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Rising food costs causing 'stress' - Which? survey

  • 22 September 2013
  • From the section UK
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A picture of someone's hand holding a shopping basket

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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