Food provenance – does anyone care?

There’s no doubt that both consumers and businesses are becoming more mindful about where they shop.  Through the power of social media, the news and the internet, we’re all becoming more aware of our need to cut down on our meat intake; use less plastic; seek out more sustainable items; to check where our food comes from and what’s in it.

Are you a conscious consumer?  A third of UK consumers claim to be very concerned about issues regarding the origin of products.  Examples of this are eating fairtrade chocolate, shopping in charity shops or using natural toiletries.    According to the Nielsen Global Survey of Corporate Social Responsibility report published in 2015, three out of four Millennials were willing to pay more for sustainable products.  It also found that of those surveyed, 51% of Boomers (aged 50-64) were also inclined to pay higher prices for sustainable products.

Regardless of what people eat, they increasingly want to know what’s in it, where it’s from and how it was produced – what’s the provenance? What about the welfare of the animals used in food production? Maybe not wanting to involve animals in their diet full stop.  The ‘farm to fork’ trend is becoming more and more popular with the rise of people visiting farm shops.  There are almost 4,000 farm shops nationwide.  ‘Local’ has become the loudest buzz word around food.  Most have a similar ethos; sustainability, seasonality, traceability and low food miles.

A survey compiled by Elementar UK found that of 800 people, a huge 84% check where their food has come from.  Showing that more than ever, consumers care about where their food has come from and not just its nutritional value.

It’s not just the consumers that are becoming increasingly aware of their purchases.  Boston Tea Party, a small family owned café chain based in the South West, were the first café to ban single use cups from their branches.  Only 1 in 400 (0.25%) of the estimated 2.5 billion plastic coated coffee cups used in the UK each year are recycled. 4%, approximately 500,000, are littered every day.  You will have noticed more and more people now on their morning commute armed with their reusable coffee cups.  You’ll be pleased to know that at Rays Ice Cream, we only use compostable coffee cups & lids as well as compostable milk shake cups, lids and straws and we offer a discount if you bring your own cup.

Modern consumer behaviour has altered drastically over the last 100 years – in fact, it’s almost coming back full circle.  Life is busy – it’s easy to go to the supermarket and do all of your ‘big shop’ in one hit.  There is little time for people to go up and down the high street to go to the butcher, the baker, (the candlestick maker) in order to support local businesses. But people are increasingly making the effort to do so again and seem to recognise now the need to ‘use it or lose it.’

It is also evident that people are concerned about the environmental impact of the food they’re eating as the rise of veganism or plant based eating grows.

Supporting other small businesses is important to us at Rays Ice Cream.  We understand how difficult it is running a business so we try to support others where we can.  All of our ice cream is made with local whole milk and double cream from a Wiltshire dairy, ordering and delivery is easy and we offer a wide range of flavours including a vegan ice cream range.

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