NI consumers ‘would spend £3.70 a head more on Christmas meals if sustainably sourced’

NI consumers ‘would spend £3.70 a head more on Christmas meals if sustainably sourced’

Research from Barclays has found people in Northern Ireland are willing to spend £3.70 each more on their Christmas meals this year if they know the ingredients have been sustainably sourced.

Barclays proprietary data has found spend at independent food and drink businesses has rocketed by 58 per cent when comparing 2021 figures with 2019. On average, spending in November has grown by 24 per cent year-on-year since 2019.

Christmas is a critical trading month for independent food and drink business, and those outlets who source their groceries sustainably could benefit from a £5m boom.

Over half of people in Northern Ireland (58 per cent) said that they have noticed an independent food & drinks shop or market stall opening near to where they live over the past two years.

New food outlets

When asked which new food outlets they’d seen opening over the past two years on their high streets, the most common were market stalls (33 per cent), independent grocers (33 per cent), independent bakers (31 per cent), independent butchers (30 per cent) and local farm shops (29 per cent).

Almost three in ten people (28 per cent) said they will buy produce at these businesses this Christmas as they think it will reduce their carbon footprint, while over a third (36 per cent) are drawn to their premises as it means they don’t have to drive anywhere.

Four in 10 consumers in Northern Ireland (41 per cent) said they have become more climate-conscious this festive season due to the media attention on protecting the planet this year. This has had an impact on festive shopping routines, with over a quarter (26 per cent) of respondents saying they have checked the sustainability credentials of the shops they’re ordering from, and 27 per cent going out of their way to buy food that is organic or sustainably sourced.

Hannah Bernard, Head of Business Banking at Barclays, said: “It’s great news that many UK shoppers are trying to shop in a more environmentally friendly way and support local independent businesses this festive season. The increase in spend will provide a very welcome boost to many retailers.

“Over half of small businesses in the UK consider reducing their environmental impact a top priority, and we know that many of our customers are taking steps to become more sustainable and play a key role in tackling the climate crisis. We’re committed to providing the support that our customers need to help them drive that positive social and environmental change.”

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