Rising food costs causing 'stress' - Which? survey

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Rising food prices are a source of stress to four in ten shoppers, according to consumer group Which?

In a survey of 2,028 people, 41% said the issue was causing them stress, while 29% said they were struggling to feed themselves or their family.

And 78% said they were concerned about food price increases.

According to the Office for National Statistics, food prices have risen by 12.6% above inflation over the past six years, while incomes have stalled.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said people accepted food costs would go up, but "rocketing" prices were "causing stress and worry and leaving people wondering how they are going to cope".

"Stagnating" incomes meant people were finding it harder and harder to buy food, he said.

He added: "Supermarkets need to make it much easier for consumers to spot the best deal by ensuring pricing is simple and making special offers genuinely good value for money.

"Politicians need to put consumers at the heart of their economic policies to tackle the rising cost of living and to support growth and prosperity."

Healthy options

Among the other results of the survey, conducted for Which? in June by Populus, 60% of people said they were worried about how they would manage future spending on groceries if prices continued to rise.

Dan Crossley, executive director of the Food Ethics Council charity, said food price rises were "almost inevitable" due to "resource constraint, climate change and population growth".

"Food businesses and government need to start planning now for that future by taking urgent action to tackle the issue of food affordability, including the introduction of measures such as a living wage," he said.

"They also need to develop robust policies that make healthy food affordable, rather than peddling 'cheap' food that is costing us dear in terms of our health and our environment."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 439.

    The whole "overpopulation" myth seems really potent. Until you realise that more than 30% of food is thrown away. More if it is bought from a supermarket. Food has been traded as a commodity for years. When the banks collapsed the "smart money" started gambling on your very existence.

  • rate this

    Comment number 438.

    Just popped in to my local Sainsburys and AGAIN prices have gone up. Rich Tea Biscuits used to be just under a £1 at the start of the year and today went up from £1.09 to £1.15 - some increases really are becoming a joke

  • rate this

    Comment number 437.

    Apologies if this has been mentioned already... There really should be a basic index of the essential costs such as food, fuel, clothing and energy. The day to day index of inflation and ignore things such as TV's and one off purchases, etc. Plus I think many employers have taken advantage of the fact that the tax free allowance has gone up, so has neglected to give rises. Bad times...

  • rate this

    Comment number 436.

    The cause of the 'stress' is our refusal to connect the dots !!!!

    You have been advised and warned accordingly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 435.

    Get Real @433
    "Rising food costs"
    From faster rise in population than production?

    Or faster rise in profits than MEDIAN wages?
    (av income 'looks good' inflated by heighta at 'high end')

    Or from CAUSE of poverty AND population growth AND mis-direction of investment? Our lack of agreed equal partnership is dictated by our birth in ignorance, and by our education - news & politics - in ignorance

  • rate this

    Comment number 434.

    Access to the internet is free at your local library.
    There's no excuse for paying for internet access instead of buying food.

  • rate this

    Comment number 433.

    @ 429. Tearsoverintegrity

    No, overpopulation !!!!!!

    Anybody found the additional 1.5 Earths we currently need, I don't want to hurry you along, but it is getting quite urgent.

    Any clues welcome, hard evidence even better.

    There's a prize for who finds them first :)

  • rate this

    Comment number 432.

    It's usually those who are complaining about the cost of food who look like they could do with a bit less of it. Just saying.

  • rate this

    Comment number 431.

    The planet is full. End of story.

    It is coming to pass the cruelest action a mature adult human being could do is to now bring a child into this world.

    So sad.

    There was a time when there was more than enough for everyone.

    Our refusal as a species to acknowledge that increasing demand combined with diminishing resources is unsustainable will be/is our undoing !!!

    1 BILLION children poor !!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 430.

    Why do they bother wasting money or time on survey's like this. How could prices not rise when populations are increasing. You buy what you can afford whether rich or poor, everyone is effected. The only way to pay less tax is to move to a poorer country and if you moved to a poorer country you would soon realize how lucky you are. People need to quit complaining and get on with it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 429.

    426 "There was a time when there was enough for every one.
    Can any one work out why there is insufficient now?"

    Let me guess...could it be that the abundant, myriad riches of this vast and wonderful planet are not being shared out equally?

  • rate this

    Comment number 428.

    I would say moaning on a high obesity level.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 427.

    418. gerald

    Of course, Europe has 3x USA's pop. in half the area.
    Yet, countries with the same density as UK eg. Germany, Holland have larger, cheaper flats.
    Food is a smaller % of their salary too, and it's better quality, less artificial.
    Less gap in incomes/justice too. Their gov'ts, media run by and for people, not corporate elites that want plebs suppressed and stressed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 426.

    There was a time when there was enough for everyone.

    Can anyone work out why there is insufficient now ?

    To give you a clue, it is not because the Earth is flat.

  • rate this

    Comment number 425.

    Stop paying high prices for branded foods look for and buy the cheaper store brands. If enough people did this perhaps food prices might drop. Try a weekly shop and buy no branded goods and see how much cheaper your shop is.

  • rate this

    Comment number 424.

    Some households budget for the mortgage and car payments but not food costs. So we are seeing what appear to be middle class people with new cars and large mortgages unable to afford food. Carney and Osborne creat QE money to cause another property bubble and encouraging people to borrow more than they can afford to repay and at the same time raping peoples savings and causing food inflation.

  • rate this

    Comment number 423.

    Prices have to keep going up while wages stay stagnant / fall so that rich people can buy things we could once afford to own and rent them to us.

    I don't know why you're all complaining - didn't you read between the lines of the manifestos shown to you by the parties you've been voting into power for the last few decades?

  • rate this

    Comment number 422.

    No mystery here.

    Increasing demand and diminishing resources IS NOT SUSTAINABLE.

    The question is, at what point do we understand this:

    1. Never

    2. As soon as possible (this one gets my vote).

    3. When it is too late (in my view more than likely).

    The choice is ours folks ......

  • rate this

    Comment number 421.

    412.One of the working majority
    "..but at least the RICH are ok. selfish prigs.."
    For evey g there is a ck.

  • rate this

    Comment number 420.

    419 realmystery
    It's all those discretionary purchases you keep making,stop it and your money for food will be plentiful!!(joke)
    No doubt a survey to follow soon on being irresponsible by not saving or paying into a pension to come?
    As we all know it's got nothing to do with being able to,bet I could change the stats by giving everyone an extra 10k a year,guess what massive increase in saving!1


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