Locavore vs Tesco: Breaking Down Perceptions of Buying Local Organic Food

We want to break down a common misperception about our shop: that it’s more expensive to shop in than our local supermarket competitors.

We worked with fourth year GSA Communication Design student Johanne Deffarges to create a short animated film to bust some myths. You can view it here:

While price is important we wanted to look more comprehensively at issues that customers worry about so carried out a little study to also compare how many food miles the products rack up and what they come packaged in. This film tells the story of a few of these.

We looked at a total of 17 basic grocery shop products, comparing like for like products (i.e. organic, same weight etc) and where there wasn’t something immediately comparable we went with the closest similar brand (e.g. Bio-D and Ecover).

Information was taken from Tesco’s website (correct as of Oct 18) and where it wasn’t available was marked as so. The total amounts for both shops came to:

Total for Locavore: £30.05
Total for Tesco: £32.33

When breaking down the data, Locavore had 9 products that were cheaper, Tesco 7 and 1 equal. For packaging Locavore won on 11 products, Tesco 0 and 6 were equal (this was based on whether packaging was refill, plastic, paper, recyclable etc). For food miles Locavore had 8 products which travelled fewer miles, Tesco had 0 and 6 were equal (3 could not be included as there wasn’t enough information from Tesco – if we got more exact info from Tesco this would give a more thorough comparison).

Because we buy a lot of our products in bulk we are able to pass these savings on to our customers. Not only does this reduce the price, it reduces the amount of packaging we (and you) have to throw away. We also work really hard to source things locally but in order to be competitive to the supermarkets we have to source some things from further away and with more packaging than we’d like. This is a constant battle – choice vs impact. We do however have a strict buying policy which ensures we thoroughly vet our suppliers and products.

So, for the products we compared, not only are we more competitive on price, our products have travelled fewer miles and, without a doubt, the products have less packaging! Winner.

What’s really important is that we care deeply about these issues and are continually striving to improve. Tesco, can you say the same?

Locavore exists to help build a more sustainable local food system which is better for our local economy, the environment and our communities. We’re about making the money spent on food do more for the benefit of society and our environment not funnel profits in to the pockets of share holders.

For those interested in the data you can have a swatch here:

If you have further questions contact our Zero Waste Coordinator at eilidh@glasgowlocavore.org.

For more info on Johanne and to see more of her work visit her Instagram https://www.instagram.com/johanne_deff/ or website  https://cargocollective.com/johannedeffarges.

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