Last reviewed: 29 Sept 2021

Content guidelines

Word list

Common words and phrases we use to make Co-op content consistent and understandable.

Communicating about Co-op

1 Angel Square

The name of Co-op’s building in Manchester. The name and address is  1 Angel Square.

Do not refer to it as ‘head office’, ‘headquarters’ or ‘1AS’.

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

#BeingCoop Awards

An annual event which recognises colleagues who have demonstrated the Ways of Being Co-op.

board members


Do not call people who work at Co-op ‘staff’.


Co-op starts with an upper case 'C' and is hyphenated.

Use: ‘At Co-op we…’

Not: ‘At the Co-op we…’

That’s because we know that customers often refer to our food stores as ‘the Co-op’, so it can cause confusion to use ‘the Co-op’ if we’re referring to another part of Co-op.

Capitalise our businesses, for example, Co-op Food and Co-op Funeralcare . You can refer to them without ‘Co-op’, for example, ‘our Funeralcare business’.

Use ‘our Co-op’ with caution. ‘Our' may be unclear and may mean something different to your audience. If you use it, only use it when communicating internally.

Do not use ‘Co-op Group’ or ‘the Group’.

the Co-op board

The Co-op board oversees Co-op’s overall strategy and is elected by our members.

Co-op National Members’ Council

Our National Members’ Council is made up of 100 Co-op Members from around the UK, including colleagues.

Use the full title where possible. You can also refer to it as ‘our Members’ Council’.

Co-op Young Members’ Group (CYMG)

A group of 6 young members who work with Co-op on specific projects.

Use the full title at least the first time you refer to the group. You can then use:

  • ‘our Young Members’ Group’
  • ‘CYMG’, as long as you’ve explained the acronym earlier

Go to our guidelines on abbreviations, acronyms and initialisms.

Co-operating for a Fairer World

The Co-op vison, launched in 2020. Find out how colleagues are co-operating for a fairer world.

In a sentence, write in sentence case as ‘we're co-operating for a fairer world’.


Only use ‘co-operative’ when communicating about things like ‘the co-operative movement’ or ‘other co-operative societies’.

‘Co-op’ and ‘co-operative’ are always hyphenated. The only exceptions to this are:

  • on social media when using a hashtag such as #TheCoopWay or #BeingCoop
  • in a website address like

Co-operative Banking Group

No longer part of Co-op.

Co-operative Group Limited

The trading name of Co-op. Only use it if you must do for legal reasons.

co-operative movement

co-operative principles

co-operative societies

the council president

the council senate


And ‘stand for election’.

Leaders’ Weekly Update

A weekly email to Co-op colleagues.

member nominated directors

members’ motion

A proposal that's voted on by members at Co-op’s AGM. Motions can be put forward by our business, our Members’ Council or by individual members.

other co-operatives

Not ‘other co-ops’.

Rochdale Pioneers

The Rochdale Pioneers are regarded as the founders of the Co-operative Movement.

Ways of Being Co-op

The 4 Ways of Being Co-op guide our future.

They are:

  • do what matters most
  • be yourself, always
  • show you care
  • succeed together

Food and recipes

aduki beans

Not ‘Adzuki beans’.



Go to our guidelines on how to write about alcohol.



baking tray

Not ‘baking sheet’.

barbeque or BBQ

Not 'barbie' or ‘barbecue’.

beers, wines and spirits

To describe what might be referred to internally as ‘BWS’.




brussels sprouts

Not ‘Brussels’ with a capital B.

bulgur wheat


canned food

Not ‘tin’ or ‘tinned’.


Not ‘Canelloni’.


Not 'Cardamon'.

char sui

Not ‘Char Siu’.


Capitalise if there’s a place name or it’s trademarked. For example, Stilton, Comté, Gruyère, Parmesan, feta, halloumi, goat’s cheese, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano.

chick pea or chick peas

chilli or chillies

cling film or non-PVC cling film

Not ‘clingfilm’.

clove of garlic

Not 'garlic clove'.

coconut oil

Not ‘copra oil’.


Confectionary with an 'a' is for shops selling or making sweets.




cotton wool balls

cotton wool buds

cotton wool pads

crème fraÎche




Not ‘donuts’ except ‘Dunkin’ Donuts’.


every day and everyday

‘Every day’ means daily, as in ‘open every day’. 'Everyday' is an adjective used to describe something as humdrum or normal, for example, ‘shoes for everyday wear’.


Use for Fairtrade products or the Fairtrade initiative. For example: ‘We’re proud to support Fairtrade’ or ‘All our bagged sugar is Fairtrade’.

fair trade

The theory and practice of fair trade, where producers in developing countries are paid a fair price for the goods they supply to companies in developed countries.


