Consumers more likely to buy British after Brexit, but not at any price

Consumers say they are eager to buy British food to support the economy, but will look for cheaper foreign alternatives if food prices rise.


One in five people say they are more likely to buy British food as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, new YouGov research shows.

The Buying British report shows 23% of consumers are more likely to buy British food as a result of Brexit. Furthermore, one in seven (17%) are more likely to purchase British products as a result of last June’s referendum.

For a large number of consumers, however, cost remains the most important factor when it comes to purchasing decisions. If the cost of British food increased by 10%, three in 10 people would choose foreign produce instead. If the price went up by 25%, six in 10 (60%) would stop buying British and instead get the equivalent from abroad.

YouGov’s research also shows that more than seven in 10 (71%) consumers try to purchase British food when they can and two-thirds (66%) prefer to buy British products when possible.

People’s main motivation in doing so is to support the UK economy. Almost three-quarters (73%) buy British to support domestic farmers, and seven in 10 (69%) do it to help British businesses.

READ MORE: How marketers should deal with post-Brexit price rises

Perhaps unsurprisingly, most consumers who are eager to buy British products are over the age of 50. While 83% of people aged 55 and over prefer to get British food where possible, the figure falls to closer to two-thirds among the under-35s (57% for 25- to 34-year-olds and 62% among 18- to 24-year-olds).

“Since last June there has been much talk of boosting the economy of the UK by buying British. This research shows that this message is hitting home with a large number of consumers.

However, with inflation increasing and household finances coming under pressure, for all the desire to buy British, many are willing to turn their back on domestically-produced food and products if prices rise,” says Kate Fillery, junior research executive at YouGov.

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