Co-op Food

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Co-op Food
TypeGroceries retailer
Founded23 July 1850
HeadquartersManchester, United Kingdom
Number of locations
2,564 (2022)[1]
RevenueIncrease £7.8 billion (2022)[1]
Decrease £139 million (2022)[1]
OwnerBrand managed by The Co-operative Group
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. 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.[2]

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 Federal Retail 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.

Co-operative Society Number of Outlets Version of The Co-operative brand
The Co-operative Group 2,774 2016 cloverleaf
Central England Co-operative 261 ICA logo
The Midcounties Co-operative 234 ICA logo
Southern Co-operative 213 own version
Scotmid 206 ICA logo
East of England Co-operative Society 132 own version
Lincolnshire Co-operative 93 1993 cloverleaf
Chelmsford Star Co-operative 42 ICA logo [3]
Heart of England Co-operative 33 2008 version
Channel Islands Co-operative Society 26 ICA logo
Radstock Co-operative Society 16 own version
Tamworth Co-operative Society 12 2008 version
Clydebank Co-operative Society 6 1993 cloverleaf
Allendale Co-operative Society 1 own version
Coniston Co-op 1 own version / 1993 cloverleaf
Grosmont Co-operative Society 1 own version

Work with Amazon[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.[4]


A Co-op food truck outside a store in Cockfosters

Co-op 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 Retail Trading Services. The Co-operative Group manages all of its own warehouses and most of its own transport 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 Supply Chain Logistics has 9 regional distribution centres (RDCs) and 3 smaller local service centres (LSCs) servicing the outer extremities of the UK. The Coventry-based National Distribution Centre (NDC) supplies all distribution centres with slower moving ambient lines and tobacco.

Depot Name Location Products Transport Operation
Birtley RDC Birtley, County Durham Ambient, Frozen (picked in Newhouse), Chilled, Meat and Produce Co-op SCL
Andover RDC & Frozen Hub Andover, Hampshire Ambient, Frozen, Chilled, Meat and Produce GXO Logistics
Avonmouth RDC Avonmouth, Bristol Ambient, Frozen (picked in Andover), Chilled, Meat and Produce GXO Logistics
Castlewood RDC Mansfield, Derbyshire Ambient, Frozen (picked in Lea Green), Chilled, Meat and Produce Co-op SCL
Lea Green RDC & Frozen Hub St Helens, Merseyside Ambient, Frozen, Chilled, Meat and Produce GXO Logistics
Newhouse RDC & Frozen Hub Lanarkshire, Scotland Ambient, Frozen, Chilled, Meat and Produce Co-op SCL
Thurrock RDC West Thurrock, Essex Ambient, Frozen (picked in Biggleswade), Chilled, Meat and Produce Co-op SCL
Biggleswade RDC & Frozen Hub Biggleswade, Bedfordshire Ambient, Frozen, Chilled, Meat and Produce Co-op SCL
Coventry NDC Coventry, West Midlands Slow Moving Ambient and Tobacco Eddie Stobart
Dalcross LSC Inverness, Scotland Local service centre for Northern Scotland Co-op SCL
Carrickfergus LSC County Antrim, Northern Ireland Local service centre for Northern Ireland Co-op SCL
Plymouth LSC Plymouth, Devon Local service centre for South Western England Co-op SCL
Wellingborough RDC Wellingborough, Northamptonshire Ambient, Frozen (picked in Biggleswade), Chilled, Meat and Produce Wincanton


Members of The Co-operative Group and participating regional societies earn one membership point for every £1 spent at The Co-operative Food. Points are converted into dividend at a rate agreed annually by the Board.[5]

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 September 2023):

  • Co-op – standard own brand range
  • Irresistible – premium food and drink
  • Free From – suitable for customers with food allergies
  • Gro – Plant-based 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.[6]

Delivery Robots[edit]

Delivery robots outside of a co-op store

Starting in March 2020 Starship Technologies delivery robots can deliver goods directly to customers from stores in Cambourne, Milton Keynes and Leeds areas of the UK.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Co-op Annual Report & Accounts for 2022" (PDF). Co-op Group. p. 22. Retrieved 20 April 2023.
  2. ^ "About Us",, retrieved 23 May 2016
  3. ^ Bennett, Kev (6 September 2023). "International Co-op logo comes to our food stores". Chelmsford Star Co-operative.
  4. ^ "Co-op faces criticism as it begins selling groceries via Amazon". The Guardian. 16 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  5. ^ The Co-operative Membership The Co-operative Group (retrieved 20 August 2009)
  6. ^ Hegarty, Ronan (21 October 2020). "Co-op cuts branded and own-label prices and adds new Honest Value range". The Grocer.
  7. ^ Farrell, Steve (1 April 2019). "Co-op expands robot deliveries to second store". The Grocer. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  8. ^ Ingham, Lucy (16 March 2020). "Robot delivery service comes to first UK town centre". Verdict. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  9. ^ "Milton Keynes now has 'world's largest autonomous robot fleet' as Starship expand further". Starship Technologies (Press release). Retrieved 6 November 2020 – via MKFM.
  10. ^ "Robot supermarket delivery trial in Cambridgeshire". BBC News. 17 May 2022. Retrieved 20 May 2022.
  11. ^ "Robot grocery delivery service to expand in Northamptonshire". BBC News. 15 July 2022.
  12. ^ Dempsey, Michael (8 August 2022). "Are we falling in love with robots?". BBC News.
  13. ^ Events, UKi Media & (1 December 2022). "Starship and Co-op to provide autonomous grocery deliveries in Leeds". Parcel and Postal Technology International. Retrieved 1 December 2022.

External links[edit]