Photo credit: Beetbox, University of Kent

Photo credit: Beetbox, University of Kent

Promotion is important - both when you first set up your food co-op and as you grow!

When you start you will need to attract both customers and volunteers - you should aim to let everyone in the area know what you are doing. It is useful to think about your marketing strategy as you plan how you will run your food co-op. You need to keep in mind that you will likely lose customers along the way, so as well as planning how to first attract customers you should also plan for how to keep existing customers interested and engaged. Find out more about marketing here

For many people, buying food at a food co-op rather than at the supermarket is a new and different way of shopping, and so you may want to consider adding an educational element to your operation. What’s great about your co-op and why should people shop there? How do you cook with seasonal produce, and why is local good for your community? You could explore offering cookery demonstrations, create seasonal recipe cards, or let customers try unusual produce before they buy. If you are considering applying for a grant, you might make your project eligible for a wider range of funding opportunities if you are providing educational activities. Find out more here

To find more useful food co-op related information visit our homepage

Food Co-ops toolkit: The Food Co-ops Toolkit will give you all the information you need to set up your own food co-op.

Useful documents:

Fruit and vegetable images that you can use to make your own marketing materials:

Free publicity materials for fruit and veg co-ops
Sustain have free leaflets for food co-ops that have a full colour design on the front but are left blank on the back so you can add your own details. We also have large banners. To order copies e-mail:

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Your donation will help us support communities to set up and run food coops and buying groups across the UK to improve access to healthy food.


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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

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