North-east food and drink businesses are introducing festive deals and offerings this Christmas to encourage people to support local shops after a difficult year for the industry.
And the North-East Now festive campaign is also urging shoppers to visit city and Aberdeenshire venues over coming weeks.
The campaign will run until the end of December with the aim of shining a light on the different ways shoppers can do their bit to help regional firms.
With so many north-east companies continuing to adapt and diversify to overcome the impact of Covid-19, giving friends and family produce created locally this festive period is sure to make a positive difference.
This could include Six Degrees North’s limited edition Christmas hamper for beer aficionados. The team has launched its festive hamper to “promote local independent businesses this Christmas and encourage the public to “think local”.
The hampers comprise of 31 items – from beers, gins and lemonade to chocolate, biltong, cheese, coffee, biscuits and cakes.
Matthew Bennett, a brewer at Six Degrees North, said: “Our team had to adapt to the situation and react accordingly.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in direct sales from our online shop – a lifeline for us in lockdown.”
Each hamper is delivered in a reusable wicker basket with a Christmas card that can be personalised to include a message.
Other businesses include Burnside Brewery, Brew Toon, Alexander’s Gin, Cocoa Ooze, Angus & Oink, Macbeans, Mackie’s of Scotland, Big Beefys Biltong and Cambus O’May Cheese. Ace Kombucha, Summerhouse Drinks, Nom Nom Fudge, Mckenzies, Shona’s Shortbread, Devenick Dairy and Sweet Toots Cakery are also involved.
Fellow local business Esker Spirits, a family-run distillery based in Deeside, is also offering fantastic products over the festive period.
Director Lynne Duthie said: “Honestly, after all the waiting for the lockdown to come, it was almost a relief – there seemed very little point in worrying as there was very little anyone could do to influence the future.
“However, orders from our customers stopped overnight. Our team has turned its attention to the things we can influence – by stepping up our offering via our own online store and making sure we keep in touch with our customers via social media.”
Esker Spirits got involved in North-East Now’s Power Hour initiative in June, which Lynne said she was proud to be a part of.
The online database has pulled together a range of information, directories and blogs to tell people all about local firms operating throughout the pandemic, such as eco-friendly Aberdeen-based store Refillosophy.
Owner Gina Adie launched the business in July during the pandemic. As well as offering fresh fruit and vegetables and baked goods, the zero-waste shop also stocks locally produced products with the aim of making sustainable living easy and accessible to everyone.
It will operate over winter selling its usual stock along with festive products including Christmas decorations made of natural materials and handmade gift bags.
Gina said: “The initial lockdown caused a delay in the opening of Refillosophy, but, like the majority of people, I just wanted to ensure everyone stayed safe. The past year has reignited a desire in many to shop local and support small, local businesses, so I suppose we should take this positive from it.”
The ongoing campaign is driven by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce and supported by creative agency Hampton and Aberdeen Journals.
Visit northeastnow.scot to find out more.
Support The Press and Journal today.
The Press and Journal is committed to delivering quality content to our communities and right now that’s more important than ever, which is why our key content is free. However you can support us and access premium content by subscribing to The Press and Journal from just £5.99 a month.Subscribe