SCOTLAND’S local food economy has soared amid social distancing and an increased focus on community, a food and drink expert has said.

Businesses are enjoying a surge in home delivery orders with Graham’s Family Dairy seeing doorstep delivery orders treble, while one independent Scottish record shop has said that its online sales of CDs and vinyl have grown significantly over the past two months, as people embrace music during lockdown.

Accountancy firm Johnston Carmichael says Scotland’s local food economy is seeing an unprecedented boost as consumers focus on home delivery and convenience retail amid wellbeing concerns.

Adam Hardie, partner and head of food and drink at Johnston Carmichael, revealed the position after hosting a series of webinars with sector leaders from across Scotland.

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Mr Hardie said: “Direct-to-consumer sales, known in the industry as D2C and by everyone else as good old-fashioned home deliveries, are off the chart right now. It may have been forced on some businesses from necessity, but the pace and scale of this change has been astonishing. Some of our clients have experienced a tripling of turnover.

“Some consumers turned away from supermarkets because of the fear of social distancing but it is clear, that something much bigger is going on.

“What we are seeing is a much greater focus on community and sustainability. Demand for local, healthy produce that minimises waste and food miles is soaring.”

Among the businesses which have stepped up their D2C sales is Eden Mill, based just outside St Andrews.

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The distiller introduced virtual gin tasting experiences which include a sample box purchased online, with its first such event selling out.

Graham’s The Family Dairy, Scotland’s number one dairy brand based in Bridge of Allan, has seen a threefold increase in doorstep orders after expanding their service to include milk, including Gold Top, as well as eggs, cream, butter, Skyr and Protein 22.

Robert Graham, of Graham’s The Family Dairy, said: “We had always hoped in time to build up our doorstep service and dairy offer, but this has now taken priority.

“We understand that some people are unable to leave their homes and others are looking for alternative options to the supermarkets, so we very quickly mobilised our teams across the country to be in a position to offer this personal service to more people and areas across Scotland.”

Meanwhile, record shop Assai said that its sales of CDs and vinyl have grown as it trades online via Amazon, with its two shops in Dundee and Edinburgh closed.