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Ocado claims to have launched the biggest Buy British shopping aisle of any UK supermarket, following the launch of an 800-item Best of British aisle today.

The online grocer said that unlike other supermarket British aisles, which could include products manufactured in the UK with ingredients from around the world, Ocado’s aisle “exclusively features products both grown and produced locally”.

The dedicated section of the Ocado website will feature more than 800 British items every week of the year, covering fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs and dairy products. Suppliers include big brands, Ocado’s Own Range and M&S, as well as challenger brands such as Jones Food Company and Tom Parker Creamery.

The grocer said searches for ‘British produce’ on its website were up 77% year on year, while 87% of customers considered it important to support British farmers, according to a survey of 500 customers. 

“Our Best of British aisle comes in response to rising demand from our customers for more homegrown produce,” said Amit Chitnis, chief commercial officer at Ocado Retail. “Where we can, we will always try to source locally as our first choice whenever possible. So, we’re proud to have gathered a range of over 800 quality products that are British all year round in an easy-to-shop aisle on site spanning fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs and dairy.”

The survey of Ocado customers found 80% prioritised purchasing British fresh produce and that buying British produce had become more important to 83% in recent years, with the most common reasons for this being a desire to support British farmers (72%) and environmental considerations (62%).

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The aisle’s launch comes in response to a campaign launched by MP Dr Luke Evans and signed by 110 MPs, calling for supermarkets to incorporate a ‘Buy British’ section online. Aldi, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons have all launched similar aisles online in recent weeks.

“It’s great to see the industry realising the value of my campaign for a ‘Buy British’ section online, which came after local farmers told me the best thing we can do to support them is buy British produce,” said Evans.

“Ocado has been proactive in making changes that not only support our nation’s farmers, but also make it even easier for consumers to buy homegrown produce. Not only is this good for our food security but it’s good for the environment as Ocado’s customers can cut down on unnecessary food miles. I’m pleased supermarkets like Ocado have made this meaningful change and look forwarding to seeing others follow their lead,” he added.