Some 57% of British consumers have been severely or moderately affected by the cost of living crisis so far, and in three months that figure is expected to rise to 76%, according to data from market researcher NielsenIQ published on Wednesday.
Britons are contending with inflation that was 9.9% in August and is expected to rise further this year, driven mostly by the surge in energy prices.
Mike Watkins, NielsenIQ’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said households were shopping around for savings across different retailers, with consumers increasingly focusing on the cost of their weekly groceries to help manage budgets.
NielsenIQ's data showed that supermarket sales in the week ending 10 September dipped to £2.48 billion ($2.82 billion) - the lowest level since a lull in the week after Easter.
It said in the four weeks to 10 September, some £400 million less was spent at supermarkets year-on-year as shoppers reined in spending at the start of autumn.
The market researcher said German-owned discounter Lidl remained the fastest growing grocery retailer over the 12 weeks to 10 September, with sales up 9.4% year-on-year, echoing data from rival Kantar published last week.
NielsenIQ said online's share of the grocery market fell to 11.1%, versus 11.3% recorded last month and 12.3% a year ago.