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    Concerns rise over food shopping for Christmas and New Year: FSA

    Photo: iStock

    The latest figures from the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) Consumer Insights Tracker have shown that the level of concern among the public about the price of food this Christmas and New Year has significantly increased from last year.

    Seven in ten (69%) consumers reported taking at least one action to save money on food for Christmas 2022 in the latest wave of the tracker, conducted in November.

    These included buying ‘yellow-sticker’ food items close to their use-by date (25%); buying less fresh food and more long-life foods instead (17%); buying less food than usual for Christmas (23%); and changing to cheaper brands (33%)

    Concerns about food shopping for Christmas and New Year have significantly increased, compared with the same period last year 12-16 November 2021, with 81 per cent reporting concern about food prices (2021: 62%), 55 per cent reporting concern about food availability (2021: 48%), 50 per cent reporting concern about the quality of food (2021: 37%) and 41 per cent reporting concern about the safety of food (2021: 31%).

    Specifically, in relation to Christmas and New Year, around half of consumers reported concerns about sustainability and the impact of food production on the environment (49%) and the healthiness of food (47%)

    Several measures related to food affordability and food insecurity which are tracked monthly have improved this wave compared to October 2022. In most cases, findings are similar to those reported in November 21 or the 12-month average.

    “For many, Christmas and New Year is a time for getting together with family and friends and food is a large part of the celebrations. While our data shows some monthly measures relating to food affordability and food insecurity have improved in November 2022 compared to the previous month, it also shows that people are more concerned about food affordability this festive season than they were last year,” Emily Miles, FSA chief executive, said.

    “Our evidence shows that people are finding ways to save money where they can, including buying food closer to its use-by date, buying long-life foods and switching to cheaper brands.

    “To make food go further, we’re encouraging people to follow our tips for keeping food safe, including keeping fridges on to prevent bacteria from multiplying. We also recommend freezing food on or before it’s use-by date if you’re not going to use it. We’ve got lots more advice on our website to help people use their judgement and make informed choices, while staying safe.”

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