Shopping habits are changing in Scotland as firms deliver during lockdown

With shoppers looking for supermarket alternatives, home deliveries have resulted in an unprecedented boost for the country’s local food economy.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 22nd May 2020, 4:45 pm
Mapping out Scotland’s new shopping habits as firms deliver to help people get through lockdown.
Mapping out Scotland’s new shopping habits as firms deliver to help people get through lockdown.

Adam Hardie, a senior food and drink expert, revealed how our shopping habits are changing after hosting webinars with food and drink leaders from across Scotland.

A partner at Johnston Carmichael, Scotland’s largest independent accountancy and business advisory firm, Adam said: “Direct-to-consumer sales, known in the industry as D2C and by everyone else as good old-fashioned home deliveries, are off the chart right now.

“It may have been forced on some businesses from necessity but the pace and scale of change has been astonishing. Some of our clients have experienced a tripling of turnover.

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Adam Hardie, partner and head of food and drink at Johnston Carmichael, spoke out after hosting a series of webinars with food and drink leaders from across Scotland.

“Some consumers turned away from supermarkets because of the fear of social distancing but it’s clear something much bigger is going on.

“What we are seeing is a much greater focus on community and sustainability.

“Demand for local, healthy produce that minimises waste and food miles is soaring.

“People have also realised that by supporting local businesses they are also supporting their neighbourhoods.”

The webinars examined the impact coronavirus has had on the industry and encouraged greater collaboration between businesses.

Adam added: “It’s great to see so many Scottish food and drink producers becoming disruptors but I’d urge companies seeking to adopt D2C to ensure they have thoroughly tested their plans.

“Avoiding conflict with retail and existing channels, while investing in a social media plan are crucial to achieving success and developing strong customer loyalty.”

Among those to have stepped up to the plate is Eden Mill, based just outside St Andrews. The distiller has introduced virtual gin tasting experiences which include a sample box that can be purchased online and enjoyed at home. Its first event sold out.

Graham’s The Family Dairy, Scotland’s number one dairy brand based in Bridge of Allan, has also seen a threefold increase in doorstep orders after expanding its service to include milk, including Gold Top, as well as eggs, cream, butter, Skyr and Protein 22.

Robert Graham, managing director, said: “We had always hoped to build up our doorstep service but it has now taken priority. We understand some people are unable to leave their homes and others are looking for alternative options to the supermarkets.

“So we very quickly mobilised our teams across the country to be in a position to offer this personal service.”

For details on future webinars, visit the website johnstoncarmichael.com.