Co-op Food

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Co-op Food
The Co-Operative clover leaf logo.svg
Co-op Old Street, Shoreditch, rebranding launch by The Co-operative Group.jpg
A rebranded Co-op Food shop in Old Street, London
Product typeGroceries retailer
OwnerBrand managed by The Co-operative Group
CountryUnited Kingdom
Introduced23 July 1850
Markets4,050+ shops across the UK
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

Co-op Food is a brand used for the food retail business of The Co-operative Group in the United Kingdom.

Prior to reintroducing the brand in 2016, the group used "The Co-operative" branding, which is still used by a number of consumers' co-operative societies in the UK. Other societies use their own branding.

In 2016, the Co-operative Food accounted for approximately 6.6% of the UK groceries market.


Co-op self-service grocers in London ca 1950.
Co-op supermarket in Kirton, Lincolnshire in 1995.
Co-op supermarket in Ackworth, West Yorkshire in 1990s-2000s branding.
A Co-operative Food shop in Lawnswood, Leeds with pre 2016 branding.

The "Co-op" brand is used by over 3,500 shops owned by various societies which make up the co-operative movement, including the Central England Co-operative and the Midcounties Co-operative. A number of co-operative societies including Scotmid and the Lincolnshire Co-operative prefer to use the 1992 'cloverleaf version' of The Co-operative brand. In May 2016, The Co-operative Group reverted to the use of its 1968 Co-op cloverleaf branding.[1]

In March 2009, The Co-operative Group acquired the Somerfield supermarket retailer for £1.57bn from a group of private equity investors. The Somerfield Head Office in Bristol was subsequently closed and the grocery stores were either sold to rivals or integrated into its own Co-op Food division. In 2016, The Co-operative Group sold 298 smaller convenience stores to McColl's.

The majority of products sold in "Co-op Food" shops are sourced collectively through Co-operative Federal Trading Services although stocking decisions and pricing are determined by the individual businesses.

List of UK Co-operatives with food retail operations[edit]

Though often considered to be one supermarket business, The Co-operative Food is a network of supermarkets and convenience shops owned and operated by over 15 independent co-operative societies, many of which have adopted the 2008 version of The Co-operative brand. In total there are over 4,000 co-operative food shops in the UK. The table below indicates how many food shops each co-operative society operates.

Work with Amazon and use of facial recognition technology[edit]

In 2021, the Co-op started selling food online through Amazon, using robots to deliver groceries. The move was criticised by the GMB union, which has been campaigning for improved worker rights at Amazon.[2]

The company has also started trialling facial recognition technology to identify potential shoplifters. The NGO Privacy International has written to the Co-op about their use of the technology.[3]

Co-operative Society Number of Outlets Incarnation of The Co-operative brand
The Co-operative Group 2,774 2016 cloverleaf
Central England Co-operative 261 2008 version
The Midcounties Co-operative 234 2008 version / ICA logo
Southern Co-operative 213 2008 version
Scotmid 206 own version / ICA logo
East of England Co-operative Society 132 own version
Lincolnshire Co-operative 84 1993 cloverleaf
Chelmsford Star Co-operative 42 2008 version
Heart of England Co-operative 33 2008 version
Channel Islands Co-operative Society 26 own version
Radstock Co-operative Society 16 2008 version
Tamworth Co-operative 12 2008 version
Clydebank Co-operative Society 6 1993 cloverleaf
Allendale Co-op 1 own version
Coniston Co-op 1 own version / 1993 cloverleaf
Grosmont Co-operative Society 1 own version


A Co-op food truck outside a store in Cockfosters

Co-op Food Supply Chain Logistics is the distribution business of The Co-operative Group that manages the national and international distribution of goods on behalf of all the food retailing co-operative societies who are members of Co-operative Federal Trading Services. The Co-operative Group manages all of its own logistics and most of its delivery operations, although several distribution centres use third party logistics partners to manage their transport operations. Supply Chain Logistics Head Office is co-located at the Birtley Distribution Centre.

Co-op Food Supply Chain Logistics has 8 regional composite distribution centres and 3 smaller satellite depots supporting the larger CDCs. The Coventry-based National Distribution Centre (NDC) supplies all distribution centres direct, with slow moving lines.

Depot Name Location Products Transport Operation
Birtley (Logistics Head Office) Birtley, County Durham Ambient, Frozen (picked in Newhouse), Chilled, Meat and Produce Co-op SCL
Andover Andover, Hampshire Ambient, Frozen, Chilled, Meat and Produce XPO Logistics
Avonmouth Avonmouth, Bristol Ambient, Frozen (picked in Andover), Chilled, Meat and Produce XPO Logistics
Castlewood Mansfield, Derbyshire Ambient, Frozen (picked in Lea Green), Chilled, Meat and Produce Co-op SCL
Lea Green St Helens, Merseyside Ambient, Frozen, Chilled, Meat and Produce Wincanton
Newhouse Lanarkshire, Scotland Ambient, Frozen, Chilled, Meat and Produce Co-op SCL
Thurrock West Thurrock, Essex Ambient, Frozen (picked in Andover), Chilled, Meat and Produce Co-op SCL
Cardinal Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire Ambient (picked in Castlewood), Frozen (picked in Andover), Chilled, Meat and Produce Wincanton
Coventry (NDC) Coventry, West Midlands Slow moving lines. Eddie Stobart
Inverness Highlands, Scotland Satellite depot for Northern Scotland Co-op SCL
Carrickfergus County Antrim, N Ireland Satellite depot for Northern Ireland Co-op SCL
Plymouth Plymouth, Devon Satellite depot for South Western England Co-op SCL
Leicester Leicester Ambient,Chilled, Meat and Produce depot for Leicestershire Central England Co-operative


Members of The Co-operative Group and participating regional societies earn one membership point for every £1.00 spent at The Co-operative Food. Points are converted into dividend at a rate agreed annually by the Board.[4]

In September 2016, The Co-operative Group launched a new membership, decreasing the amount members earn from 5% to 2%, and increasing the amount spent on charity from 1% to 2%.

Product ranges[edit]

Co-op Food ranges currently are (as of May 2016):

  • Co-op – standard own brand range
  • Irresistible – premium food and drink
  • Free From – suitable for customers with food allergies
  • Gro – Vegetarian own brand range
  • Honest Value – Low price range

Co-op Food ranges formerly were:

  • Loved By Us – standard own brand range
  • Truly Irresistible – premium food and drink
  • Home Baking – home baking range
  • Simply Value – low price range

In November 2020, the "Honest Value" range was launched as a lower priced range.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Us",, retrieved 23 May 2016
  2. ^ "Co-op faces criticism as it begins selling groceries via Amazon". the Guardian. 16 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  3. ^ Nast, Condé. "Co-op is using facial recognition tech to scan and track shoppers". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  4. ^ The Co-operative Membership The Co-operative Group (retrieved 20 August 2009)
  5. ^ Hegarty, Ronan (21 October 2020). "Co-op cuts branded and own-label prices and adds new Honest Value range". The Grocer.

External links[edit]