A new Co-op food store has been unveiled at Keele Students’ Union with the hopes that it will give students and staff a wider range of fresh and affordable food. The new franchise, which officially opened on 2nd September, replaced the Costcutter store which previously occupied the unit.
You might think, well it is just a shop, and you would be partially right, but there are some differences.
The Co-op boasts a wider range of products than the previous Costcutter store, from Fairtrade to vegan products, and will also aim to provide better value for students. The store offers a 10% discount for TOTUM card holders. In fact, the Co-op is the only grocer to offer such a discount.
Everground, the Co-op’s new Fairtrade hot drinks brand, will also be served, with tea, coffee and hot chocolate available within store.
Keele’s Co-op franchise is the seventh university branch to open and the first in Staffordshire. There are already franchises across six other universities, including Kent, Leeds, Newcastle, Stirling and Oxford Brookes. Opening these branches is part of the Co-op’s strategy to get closer to communities, as well as addressing what they care about and what they want and need.
The Head of new channels at the Co-op, Martin Rogers, said: “We are delighted to add Keele to our ever-growing portfolio, and to welcome these students and the community.
“Our university franchise stores are a great opportunity for us to grow our brand, share our values, and get our products into the hands of the next generation of customers and members. As the exclusive retail grocery store franchise partner for the NUS, we are already serving around 150,000 students up and down the country.”
Keele SU’s Union Development and Democracy Officer, Holly Brooks, said: “I’m super excited to announce the launch of Keele SU’s Co-op, which is focussed on sustainability, connecting communities, and ethics. I believe the Co-op will provide a shop that is made for Keele students, with a variety of healthy, fresh, affordable food; addressing issues some students have raised.”
“I’m also excited to try Co-op’s growing vegetarian and vegan range, and work with them on green projects!”
Whether the new Co-op store will be popular with students will be revealed as the new term starts later this month, but the new franchise – along with a new Greggs store opening later this year – will undoubtedly give students more options for food and drink on campus.