Waitrose supermarket aisle

More than half of Britons cut back on their household expenditure this year

Three in 10 Britons are switching to cheaper grocery brands as they feel the post-Brexit vote squeeze on disposable incomes.

More than half of Britons cut back on their household expenditure from March to June this year as inflation set in, found a survey by Nielsen.

Switching grocery brands was the most popular method of tightening the purse strings, cited by 30% of people, followed by 27% who saved on gas and electricity.

The regular survey, which polls more than 30,000 people in 63 countries, showed confidence among British consumers was at its lowest level since 2015.

The UK has slipped from being the second most confident country in Europe to the ninth, found the poll, conducted between 20 May and 10 June.

The results marked a stark contrast to the immediate response to the Brexit vote, when household cost-cutting activity hit its lowest level on record.

Steve Smith, managing director of Nielsen UK & Ireland, said the change in attitude could be down to the effects of Brexit hitting home.

“The pound’s weakness against both the dollar and the euro is finally feeding through to shop prices, which means real inflation is running at over 2.5%,” he said. “In turn, this remains ahead of general wage growth and consequently, real household disposable income is being squeezed.

“Shopping behaviours are changing in a way that is reminiscent of the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008/9,” Smith added. “Shoppers are well trained to use their household grocery budgets as a way to manage overall household costs, particularly as the desire to treat themselves remains. This is shown by the fact relatively fewer people are willing to sacrifice entertainment, holidays, and takeaway meals.”