Mintel has found out.

The research was compared against consumer thoughts from questions asked in December, before the scandal, to discover that over a third now say that food being British is the most important factor; while 21 per cent now say that local origin is important (compared to 17 per cent) and 14 per cent said it was important that food was regional.

However, only 14 per cent said that traceability is important.

Amy Price, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel, said: “The importance of food being British has leapt in popularity in the wake the horse meat scandal. The food industry is likely to feel the effects for some time, with consumers taking a greater interest in British and local origin and a more proactive stance on questioning the provenance of their food. The horse meat scandal has re-affirmed consumers’ faith in the quality of British-produced food.

“Even in the aftermath of the horse meat scare, traceability as a key choice factor is far behind, for example, British origin. This indicates that British origin is seen by consumers to provide the most effective shortcut to reassurance, when considering various food issues.”

She suggested what marketers could do to make products seem stronger in the eyes of customers: “Focusing on promoting transparency to consumers, either through proving British sourcing through logos such as the Red Tractor or through placing greater emphasis on traceability, as well as communicating steps that are being taken to shorten or tighten the supply chain would likely resonate with consumers in the current climate, helping to build credibility and restore trust among consumers.”

It was also found that 49 per cent of Brits now agree that British food is better quality than imported food.

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