Consumers hit hard by rising cost of foodFood prices worry 84% of shoppers

21 July 2011

Supermarket shopping

84% of people are worried about the rising cost of food

New research from Which? shows that rising food prices are forcing UK consumers to make changes to their shopping habits.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd said: 'Our research shows that despite inflation falling slightly in June, people are still feeling the squeeze from soaring food prices.'

Feeling the squeeze

Our survey found that 84% of people are worried about the rising cost of food. Nine in 10 people have noticed an increase in food prices over the last year, and a third told us they had already reduced their spending on groceries this year.

People have also changed which foods they're buying to cope with higher food prices, switching to cheaper brands, bigger 'value' packs and more supermarket own-brands.

Investigating supermarket pricing

Richard Lloyd said: '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.'

He added: '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.'

Higher food prices

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.

Under the grill

Which? is talking to economists, the food industry and government to find out what is really driving the increasing cost of our food, and what can be done to address rising prices. Find out more about our work on food campaigning.

Have you changed your grocery shopping habits? Are you substituting premium products for value goods? Join the budget vs premium food debate on Which? Conversation.

Which? campaigns

Which? campaigns on a number of issues that affect consumers, across personal finance, energy, food and health and consumer rights.

Visit our campaigns pages to see how you can get involved, or follow us @WhichAction on twitter or facebook for updates.