The formal certification on products which contain ingredients certified by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO).

Fairtrade Fortnight

An annual celebration of Fairtrade used as a focus point for campaigners, businesses and the Fairtrade Foundation to educate the public on the benefits of Fairtrade. For example 'Join us in celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight'.

Father’s day

fish cake

Not ‘fishcake’.


free range

greaseproof paper

Not ‘baking paper’.




health and beauty

To describe what might be referred to internally as ‘HBA’ (health and beauty aids).

health care

high street

Lower case unless referring to the name of an actual street, for example, High Street, Manchester.





instore and in store

‘Instore’ can be used to reference availability of an item or an activity taking place in a store. For example, ‘instore bakery’, ‘prepared instore’ or ‘available instore’.

‘In store’, means forthcoming, as in ‘what have you got in store for me today’.

ice cream

irresistible and Irresistible

Capitalise when talking about a specific Co-op Irresistible product.

kiwi fruit

lemon grass


Not ‘Ltr’.

You can use 'l' after a number and after explaining ‘litre’ the first time you use it.

Go to our guidelines on abbreviations, acronyms and initialisms.

makeup and make up

‘Makeup’ when referring to cosmetics.

'Make up' when referring to making amends.

Manx or from the Isle of Man

margarita and margherita

‘Margarita’ is a cocktail.

'Margherita' is a type of pizza.


Not ‘microwavable’ without the 'e'.

Mother’s day



palm oil

Not ‘Palm Kernel Oil’.

part baked

Not ‘part-baked’ or ‘partbaked’.


panna cotta


Or ‘sieved tomato’ if an ingredient.




petits pains

petits pois




Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)

The name of an area, a specific place or, in exceptional cases, the name of a country, used as a designation for an agricultural product or a food.


quiche Lorraine


Not ‘raddicchio’ with two 'd's.

reduced fat

Go to our guidelines on words to use with caution.



rice wine

Not ‘sake’.


Not ‘roquette’.


self raising flour


serving suggestion


Not ‘eschallots’.



Not ‘Sichuan’.


Not ‘smoky’ or ‘Smokey’ with a capital S.

soya bean

soya powder

soy sauce


Not ‘cordial’.

stir fry



Not ‘Co-op shops’.


Not ‘sun-dried’.

swiss roll

teaspoonful or teaspoonsful


For example, ‘cake tin’.

Do not use to describe food and drinks packaging. Instead, use ‘can’ or ‘canned’.


Not ‘vinegarette’.

water chestnuts


Not Worcester.


Words to use with caution

When describing food and recipes, avoid vague terms and phrases as they can be open to misinterpretation. If you use them, explain what you mean.

Use these words with caution:

  • authentic
  • craft
  • farm fresh
  • fresh
  • hand made
  • healthy and healthier
  • homegrown
  • local, unless the product is made within 30 miles
  • lower price, unless there is a higher price for comparison
  • natural
  • original
  • reduced fat
  • traditional
  • wholesome

Food store terms


Cymru or Wales

Central and Eastern

East Midlands

East of England

Isle of Man


North East

North West

Northern Ireland


South East

South West

West Midlands

Yorkshire and the Humber

colleague website

customer care line

Double Discount

handheld terminal (HHT)

How do I

An online service for colleagues in food stores to find out Co-op store processes.

Instore bakery

To describe what might be referred to internally as ISB.

News & Mags

When referring to the app or team.

If writing about news and magazines generally, use ‘news and magazines’.

on-shelf advertising

Not point of sale.

self checkout

Not ‘self scan’ or ‘sco’.

shelf edge label (SEL)


Not shop.

support centre

Not head office.



Not cremated remains.

‘at the end of their life’ or ‘about to die’

Not ‘about to pass away’.

bereavement notification service

book of remembrance

bring them into our care

Not ‘collection’.


burial ground




cortege or funeral procession




Not ‘passed away’, ‘passed over’, ‘gone’ or any other phrase that could be misinterpreted.

Use ‘the person who has died’, not ‘the deceased’.

Use ‘loved one’ with caution and only if you are certain of a loving relationship between the person who has died and the person you’re communicating with.





