The lockdowns have changed almost every aspect of our lives including the way we experience supermarkets and shopping. As shops enforce social distancing measures such as one-in-one-out system the queues to enter our favourite delis now stretch around the block.
It's hard to predict the long-lasting impact of these circumstances, with both the practical experience and personal attitudes disrupted. While food waste in the UK expected to surge after supermarket sales jumped and restaurants were ordered to close, the demand for food shops and the way they need to be built will be affected.
Thankfully, most of our favourite local shops and suppliers are now taking online orders and it is not impossible to source organic and environmentally friendly food while staying safe and self-isolated. Here are our picks of the best in London.
A well-established chain, Planet Organic is a healthy food haven with organic fruit & vegetables to organic bread from artisan London bakeries. Their over-flowing groceries range is full of gluten-free, dairy-free, raw food and healthy options, while their Health & Body care department stocks the best natural beauty brands and a wide range of high-quality health supplements.
For London orders that include fresh and chilled products, they release London Pick Your Day delivery slots every Monday and Thursday for the following week. For UK-wide orders and London orders without fresh and chilled products, they release delivery slots on a daily basis.
They are limiting all products to four per customer, i.e. four bags of pasta to ensure enough food to feed our communities as long as we all shop responsibly. All food counters have also been closed.
This family-run, north London-based independent cheesemaker has been on our radar for a while as we love everything Mediterranean. Staying true to their Cypriot background, Kupros Dairy sources raw milk from ewes in Lancashire and turns it into award-winning British halloumi which they named “anglum”. They have been favoured by many chefs and since the coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted their business due to cafe and restaurant closures, Kupros has turned digital. In addition to their cheese, they also offer “essentials” grocery service, available for collection and delivery from its hub in north London and collection from its base in Surrey. The essentials package costs £55 and includes fresh bread, eggs, milk, cheese, flour, pasta, and pastries, as well as other supplies.
This chef-only supplier has gone digital and now available for home deliveries. "As delivery slots become scarcer and getting food home becomes more of a struggle," they announced on their social media "we want to help in every way we can." Definitely an upside to COVID trauma as Londoners are now able to order amazing fruit and veg. They take orders via an app which has historically been only available to the hospitality industry. The app comes with a seasonal planner as Natoora has been known to radically challenge the food supply chains but only sourcing seasonal produce that highlights the true cost of farming protects the land from soil depletion and favours sustainable, nutritionally dense crops with revolutionary flavour. They deliver daily to Zones 1 - 4 for £6 and there is no minimum order. Items will often come in larger sizes from what you might expect. They advise to check the Quantity Guide before adding to your basket. Delivery is within a week. This is a posh option but definitely worth the taste.
Based in London’s famous New Covent Garden Market, First Choice are wholesale suppliers for the restaurant & hotel industry but with restaurants closed they have also turned to home deliveries. Their small fruit & veg box is great for the smaller household wanting a wide variety of fresh produce. You can also choose items individually from fresh produce to food cupboard essentials for your delivery. They deliver 7 days a week across Greater London and due to high demand, current delivery is within 2-4 days.