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Cotswold Taste members want more digital support and more face to face contact

Cotswolds food and drink businesses, and the companies which work with them, are all emphatic they want to see even more help and support to promote their local products online – and in ‘real time’ when possible.

Cotswold Taste, the cooperative organisation working with food and drink producers in the area, recently surveyed more than 80 of its members to ask about the challenges they face, what they value from their membership of the organisation and what additional support they would welcome. 

Their top three needs were:

1.   Promoting products and services at trade shows and public events – 70%

2.   Face to face networking – 57% 

3.   Social media support – 52% 

Nick Waloff, executive chair of Cotswold Taste, said: "COVID-19 has shaken up all our views of how we do business, and put customer engagement even more in the driving seat.

‘We’ve been highlighting the achievements of our members in repositioning their food and drink businesses over the past few months.

‘Even if traditional promotional methods like trade shows and events are problematic at the present time, there are new ways to promote to all of us as consumers."

Greg Pilley, MD of long-term member Stroud Brewery, renowned for its range of organic and vegan beers, commented: "Cotswold Taste is providing much needed representation and opportunities for collaboration and generic marketing."

Cotswold Taste is currently upgrading its digital strategy and co-operating with a range of stakeholders across the region, including local authorities concerned to encourage recovery from the devastating effects of COVID-19  on the hospitality and retail sectors. One of their strategic partners is top social media traffic analysts Maybe*.

Jered Bolton, MD of Cirencester-based Not Just Code Ltd, said:

"Cotswold Taste is a co-operative that really makes a real difference. The benefits to us have been increased networking, recommendations and ultimately new business."

Cotswold Taste is also looking to promote its own business services members with expertise in branding, website design, practical public relations, social media use and online sales platforms, as a much-needed resource. 

"We’d like to see the Cotswold region’s food and drink-related businesses leading the way in excellence with their websites, online shops and social media promotion," said Nick.

"It's clear our members are missing face to face contact with each other and with consumers - and that's something we will address as long as we are legally able to do so. It just shows how important human contact is to our members."

Cotswold Taste is now planning to  upgrade its digital strategy to meet members needs in a number of ways.

Fiona Scott Media Consultancy Swindon

Scott Media

Scott Media is run by a UK-based journalist with more than 20 years' experience in the media - print, radio and television.

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