Shoppers seeking out British food

Younger shoppers are driving an increase in the number of those seeking out British food, according to new figures.

Shoppers are almost one and half times more likely to "buy British" than they were six years ago, according to research from IGD ShopperVista, with younger buyers and families driving the growth.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%

The study found 78% of shoppers would now buy British food if it was available compared with 55% in 2007. The greatest increase has been among 18 to 24-year-olds, with 69% likely to buy British now compared with 36% six years ago.

More than three-quarters of shoppers with children (77%) said they would buy British produce while nearly eight in ten shoppers (78%) said British farmers deserve the "full support" of the public.
The poll coincides with the agricultural industry's annual Open Farm Sunday open day on June 9.

IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch said: "Price is always a top factor for shoppers when walking round their local store or shopping online and deciding what to buy. They also want high-quality food, but the challenging economic situation over the last few years has forced them to scrutinise every penny they spend.

"The good news for British producers is that interest in food sourced in this country has never been higher - eight out of ten shoppers want to buy it. This is an excellent opportunity for local food producers, who clearly have the public's support. It is also a chance for food companies to emphasise the quality of their products."

Caroline Drummond, chief executive of Leaf (Linking Environment and Farming), which is organising Open Farm Sunday, said: "It is great to see that the British public's support for farmers has never been higher.

"British farmers have responded substantially to changing consumer requirements over the last ten years delivering quality food, enhancing the environment and building trust and confidence."

Beware the small print
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Shoppers seeking out British food

It is reasonable to assume that if you take out a mobile phone contract at £30 a month for 24 months that's exactly what you'll pay unless you exceed the tariff. Yet mobile phone providers have come under fire for a snag buried in the small print – a clause to allow mid-contract price rises.

Prices are rising by a median of 81p a month and 70% of consumers are completely unaware off this sneaky move, according to Tesco Mobile, so be sure to check any new contracts before you sign the dotted line.

Financial service providers always refer to 'typical APR' in advertising to attract customers with favourable rates of interest.

Yet the typical APR on loans and credit cards is only available for those applicants who have a squeaky clean credit record, everyone else could end up with a much higher rate. For example, under EU rules, credit card providers only have to provide the typical APR advertised to 51% of applicants.

So always consider this when applying for accounts and products, and if approved – look out the actual APR that you will be charged.

The highest paying savings accounts on the market tend to come with a string of strict terms, which if you fall foul of, result in a drop in interest. Common requirements include paying in a set sum each month and not making withdrawals during a set period.

Make sure to fully understand these terms before opening a savings account and if you choose an account with a six or 12 month bonus, remember that this will plummet when the bonus period ends.

Cashback credit cards that pay you a small percentage each time you spend on the card are full of loopholes in the small print. All have a maximum spend, but many have a minimum spend too.

For example, the Sainsbury's Cashback Low Rate card advertises that it offers users 5% cashback for the first three months. However the 5% cashback is capped at £50 a month. A further 5% cashback is subject to you spending £500 a month on the card (£250 of that at Sainsbury's).

Attempt to repay your mortgage early and you may be greeted with a hefty fee in the form of an early repayment charge. These penalties vary from lender to lender and even deal to deal, but are typically be around 10% of the outstanding balance.

Details of any early repayment charges should be clearly outlined in your mortgage contract but it is worth double-checking with your lender before you try to make a payment.

Insurance is an incredibly complex area of personal finance and different forms of cover are riddled with different hitches that make it crucial to read the small print. Failure to do so could lead you to pay for a product you would be never be able to claim upon, or unknowingly do something that invalidates your claim.

Always buy the right level of cover for your needs and pay close attention to any exclusions in the policy wording. For example, many travel insurance policies for winter sports won't pay out for treatment of injuries incurred while under the influence of alcohol.

Think a credit card can't do any damage at home in your drawer? Think again. Some credit and store cards charge a dormancy fee if you don't use them regularly.

For example, all Santander-issued store cards, including Topshop and Laura Ashley cards among others, charge a fee of £10 if you remain in debit for three consecutive months.

Exceed the monthly usage allowance in your broadband deal and you could be hit with a huge fee. Common with the cheapest broadband deals on the market, penalty charges for going over your contracted limit can push your bills up even higher than if you paid for a deal with unlimited usage.

According to Talk Talk, some households are being forced to pay an additional £40 per month for exceeding their usage allowance. BT for example, charges £5 per every 5GB extra used.

Familiarise yourself with the download limit in your package and the penalties for exceeding it, decide whether you are better off with an unlimited deal.


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