Scotland’s love affair with home-grown fare is flourishing, as figures released by the Co-op show that overall sales of Scottish products across its 350 stores are up an impressive 33% year-on-year.
The biggest increase has been seen across the bakery aisle – sweet and savoury favourites from the likes of Glasgow-based McGhee’s, Aberdeenshire’s Murdoch Allan and Stornoway’s Stag Bakery have prompted an impressive 45% rise.
Prepared meals, including Bells Pies and McIntosh of Strathmore’s ready meals, are also up a mouth-watering 45%, whilst locally brewed ales and spirits from brands including Aberdeen’s Fierce Beer and Edinburgh’s Pickering’s Gin have seen an increase of almost 40%.
Dairy items have also experienced an increase in sales of 28% on last year.
The Co-op, which works with over 900 Scottish farmers, carries almost 2,000 Scottish lines and over 120 Scottish brands in its stores.
Its latest figures come in the run up to Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight which launches on Sunday 2 September in which Scots prepare to indulge in a two-week celebration of Scotland’s produce, and the people who grow, make, cook and sell it.
John McNeill, Co-op’s managing director in Scotland, said: “It’s great to see that we Scots are so patriotic when it comes to what we eat and drink. We have a proud heritage in producing some of the most delicious delicacies in the world and we know that our customers and members are passionate about buying food that has been produced on home soil.”
Cabinet secretary for the rural economy and connectivity, Fergus Ewing, commented: “I welcome the Co-op’s continued commitment to supporting Scottish suppliers. As we get ready to celebrate Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight, these fantastic figures provide yet more evidence that people are increasingly looking to buy quality Scottish produce.
“Scotland’s food and drink industry is a cornerstone of our economy, with exports worth a record £5.5 billion in 2016. We are working hard to support our producers to generate sustainable growth and further boost demand for Scottish produce both at home and abroad. Our supermarkets have a key role to play in helping us achieve our ambitions.”
Charlotte Bleasdale, Co-op’s ranging manager, added: “At the Co-op we’re committed to promoting these prized locally-sourced products that are made right here in Scotland. With sales figures rising so sharply over the past 12 months, we know our customers are enjoying the ranges we’ve got on offer. We hope they’ll use Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight as a great excuse to pop into their local store and discover our ever-growing range of Scottish-sourced products.”
Stuart McGhee of McGhee’s Bakery, said: "Over the last twelve years we’ve supplied Co-op stores with the very highest quality produce, seven days a week, ensuring customers can enjoy freshly baked rolls all year round. Thanks to our presence in Co-op stores our crispy and soft rolls are now best sellers across the country and we’re delighted to help support Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight, which is a great celebration of our booming food industry.”