Four stories exploring the effect of the cost-of-living crisis as we enter the festive season

29 November 2022, 15:34 PM
  • As Christmas fast approaches, we take a look at the ways in which the cost-of-living crisis has affected consumer behaviour and independent retail
Four stories exploring the effect of the cost-of-living crisis as we enter the festive season

We take you back through four stories over the past couple of months that explore the effect of the cost-of-living crisis on shoppers and independent businesses.

Food inflation hits 40-year high to reach 14.5%
After 14 months of consecutive rises the annual inflation rate for food and non-alcoholic beverages is estimated to be at its highest since 1980, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Karen Betts, chief executive of industry body the Food and Drink Federation, explained, “Today marks a grim milestone with food and drink price inflation hitting 14.5%, according to CPIH data, a level not seen since the 1980s.”

Explore what this means for the food retail industry here.

Shoppers are buying less veg in the cost-of-living crisis
According to new research, vegetable sales are down by nine percent compared to last year. This matches a new survey by YouGov, in which 26% of participants said they had bought fewer fresh vegetables due to financial pressures.

According to Rob Percival, head of food and health policy at the Soil Association, “When budgets are squeezed, some families opt for foods they believe to be energy-dense or filling, reducing their purchase of fresh vegetables.”

Find out how indies can use their access to local, seasonal and healthy to help consumers here.

Increased interest in British cheese
With Brexit increasing the cost and availability of continental cheese, shoppers have been turning to British alternatives. 

As Oli Smith, owner of The Bristol Cheesemonger explained, “The cost-of-living crisis is going to be devastating for people personally, which is of course the most important priority, but it’s also going to be a massive challenge small for businesses like ours, and the people we buy cheese from. We have always prided ourselves on being accessible to everybody but that is starting to come under pressure.”

Discover the impact on British cheese here

British shoppers are ditching sustainability
According to a recent survey conducted by Meatless Farm, one in two (55%) people admit that price is now significantly more important than health, sustainability and quality when it comes to the weekly food shop. 

In fact, two-fifths (41%) plan to buy more frozen and non-organic (40%) meat whilst almost a third of shoppers (28%) are switching to cheaper processed meat. Two in five (39%) also say organic and fairtrade foods are now bottom of their shopping lists despite previously being ‘must have’ items.

Find out how this will affect speciality food and drink retailers over the winter here.

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