Salad Days For Students Who Get "Fresher" At The Co-operative Food With NUS Extra Card

September 23, 2014

The stereotypical student diet of booze, beans and biscuits could be a thing of the past according to new research released by The Co-operative Food today (Tuesday, 23 September).

Over 10 million purchases were analysed to reveal the shopping habits of savvy students who receive a 10% discount on groceries* at the community-based retailer’s 2,800 stores when they use their NUS Extra card.

Reassuringly for parents, fresh fruit, vegetables and, chicken, are among the food and drink items most frequently purchased. While a desire for home comforts earns crumpets a top 10 listing.

Beyond the essentials of milk and bread, breakfast favourites prove to be the most popular with eggs, bacon and croissants in the top 20. And, outside the top 20, students’ with a sweet-tooth are more likely to crack open a Crème Egg (31st) than any other chocolate product. In the annual cardholder survey carried out by NUS Extra, The Co-operative Food was found to be the discount “used most regularly by NUS Extra cardholders”, followed by New Look; Amazon; Superdrug; ASOS; Odeon and, Pizza Express.

Andrew Mann, Customer Director, The Co-operative Food, said:

“Students are facing increasing financial pressures while studying, and are becoming more savvy when it comes to food shopping. Many students are living away from home for the first time, and learning to live and cook on a budget. The Co-operative is committed to delivering quality products at great prices in convenient locations, and with around 2,800 stores across the UK, students can use their discount wherever they live or study – good news for students and reassuring for parents.

“As a parent myself, It’s great to see that the purchases being made are not in-line with many people’s perception of what a stereotypical student diet would look like. Whether it’s the resurgence in cooking from scratch, or increased awareness of the importance of making healthy choices, it seems that many students are well on their way to their “five-a-day” and, choosing a more balanced and healthy diet.

"Alex Butcher, Partnership and Marketing Manager for NUS Extra, said:

"The objective of the partnership between NUS Extra and The Co-operative Food is to make grocery shopping more affordable for students, so it is very encouraging to not only see students making the most of the 10% discount, but using it to make good, healthy choices when it comes to their diet. The Co-operative Food is an ideal partner for the NUS, as a community-based retailer, with a store in every UK postal area, it is a perfect choice for students picking up food on their way to and from lectures.”

NUS Extra sold more than 650,000 cards last year and The Co-operative Food became the only food retailer to offer a student discount when it joined the scheme 12 months ago.

The 10% discount for students is in addition to The Co-operative’s price investment to lower prices on hundreds of everyday essentials. Dubbed, “Fair & Square prices,” The Co-operative’s campaign aims to provide quality food at lower prices in order to transform the community shopping experience for customers, including items such as its own-brand 75p farmhouse loaf.

The NUS Extra card costs £12 for a full 12 months of savings from the date of purchase. Profits from sales of the card generates much needed income for Students’ Unions and funding for NUS student welfare campaigns.

For further details and information, or to apply for a NUS Extra card, visit
For more information about in-store discounts available for students at The Co-operative Food visit


Position Items most frequently purchased Position Items most frequently purchased
1 Milk 11 Lemon
2 Bananas 12 Coca-Cola
3 Tomatoes 13 Broccoli
4 Cucumber 14 Rindless back bacon
5 Closed cup mushrooms  15 Doritos cool original
6 Mixed peppers  16 British chicken breast fillet
7 Free range eggs 17 Blueberries
8 Crumpets 18 Strawberries
9 Bread 19 Deep fill chicken & bacon sandwich
10 Croissants 20 The Co-operative Fresh Lean Beef Steak Mince
* Exclusions apply: Baby milk, stamps, saving schemes, National Lottery & Health Lottery purchases, gift vouchers, phone cards, in-store concessions, PayPoint, currency, fuel, cigarettes & tobacco, newspaper delivery and electrical goods.


For further information please contact:
Andrew Torr
The Co-operative Group Press Office
Tel: 07702 505551

Notes to Editors:
For more information about The Co-operative Food visit
The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest co-operative business, whose purpose is “Championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities.” Owned by over eight million members, The Co-operative Group operates a total of 4,500 outlets, with around 87,000 employees and has an annual turnover of £11 billion with interests across food, funerals, insurance and legal services.

NUS Extra
NUS Extra is available to all students aged over 16 years, including distance learners and vocational students. It costs just £12 for a full 12 months of savings from the date of purchase. Last year, income from NUS extra raised £2.3m for student unions and over £4million for the student movement.

National Union of Students is a voluntary membership organisation which makes a real difference to the lives of students and its member students' unions. NUS is a confederation of 600 students' unions, amounting to more than 95 per cent of all higher and further education unions in the UK. Through its member students' unions, NUS represents the interests of more than seven million students.