What we’ve missed the most: A look at national and local lockdown responses in this, the strangest of times…
It’s not going to come as an immense surprise that visiting restaurants, pubs and coffee shops are top of the list of things British people have been missing the most during lockdown, according to one of the largest national surveys carried out on the Covid-19 crisis.
In the survey, carried out by Allegra Strategies (a research consultancy working in the health and wellness industry), 4,000 people were asked a range of questions about the personal impact of the crisis and their future concerns.
When asked which of the following social outings they missed the most (with people being allowed three choices) of the 17 suggested social outings, an overwhelming number cited visiting cafes and coffee shops (second choice at 42%), restaurants (4th choice at 29%) and pubs and bars (fifth choice at 19%) as the thing they missed most during lockdown. Visiting friends and family (60%) came top with travelling/day trip third (31%). Further down on the list were shopping, gyms, cinema, parks, sporting events, museums, theatre, music shows and events.
Also, not entirely surprisingly, lockdown lunchtimes have driven frozen food sales up by 28%. Fish fingers and frozen peas have been flying off supermarket shelves as millions of hungry schoolchildren swap school dinners for lunchtime with mum and dad according to the latest industry figures. Sales data from the British Food Federation (BFFF) and Kantar (a world-leading evidence-based insights and consulting company) revealed that in the four weeks from 23 Feb to 22 March British shoppers spent an extra £130m on everything from ice cream to frozen meat and poultry as they filled up their freezers before the lockdown began on 23 March. Total sales of frozen food jumped 28.3% in volume and 28.1% in value compared to the same four-week period in 2019. According to the BFFF, the rate of sales has continued with some retailers reporting a 48% increase in the sale of fish fingers and a 68% increase in purchases of frozen peas.
Richard Harrow, BFFF chief executive said, “While total sales of frozen food have been increasing in recent years, many people returning to the freezer section will be surprised by the innovation and quality of the products now available.
Research has shown the incredible strength of communities as residents, local pubs and restaurants supported each other during lockdown. Boris Johnson announced that “there is such a thing as society” as he thanked the British public’s response to fight the coronavirus, a sentiment echoed in the research which involved more than 2,000 people nationwide (source: nationally representative survey of 2,000 adults in the UK, conducted by OnePoll, commissioned by High Speed Training). It found that 71% believe takeaways and deliveries from their local pub or restaurant could be considered an essential service during the pandemic. One in six said that the taste of their favourite dish delivered by a local establishment helped them to feel less isolated while at home.
More than three quarters (79%) of people were aware of a local establishment that had adapted their businesses to offer deliveries in response to closures. Concern about the survival of local businesses and supporting the livelihood of local people was the primary reason behind orders. Difficulty finding stock in supermarkets was the second driver for orders. Beyond purchasing takeaway meals and drinks, 15% of people indicated they were keen to show support by purchasing ingredients and groceries direct from their local pub or restaurant.
DRINKS3 (Drinks Cubed) only started trading within the last year. One of it’s stated core values was to be part of a strong community to bringing change, support and sustainability to the bottled water market. Knowing the importance of hydration, after the pandemic was declared, the company switched its efforts and energy from day-to-day commercial activities to find ways to help those fighting the virus, setting out to give away 20,000 WATER3 natural mineral carton bottles to NHS hospitals across the UK keeping the heroes on the front line hydrated as well as reducing the risk of cross-contamination. DRINKS3 is exploring ways in which we can expand this initiative as well as give greater access to those that are vulnerable in our society.
Meanwhile, Mighty Small, a new food delivery service, is bringing the UK’s most exciting small independent food and drink brands straight to your door, making it easy for shoppers to explore and support small British startups. At checkout, you can opt to donate to FoodCycle, a charity that turns surplus food into meals and food parcels for people in social isolation. The site also offers personally curated box bundles and handy gift cards that work perfectly as gifts to celebrate life’s special moments from afar, knowing delivery is all taken care of.
Lost Sheep Coffee
Lost Sheep Coffee, a Kent-based speciality coffee roastery, has launched a subscription service in response to the growing demand for its hand-roasted, speciality-grade coffee and a recent surge in online sales as a result of Covid-19. The new subscription service is available for both Lost Sheep Coffee’s Nespresso 100% compostable, plastic-free capsules and their speciality hand-roasted coffee beans. From £15 per month, customers can select either a box of 40 or a bulk package-less box of 100 compostable capsules. There are three varieties, one of which is a decaf, to be delivered automatically as often as needed with time scales ranging from 14-60 days. The subscription service is also available for Lost Sheep’s best-selling signature blend ‘Get to the Hopper’ coffee beans from £7.16 per month for a 220g bag, with its industry-leading fully recyclable packaging, including the bag. For the small office users, a 1kg bag subscription is also available.
It designed to be extremely flexible, allowing customers to login and tailor the frequency of the service to their needs.
Food4Heroes was launched on 24 March, the day after lockdown was announced, by Amanda Guest, of Guest Dining, and her brother John Brownhill. The idea was to get local chefs from around Yorkshire who worked together to create free meals for NHS staff. The first initiative went live at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary on 28 March Other volunteers in the food industry took up the mantle too throughout the UK. In the South West, JB Wild stood up to help coordinate the Food4Heroes initiative for Cheltenham General Hospital and Gloucester Royal Hospital. She reached out to all her contacts – and was delighted when two fantastic catering companies swiftly volunteered to help. Sophie Bampton of Foxy Ladies found that her diary – usually filled with catering for weddings and celebrations – was empty so jumped at the chance to help. She prepped 600 meals for the team at Cheltenham General to feed them every weekend.
Hey Pesto catering also stepped up to provide 600 meals daily between Cheltenham General hospital & Gloucester Royal Hospital midweek, keeping staff fuelled for their brave, hard fight against Covid-19.
Food4Heroes needs funding in order to cover the costs. Each meal costs £2.
This is slightly dated now, but in the week that saw the UK’s lockdown extended until May 7th, an opinion poll* revealed the top 10 most popular takeaways that Brits have been enjoying at home over the last three weeks:
- Fish & Chips
The research involved more than 2,000 people nationwide also found that delivery services are helping to combat loneliness, as one-in-six Brits admitted that the taste of their takeaway was helping them to feel less isolated while at home. This is supported by over two-thirds (71%) believing that takeaways and deliveries from their local pub or restaurant could be considered an essential service during the pandemic. As a result of the shift in eating habits enforced by the lockdown, almost half (49%) of people noticed that local establishments had adapted their businesses to offer deliveries. Concern about the survival of local businesses and supporting the livelihood of local people was the primary reason behind orders.
Difficulty finding stock in supermarkets was the second driver for orders. Beyond purchasing takeaway meals and drinks, 15% of people indicated they were keen to show support by purchasing ingredients and groceries direct from their local pub or restaurant.
*Source: Google Poll results from over 1,500 UK respondents on 16th April 2020.