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Health trumps British-ness when buying food 

Seven major UK supermarkets have added tabs to their websites to help shoppers select British food and drink.

Tesco has followed Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Ocado, Co-op and Waitrose in installing ‘British’ and ‘Best of British’ buttons.

“It offers shoppers a direct way to support their local farms and buy homegrown produce,” said NFU deputy president David Exwood. “We have been championing this important issue since 2016.”

The NFU said its research showed the public want to buy more British food from retailers, but it isn’t the top factor according to a March poll by YouGov.

Asked what grocery shoppers look out for when they’re shopping for food and eating out, its ‘British-ness’ ranks seventh in a list of more than 20 factors influencing the choices they make.

The top factor is freshness (46%), followed by sugar levels (34%), fat content (29%) and calorie intake (28%).

Ethical considerations also influence food preferences: 23% of respondents prefer free-range products, and 15% value ethically farmed options like line-caught fish.

Looking at whether age is a differentiating factor reveals that older Brits are far more likely than younger consumers to check if the food is ‘British’ when choosing what to eat. While around three in ten consumers over 55 years (31%) take the British-ness of the food into account, only 11% of 18-24-year-olds do the same.