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UK Consumers Hit Hard by Rising Cost of Food

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UK Consumers Hit Hard by Rising Cost of Food

UK Consumers Hit Hard by Rising Cost of Food
July 26
13:45 2011

Rising food prices are forcing UK consumers to make changes to their shopping habits, says Which? A new national survey from the consumer champion found that 84% of people are worried about the rising cost of food – and yet, as figures reveal that the rate of inflation has fallen slightly, food prices continue to climb.

Nine in 10 people have noticed an increase in food prices over the last year, and a third told Which? they had already reduced their spending on groceries this year. 39% are now using discount supermarkets more than they had previously.

People have also changed which foods they are buying to cope with higher food prices, switching to cheaper brands, bigger ‘value’ packs and more economy supermarket own-brands. Shoppers are also putting less organic food in their baskets, with 38% now less likely to buy organic meat, and 43% cutting back on organic fruit and vegetables.

Which? looked at over 200 everyday items from the big four supermarkets and found that consumers can make some simple savings without compromising on taste by swapping some premium products for cheaper foods. Budget versions of fish, cheese, butter, natural yoghurt and dried spaghetti were all recommended to try for everyday use in place of more expensive alternatives.

“Our research shows that despite inflation falling slightly in June, people are still feeling the squeeze from soaring food prices,” says Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd. “People are changing their behaviour and becoming more savvy shoppers when it comes to groceries, but there’s only so much they can do to cut back on the basics. We’ll be investigating supermarket pricing over the coming months, and doing everything we can to give people the advice they need to make those crucial savings.”

Which? is talking to economists, the food industry and government to find out what is really driving the increasing cost of food, and what can be done to address rising prices.

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