Bulk buying is the way ahead

Research conducted on behalf of Co-operatives UK shows a rise in co-operative bulk buying in the UK, reinforcing the Government’s new strategy for increasing collective purchasing.

The online survey of 2,142 adults by YouGov in January reveals that a quarter of people already buy in bulk with others and this figure is set to rise by 20 per cent this year.

Co-operatives UK said the figures indicate the Government’s consumer empowerment strategy — Better Choices: Better Deals. Consumers Powering Growth — published this month, is right to set out plans to support co-operation and collective purchasing by consumers.

The research shows the younger generation is leading the way when it comes to buying in bulk and sharing — with 31 per cent of 18-24 year olds regularly buying in bulk with others in 2010 and 39 per cent saying that they would buy more items in bulk with others to reduce costs in 2011.

Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, commented: “With job insecurity and higher bills, the most acute squeeze in the economy is arguably for young people.

“Co-operative buying, whether informal with friends, student food co-ops or of crowd-sourcing online, is a growing trend among young people and a good way to make your money go further.”

The Government’s strategy to help encourage collective purchasing outlines plans for Co-operatives UK and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to pilot an Innovation Prize. In line with new work on innovative models of collaboration, the prize is intended to stimulate enterprise and promote shared learning.

The pilot prize fund, of up to £30,000, will encourage entrants that build communities by helping people to take part in collective purchasing.

Added Mr Mayo: “We welcome the growing interest in collective purchasing, from both government and consumers. We are pleased to be working with BIS to launch the Innovation Prize. The best way to empower consumers is to enable them to come together ​co-operatively.”

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