16 November 2022

  • To support communities through the cost of living crisis, Co-op pulls traditional main Christmas advert to instead focus on nationwide community food initiative
  • The leading convenience retailer will instead host a live stream from “Your Local Pantry”, to highlight community food initiatives, which provide long-term dignified support to those facing food insecurity all year round, exacerbated this Christmas by the cost of living crisis
  • TV Chef and Rapper Big Zuu will bring the Local Peckham Pantry community together, to host a live cookalong, with special guests, members and volunteers
  • Chef, Presenter and Author, Miguel Barclay will join Zuu to share useful tips and tricks to make groceries go further in a unique live stream broadcasted across Big Zuu’s Instagram at 7pm
  • Co-op partnering with Your Local Pantry to bring 150 more UK neighbourhoods together around food and support 32,000 households manage finances over the next three years
  • The partnership will see sites triple to 225 across the UK, owing to the funding from Co-op Members
  • By not spending multi-millions on TV advertising this Christmas Co-op is instead channelling funds into wider cost of living support for its colleagues, members customers and communities

Instead of a traditional supermarket multi-million pound TV commercial, this Christmas, Co-op will raise awareness of affordable community food projects helping to tackle household finances as costs continue to rise.

As part of its long-term commitment to ensure communities have better access to sustainable food solutions this Christmas and beyond, Co-op has announced a major new partnership with Your Local Pantry - a membership-based food scheme and community hub.

Your Local Pantry - Christmas (1)

Today, (16th Nov), Co-op has partnered with TV Chef and Rapper Big Zuu, to stream live from Your Local Pantry in Peckham. The unique activation will bring the local community together through food, by demonstrating simple and nutritious recipes for only a few pounds, as well as meeting the Local Pantry volunteers and members who are helping their community grow and thrive.

The live stream will also see special appearances from Chef, Presenter and Author, Miguel Barclay - the brains behind One Pound Meals, to share useful tips and tricks to make your groceries go further.

The partnership, which is funded by Co-op Members**, will see the Your Local Pantry network triple within three years from 75 to 225 Pantries across the UK, with the addition of 150 new Pantries.

Pantries are run by uniformed staff and volunteers, are open to all and work like any other grocery store, in that you choose the food you want from the shelves. Members pay a few pounds a week, and in return can choose groceries worth many times more.

This Christmas, and all year round, those looking for financial support can become a Local Pantry Member and pay as little as £3.50 for around £10 worth of food. At the Peckham Pantry, it costs just £4.50 for around £15 of food.

Your Local Pantry - Christmas (2)

To date, Your Local Pantry has helped tens of thousands of households improve finances and access more affordable food. Through the new partnership, Co-op and Your Local Pantry aim to support over 32,000 households over the next three years, saving Local Pantry members almost £5million on shopping bills. Regular members save an average of £1,000 a year.

Shirine Khoury-Haq, Group CEO at Co-op: “Whilst many of our competitors are also adapting their Christmas ads to reflect the mood of the nation in a cost of living crisis, we are going further by pulling our ad altogether. In doing so we will be shining a light on the need to support vital community causes, throughout the year and not just at Christmas, especially with a deep recession looming.”

Our unique Co-op membership continues to drive our thinking and through our members incredible support, we are able to channel our resources and make local differences in ways no others can match. Through their ongoing commitment we can make society fairer and more co-operative.”

James Henderson, Your Local Pantry Network Development Coordinator, added: “Pantries are fantastic places. They bring people together around food, soften the impact of high living costs, and strengthen the power and potential of neighbourhoods. Communities have long wanted to improve food security while upholding dignity, choice and hope, and Pantries are a proven win-win solution. We're really excited to be teaming up with the Co-op, so another 150 neighbourhoods can open Pantries of their own."

Big Zuu, TV Chef and Grime Artist added: “Everyone deserves access to great quality food at affordable prices. I hope that by visiting the Peckham Pantry and cooking up some healthy, tasty and more affordable meals with the team, more people in need will seek out community initiatives like Your Local Pantry.

ENDS

Notes to Editors PR, Communications and influencer agency Halpern, creative agency Lucky Generals, marketing agency MullenLowe and media agency Dentsu collaborated with Co-op to create the integrated campaign.

** Co-op’s membership programme supports communities. 2p in every pound spent is shared equally between the Local Community Fund for local causes and the Community Partnerships Fund, intended to support communities through like-minded charities and organisations.

Media Enquiries: Rebecca Baisden: Rebecca.Baisden@halpern.co.uk / Mark Carrington & Sarah Fitton: pressoffice@coop.co.uk

About Co-op: Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance and legal services. Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates over 2,500 food stores, over 800 funeral homes and provides products to over 5,000 other stores, including those run by independent co-operative societies and through its wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited.

Employing almost 60,000 people, the Co-op has an annual turnover of over £11billion and is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes. The Co-op exists to meet members’ needs and stand up for the things they believe in.

About Your Local Pantry: Your Local Pantries are open to all and work like any other grocery store, in that you choose the food you want from the shelves. The pantries are run by uniformed staff and volunteers who manage the stores with hand-held technology. Members pay a small subscription of a few pounds a week (ranging from £3.50 - £7 dependent on location), and in return can choose groceries worth many times more.