Adults buying less food as cost of living bites

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Cost of living increases impacted consumer buying habits over the past month
Cost of living increases impacted consumer buying habits over the past month

Related tags Supply chain

Around half (49%) of adults are buying less food when food shopping while 48% of them have reported they had to spend more than usual to get what they normally buy, the latest statistics from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.

This is up from 8% when the survey began in September 2021 and 18% in the following month of October 2021. 

This latest survey of 2,298 individuals, which took place between 22 June to 3 July 2022,  found that around nine in 10 (91%) of adults continued to report their cost of living had risen over the past month. This is an increase since the ONS first started asking this question in the period 3 to 14 November 2021 (62%).


This comes as last month UK inflation hit a 40-year high of 9.1%. The biggest contributor to the increase in inflation came from food prices, which increased 1.5 per cent in May, with bread, cereals and meat rising fastest.

Reasons reported by adults for the rise in their cost of living were an increase in the price of food shopping (95%, compared with 93% in the previous period), gas or electricity bills (83%, compared with 86% in the previous period) and the price of fuel (79%, compared with 80% in the previous period. 

Around three-quarters of adults were very or somewhat worried about the rising cost of living (78%) and the conflict in Ukraine (77%), and more than half (57%) reported they were worried about the environment.

IGD special report

Recently grocery think tank IGD’s latest Viewpoint Special Report 'Exploring the outlook for food inflation' said it expected food inflation​ to last for much longer than initially predicted. 

While UK food and drink manufacturing output contracted for the first time in 10 months in May, as input cost inflation drove producers to raise prices at a record pace, the Lloyds Bank UK Sector Tracker​ revealed.


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