As the cost-of-living rises, from energy prices and food shopping bills to council tax rates and petrol expenses, people across the UK are feeling the pinch – and it is changing their shopping habits.
Research from Toluna’s Global Consumer Barometer Study reveals that more than half of people (51%) believe they’ll be worse off financially in the next three months and are planning to scale back on spending due to the impact of increased costs and price changes.
Out of those surveyed an overwhelming 93% of respondents said they’re being impacted by higher prices when it comes to buying groceries, while 80% said they’re feeling the impact when it comes to purchasing clothes and 74% of people are feeling the effects of price changes on electrical goods, such as computers, phones, and home appliances.
The study 1,011 people in the UK also finds that 74% are feeling the impact when eating out at a restaurant or pub, while 67% of people have noticed the impact on their mobile phone package as soaring inflation rates have pushed up monthly phone charges. Two-thirds of respondents said higher prices have hit their music and TV subscriptions, while 59% have noticed an effect on household subscriptions.
The cost of food, beauty and household items skyrocket
When asked about their weekly or monthly food shopping bill, respondents revealed where they’ve seen prices rise the most. 77% of respondents said the price of fresh foods has risen; nearly a third (32%) stated that fresh food prices have increased a lot. 65% of people said that dried foods such as pasta, rice, packet sauces, and biscuits are now more expensive, while 64% of respondents said the cost of bakery items have increased.
More than half of respondents (55%) have experienced a rise in the cost of health and beauty products.
As a result, consumers are looking to cut back on what they’re buying, adjust where they’re buying, and adapt how they use products. A third of respondents (38%) plan to switch to supermarket and store own-label products, forgoing their preferred brand names to save money, while 29% of people are planning to change the supermarket where they usually shop to save on food costs, and 27% are changing the number of snacks they buy and where from.
More than a quarter (26%) of those surveyed revealed that they’re going to change brands to save money.
Lucia Juliano, Head of Research, UK & Netherlands at Toluna said: “It’s clear that the cost of living crisis is already starting to bite. We’ve seen an immediate change in people’s spending habits with many cutting back on what they enjoy, and also need, to help pay the bills. From our research, people are committed to making key lifestyle changes to ensure they keep the cost of living down as much as possible. Brands must understand this and be prepared to respond. From switching products to shorter showers, cost is a key driver in daily activities, food choices, and social interests. It’s likely to become even stronger of a priority with higher interest rates and even more energy price hikes on the horizon.”