Less Food for Brits
ONS survey reports that poorer Britons are buying less food due to soaring inflation
The rate of food inflation in the UK has reached its maximum since 1977, with consumers in poorer areas reporting they are buying less food, a survey by the Office for National Statistics published on Thursday shows.
Lower-income households appear to be the hardest hit by spiraling inflation, with 61% of consumers living in the most deprived areas buying less when food shopping compared to last year, as opposed to 44% in the least deprived areas.
Although overall inflation in the UK – including housing costs – slightly decreased from 9.6% in October 2022 to 9.3% in November, food and non-alcoholic drink prices jumped by 16.5% year-on-year last month in the highest increase since September 1977 (17.6%), according to the ONS.
Concerns are mounting that unprecedented food inflation may affect the health of the population. The ONS reported that 23% of people surveyed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said they skipped or reduced the size of a meal because they could not afford to buy food.
Four in five adults – or 81% – of those polled by the FSA said they were concerned about the cost of food during Christmas and New Year, up from 62% a year ago.
The cost of essentials such as bread and cereal saw the largest price increases last month, surging by 1.9% and contributing towards an increase of 16.6% in the year to November 2022.
The annual inflation gap between low-income and high-income households was the largest in October since March 2009 and stood at 10.5% for less wealthy consumers versus 9.1% for better-off families.
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