Trust in the grocery sector has dropped to its lowest point in more than a decade as food prices becomes at par with energy bills as a source of concern to consumers, shows a latest survey.
According to Which?’s monthly consumer insight tracker, food prices, which continue to outstrip overall UK inflation, are now on a par with energy bills as a source of concern to consumers, with findings indicating that they worry 85 per cent of people.
Less than half of shoppers (48 per cent) said they trusted the supermarket sector to act in their best interest, and 18 per cent said they did not trust the sector.
Which? found 78 per cent of consumers had adjusted their habits in response to high food prices, with 54 per cent buying cheaper products, 48 per cent opting for budget range items, and 24 per cent going without some food. One in seven shoppers (15 per cent) said they were skipping meals to cope with high food costs.
Those who are unemployed (26 per cent) and renters (24 per cent) were most likely to skip meals, according to the survey.
The sector received a ‘trust score’ of 30 on a scale from minus 100 to 100 this month, compared with 24 after the horsemeat scandal was exposed – its lowest point – and 68 in May 2020 when supermarkets were widely praised for ramping up online deliveries in response to Covid restrictions.
Katie Alpin, head of strategic insight at Which?, said: “Month after month of soaring food prices has seen trust in supermarkets plummet to a 10-year low – comparable to the dark days of the horsemeat scandal. The cost of the weekly shop is now on a par with energy bills as the biggest worry for millions of households.
Trust in the sector dropped in August to the lowest it has been since February 2013, after horse DNA had been discovered in frozen beef burgers and lasagne sold in some Irish and British supermarkets, adds the report.