Shoppers are starting to feel the pinch from Brexit-linked food price inflation, with more than four-fifths of respondents to a survey for The Grocer reporting an increase in their grocery bills during the past six months.
The poll, of 2,000 UK adults by research firm Trinity McQueen, found that 83% of Brits had seen a hike in their shopping bills, while 71% believed food prices would increase once the UK had left the EU.
The survey’s findings follow a spate of price increases in the wake of last June’s referendum affecting most food and drink categories. However, 60% of those polled believed brands were using Brexit as an excuse to increase prices.
Many shoppers’ views on Brexit coloured their experience of prices, suggested Trinity McQueen joint MD Anna Cliffe. “Those who voted ‘remain’ are more likely to believe prices are rising, while those who sided with ‘leave’ feel prices haven’t risen as much or will stabilise soon,” she said.
Some 78% of respondents said they were still loyal to British food brands, citing quality and freshness as their main appeal, while 60% believed British farmers did not get a fair price for their products and 77% said they thought the UK should produce more food after Brexit.
However, about a third (32%) said they would welcome cheaper food imports after Brexit, even if production standards of those foodstuffs were lower than food produced in the UK.
“Our key finding is around uncertainty. Many of us feel unsure about what the future economy may bring and believe that prices will continue to increase once we leave the EU,” Cliffe added. “We particularly see more pessimism and uncertainty among younger people, who were more likely to vote remain.”