Lower case even when you’re writing about the types of funerals Co-op offer, such as:

  • tailored funeral
  • essential funeral
  • direct cremation
  • direct burial

funeral director

Lower case, but capitalised if it’s in relation to an individual colleague’s job title, such as Sam Smith, Funeral Director.

funeral plan

Lower case unless you are using the title of a specific Co-op plan, such as:

  • Simple Plan
  • Bronze Plan
  • Silver Plan
  • Gold Plan
  • Direct Cremation Plan

Lower case when writing about types of funeral plans:

  • fixed funeral plans
  • memorial headstone plans
  • tailor-made plans

Funeralcare products

Lower case if writing about types of products such as:

  • coffins
  • flowers
  • headstones
  • memorial jewellery

Capitalise if writing about specific products, such as:

  • Scatter Tube
  • Ashes into Glass Collection
  • Classic Rose and Lily Spray

Co-op Funeralcare Funeral Home and funeral home

Capitalise when talking about a specific Co-op Funeralcare Funeral Home, lower case when speaking generally about funeral homes.

funeral stationery

garden of remembrance


Not ‘gravestone’ or ‘masonry’.


And ‘Land Rover hearse’.

memorial cards

memorial headstone

Use when talking about masonry.

memorial items

memorial jewellery

online tributes

order of service

pallbearers or 'people to carry the coffin'

Not 'bearers'.


procurator fiscal

private remembrance room

Not ‘chapel of rest’.

scatter ashes

the person who has died

Not 'the deceased'.

third party fees

Not ‘disbursements’.


visiting the person who has died

Not ‘viewing the person who has died’.

woodland burial ground


Allianz Insurance plc

Our pet insurance is offered through Co‑op Insurance Services and underwritten by Allianz Insurance plc.

Direct Debit


Travel insurance that covers more than one trip, for example ‘multi-trip travel insurance’.

MAPFRE Asistencia

Our travel insurance is offered through Co-op Insurance Services and underwritten by MAPFRE Asistencia.


Insurance that covers more than one pet, for example ‘multi-pet insurance’.

no claim discount

You can use the acronym ‘(NCD)’ if you’re using the term a lot in a short space, but explain the acronym at least the first time you use it. For example ‘Your no claim discount (NCD) is…'

Go to our guidelines on abbreviations, acronyms and initialisms.

safe driving discount


Travel insurance cover for a specific trip, for example ‘single-trip travel insurance’.

The Royal London Group

Our life cover is offered through Co-op Insurance Services and is provided, underwritten and administered by The Royal London Group.


For example, ‘If your car is written-off by the garage…’.

Use ‘write off’ where appropriate, for example, 'We will write off your car if it’s too broken to repair.’

Wunelli Ltd

Wunelli Ltd is an independent company who we have appointed to supply and install black boxes.


colleague member

Community Partnerships Fund

The Community Partnerships Fund helps us partner with like-minded organisations to co-operate for a fairer world.

Co-op App

Co-op Membership and membership

Use a capital 'M' when referring specifically to a:

  • Co-op Member
  • Co-op Membership account
  • Co-op Membership card
  • Co-op Membership number

Use a lower case 'm' when referring generally to:

  • a member
  • a membership account
  • a membership card
  • a membership number

Co-op Offers and offers

Use a capital O when referencing Co-op Offers specifically, but lowercase everywhere else.

Join In

Join In is an opportunity for members to shape our products and services by taking part in surveys, forums and online events.

Use lower case when talking about members ‘joining in’.

local causes

Local Community Fund

The Co-op Local Community Fund supports projects across the UK that our members care about.

local community

Member Pioneer

Member Pioneers bring together Co-op Members, colleagues and local causes to make communities a better place to work, play, live and learn.

partner member


Members earn rewards, not points.

temporary card


Facilities Management

Consider shortening this to ‘facilities’ if that’s what your audience would naturally say.

National Operations Centre (NOC)

The outsourced call centre that handles all Facilities Management enquiries. Consider shortening this to ‘call facilities’ if that’s what your audience would naturally say.

non-trading property

Non-trading properties are buildings that are not used to serve members and customers. These include residential properties like flats, commercial properties and agricultural land.

Property or property

Only start ‘Property' with a capital letter if you’re writing about the Property Team. If you’re writing generally about property, use ‘property’ with lower case.

The Property team is responsible for buying, selling and looking after Co-op’s 6,000 buildings across the UK. It’s not called ‘Estates’ or ‘Estates Services’ any more.

residential property

Where people live, like flats and houses.

trading property

Trading properties are the buildings that our colleagues use to serve our members and customers. These include food stores, funeral branches, depots and offices.

Changelog for this page

Date Notes
26 Jan 2022 Prompted by feedback, and confirmed by colleagues in brand, we’ve added ‘Co-operating for a Fairer World’ as Co-op’s vision, and removed ‘Stronger Co-op, Stronger Communities’ as Co-op’s 5 year plan.
30 Sept 2021 First version of page published

Get support

Co-op Digital colleagues can get support in our dedicated Slack channel:


Sign up for email updates

Get updates about changes and developments.

Sign up

Copyright © Co-operative Group Limited. All rights reserved.