Digital demand for Scots’ food and drink

Online orders could help Glasgow businesses cope with impact of pandemic

VisitScotland is optimistic e-commerce can help get Glasgow’s food and drink sector through the toughest year ever, as businesses across Scotland report a rise in demand for online orders.

The national tourism organisation’s Only In Scotland campaign has been encouraging Scots to rediscover the unique experiences on offer here, following the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visitors spend around £995 million annually in Scotland on eating and drinking and it accounts for the largest share of visitor spend after accommodation and travel costs (Source: Opening up Scotland’s larder to our visitors VisitScotland Insights department paper).

Research by Scotland Food and Drink suggests 70% of Scottish consumers believe it’s important to have locally sourced produce available, and 49% of Scottish shoppers also claim they would be willing to pay more for Scottish produce.

Food and Drink fortnight (5th-20th September) is underway, celebrating Scottish food and drink heroes who supplied groceries during lockdown as well as provide recipe ideas online, virtual cooking classes, and tasting sessions while people were at home.

Overtone is a brewery in Glasgow, founded in 2018.

James Kidd, Head of Sales, Overtone said: “The last 6 months have been very busy, our sales are up on last year. We have had to constantly change how we package our beer. The keg business instantly stopped when the pubs shut and the can and online market went a bit crazy overnight. We were able to adapt due to canning on-site and have since had to return to kegging as can sales have dropped back again. Being granted our off-sales licence helped massively giving us a much-needed income stream. We are lucky enough to package on-site, so we were able to adapt the business with very few bottlenecks.”

Jim Clarkson, Regional Leadership Director (west) VisitScotland, said: “Glasgow has world-class local produce and brands that not only sell all over the world, but enhances our tourism product to visitors here at home. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devasting impact on the tourism and events industry. However, our sector has shown great resilience to rise to the most challenging year we have ever had, and to adapt and innovate to new ways of reaching customers. Online sales and deliveries can provide opportunities in new markets, as well as added convenience for existing clients. Being able to buy products and goods all year round even when visitors are not on holiday is a great way to generate more income.”

Lucy Husband, Market Development & Business Engagement Director at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “The impact of Covid-19 has changed the way we shop and forced many food and drink businesses to significantly adapt their approach.

“While more and more of us are shopping for food and drink online, the appetite for high-quality, local products remains strong. In fact, our research shows that 70% of Scottish consumers believe it’s important to have locally sourced produce available, and 49% of Scottish shoppers also claim they would be willing to pay more for Scottish produce.

“We proudly launched our SupportLocal.scot directory during lockdown to meet that demand and provide a useful platform for businesses to reach new consumers. In this incredibly difficult time for so many people, food and drink producers have shown resilience in their ability to innovate and adapt. Scotland boasts some of the best food and drink products in the world, and we should all endeavour to support local producers and enjoy the fruits of Scotland’s larder.”

VisitScotland has details on how to get involved and support Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight on visitscotland.org

For further information of VisitScotland’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, go to https://www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/advice/coronavirus

ENDS

For further information contact:

Andy Dewar, Regional Corporate Press Officer (west), VisitScotland

Telephone:07775 542 763, Email: [email protected]