Survey findings

The results are in!

A hearty thank you to the members (and non-members!) who completed our November 2021 Customer Satisfaction Survey.  Feedback is essential if we are to achieve our goal of meeting our members’ needs and we appreciate the time and thought put into your answers; this was the biggest response we’ve had to a member survey! This survey focused on identifying ways we can improve your shopping experience at the Co-op. A total of 766 surveys were submitted with a 100% completion rate. Here is a summary of your responses.


  • 46% of respondents would like the Co-op to sell organic and/or regeneratively raised meat
  • 39% of respondents would like the Co-op to sell frozen food including organic berries, ice cream, & ready-made meals
  • 30% of respondents would like the Co-op to sell an increased selection of bulk items

There were also lots of other suggestions including more vegan options, bulk milk, herbal medicines, and even undies! Here are a few more comments from the survey:

“We should create our own range like Lyttleton Stores does.”

“Please don’t have more packaged items. It’s the bulk buying that has reduced the amount of soft plastics I end up with at home.”

“I would love to see regeneratively raised meat at the Co-op, particularly chicken.”


  • 84% of respondents valued their membership because it gave them access to organic and local produce
  • 81% of respondents valued their membership because they know they are supporting a community-owned, not-for-profit organisation
  • 75% of respondents valued their membership because they were able to buy in bulk to reduce packaging and shop more sustainably
  • 55% of respondents would like to see the Co-op offer monthly specials
  • 37% of respondents would like to see more product information and sampling opportunities

Read some of the comments on membership value adding here:

“It would be nice to know how much we save each time we shop.”

“I’d like the Co-op to facilitate cooking lessons and workshops.”

“Talks about nutrition, sustainable supplies etc. would be good.”

“Encourage members to participate in Co-op strategic planning.”

Customer Service

  • 69% of respondents felt staff went out of their way to be friendly and helpful
  • 15% of respondents felt customer service was adequate and that staff are courteous but not overly helpful
  • 13% of respondents felt customer service was inconsistent and that some staff are very professional and other less so

The majority of comments regarding customer service were very positive.

“The Co-op is a vital part of our local community. The staff and volunteers do a fabulous job and I am really happy with the range of products and fresh produce. No complaints from our family of four. Love you Co-op!”

We also get that some people can feel intimidated by a close-knit community-owned shopping experience (as the comment below shows) and we aim to focus on more inclusivity going forward.

“Yeah, I kind of gird my loins going in – sometimes staff are cold and disinterested. You walk away feeling like you’re the wrong sort of person to be there – as if I’m not organic enough…is my vibe too token, am I just so white bread, is my karma broken?”

Accessibility & aesthetics

  • 31% of respondents said they would like to see greater accessibility and an improved layout of the shop
  • 28% of respondents said they would like to see online shopping and a delivery service introduced at the Co-op
  • 22% of respondents said they would like to see easier to use dispensers at the Co-op

Among the suggestions and comments re shop layout and general “vibe” many of you wished for a bigger premises that incorporated the main and little shop under one roof. Please believe we have exhausted every avenue to try to find such a space that is convenient for all members. The hunt continues! Here are a few more comments:

“There needs to be recognition of access issues for people with physical disabilities.”

“It can be hard to do a Co-op shop with a toddler and a pram sometimes, especially trying to get pram and groceries to the car. Online shopping and delivery could help this. I love shopping in store but sometimes it feels too hard.”

“I think the staff work really hard in quite a challenging physical space and I really appreciate their efforts to keep everything organised and tidy and to keep people flowing through the cashier space. On the whole, they are very successful at doing this. And that’s the only reason I put the final rank as ‘pretty good’ rather than amazing because it can be challenging getting your goods in the tight physical space especially when the Co-op is busy. We didn’t use it nearly as much during Covid but are returning now.”


  • 71% of respondents like to receive Co-op news and other information via the electronic newsletter
  • 45% of respondents like to receive Co-op news and other information via direct email

Where to now?

Management, together with the board, are looking at the results of the survey to determine areas we are able to action in the short term, like offering monthly member specials, as well as in the medium and long-term, like re-designing the shop layout. As always, we welcome your input and thank you for your commitment to not-for-profit cooperative shopping.

Here are some final comments from the survey:

“I think the Co-op does a great job, and I’m so grateful just to have the option of purchasing many low-impact food products in one place at reasonable prices. The fact that the co-op provides products that pass through an ethical and ecological screening is a huge bonus to me – I think we are privileged to have such an organisation and service in our community. Most Australians don’t. There are aspects of organisation and product-sourcing that might well be improved – e.g., some items seem surprisingly expensive while others are mostly good value – but I wouldn’t want such concerns to obscure the fact that the Co-op does a brilliant job! I think the Co-op would do well to stay focused on refining what it does well, and not trying to be everything to everybody regarding sustainable food. Thanks for all the great work!”

“I value the feeling that change happens from the community level and the Co-op allows me to participate in a way that enables me to feel like I am making a difference.”

“You guys rock!”

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