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)
An annual event which recognises colleagues who have demonstrated the Ways of Being Co-op.
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
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 coop.co.uk
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.
the council president
the council senate
And ‘stand for election’.
Leaders’ Weekly Update
A weekly email to Co-op colleagues.
member nominated directors
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.
Not ‘other co-ops’.
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.
- do what matters most
- be yourself, always
- show you care
- succeed together
Food and recipes
Not ‘Adzuki beans’.
Not ‘baking sheet’.
barbeque or BBQ
Not 'barbie' or ‘barbecue’.
beers, wines and spirits
To describe what might be referred to internally as ‘BWS’.
Not ‘Brussels’ with a capital B.
Not ‘tin’ or ‘tinned’.
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
clove of garlic
Not 'garlic clove'.
Not ‘copra oil’.
Confectionary with an 'a' is for shops selling or making sweets.
cotton wool balls
cotton wool buds
cotton wool pads
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’.
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).
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'.
Not ‘baking paper’.
health and beauty
To describe what might be referred to internally as ‘HBA’ (health and beauty aids).
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’.
irresistible and Irresistible
Capitalise when talking about a specific Co-op Irresistible product.
You can use 'l' after a number and after explaining ‘litre’ the first time you use it.
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'.
Not ‘Palm Kernel Oil’.
Not ‘part-baked’ or ‘partbaked’.
Or ‘sieved tomato’ if an ingredient.
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.
Not ‘raddicchio’ with two 'd's.
self raising flour
Not ‘smoky’ or ‘Smokey’ with a capital S.
Not ‘Co-op shops’.
teaspoonful or teaspoonsful
For example, ‘cake tin’.
Do not use to describe food and drinks packaging. Instead, use ‘can’ or ‘canned’.
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:
- farm fresh
- hand made
- healthy and healthier
- local, unless the product is made within 30 miles
- lower price, unless there is a higher price for comparison
- reduced fat
Food store terms
Cymru or Wales
Central and Eastern
East of England
Isle of Man
Yorkshire and the Humber
customer care line
handheld terminal (HHT)
How do I
An online service for colleagues in food stores to find out Co-op store processes.
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’.
Not point of sale.
Not ‘self scan’ or ‘sco’.
shelf edge label (SEL)
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
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
Lower case, but capitalised if it’s in relation to an individual colleague’s job title, such as Sam Smith, Funeral Director.
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
Lower case if writing about types of products such as:
- 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.
garden of remembrance
Not ‘gravestone’ or ‘masonry’.
And ‘Land Rover hearse’.
Use when talking about masonry.
order of service
pallbearers or 'people to carry the coffin'
private remembrance room
Not ‘chapel of rest’.
the person who has died
Not 'the deceased'.
third party fees
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.
Travel insurance that covers more than one trip, for example ‘multi-trip travel insurance’.
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…'
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 is an independent company who we have appointed to supply and install black boxes.
Community Partnerships Fund
The Community Partnerships Fund helps us partner with like-minded organisations to co-operate for a fairer world.
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 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 Community Fund
The Co-op Local Community Fund supports projects across the UK that our members care about.
Member Pioneers bring together Co-op Members, colleagues and local causes to make communities a better place to work, play, live and learn.
Members earn rewards, not points.
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 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.
Where people live, like flats and houses.
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
|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|