Bakery products are driving a surge in sales of home-grown food and drink in Scottish Co-op stores.
The retailer has reported that sales of local products were up 33% year-on-year across its 350 stores – with sales of baked goods up 45%.
Among products driving the growth were sweet and savoury lines from businesses including Glasgow-based McGhee’s, Aberdeenshire’s Murdoch Allan and Stornoway’s Stag Bakery.
McGhee’s Bakery, which was named Scottish Baker of the Year in 2015, has been supplying Co-op stores with freshly baked rolls for 12 years.
“Thanks to our presence in Co-op stores our crispy and soft rolls are now best-sellers across the country,” said sales director Stuart McGhee.
Co-op, which carries almost 2,000 Scottish lines and 120 Scottish brands, said it was committed to promoting locally sourced products.
“With sales figures rising so sharply over the past 12 months, we know our customers are enjoying the ranges we’ve got on offer,” added Co-op ranging manager Charlotte Bleasdale.
Sales of prepared meals, including Bells Pies and McIntosh of Strathmore’s ready meals, are also up 45%, while local ales and spirits from brands including Aberdeen’s Fierce Beer and Edinburgh’s Pickering’s Gin have increased almost 40%.
Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing, welcomed The Co-op’s commitment to supporting Scottish suppliers, adding that exports of Scottish food and drink were worth £5.5bn in 2016.
“We are working hard to support our producers to generate sustainable growth and further boost demand for Scottish produce both at home and abroad,” he said. “Our supermarkets have a key role to play in helping us achieve our ambitions.”