Two in five people in the UK buy less food to get by

Across the Channel, food prices are rising substantially, as everywhere in Europe. As a result, according to a survey published on Friday May 13 by the ONS, the equivalent of Insee in the United Kingdom, two out of five people simply buy less food to get by: a finding that prompts the Guardian to headline that “the golden age of cheap food is over”, on Friday, May 13. The idea is confirmed by the former boss of Sainsbury’s, Justin King, interviewed by the British media. According to the businessman, who now sits on the board of Marks & Spencer, shoppers now have to make trade-offs when shopping for food.

UK prices rose an average of 9% in April, economists estimate. The Bank of England is counting on an increase that will exceed 10% during the year, unheard of since 1982, explains the Guardian. In April, a study showed that the rise in prices affected everyday foods, such as pasta, the price of which rose by 45%, while that of tomatoes and eggs rose by 13% and that of 20% milk carton. In France, the increase is less. Over one year, the prices of food products have increased by an average of 3%, explained the specialized research institute IRI at the beginning of May. But as in the United Kingdom, the increase is much greater on certain products such as pasta (+15%), frozen meats (+11.34%), flour (+10.93%), or oils (+9.98%).

Consequence across the Channel: two out of five adults, or 40% of British consumers, buy less food when they go shopping. This figure has doubled since the start of 2022. “The proportion of people who buy less is increasing. And even if some of them give up expensive sweets, there is a real risk that others will have to suffer hunger,” said Sarah Coles, an analyst interviewed by the British media.

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