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Three Quarters Of UK Consumers Believe Food Prices Will Increase After Brexit

With the spectre of a no-deal Brexit still looming large, some 74% of UK consumers believe that food prices will increase after the UK leaves the EU, with one in four saying that they expect food prices to increase by 'a lot', a new study has found.

According to the survey of 1,000 UK consumers, carried out by HIM (conducted first week of March 2019), older shoppers are more likely to be concerned about the rising cost of food, while a high number of Scottish respondents (37%) expect food prices to increase by 'a lot'.

However, the study also found that most consumers (64%) are not planning to make any significant changes to their shopping habits to prepare for Brexit, although 13% of shoppers are planning to 'stock up' on food.

Tinned and canned foods are the most likely to be stockpiled, the study found, with 74% of those that have commenced stockpiling food stocking up on this category). This is followed by packaged grocery products such as dried pasta, tea, and household cleaning products.

Pessimistic View

“Unsurprisingly, shoppers are relatively pessimistic about the impact that Brexit will have on their finances," Blonnie Walsh, senior insight manager at HIM.

"However, despite a general consensus that food prices will increase, shoppers are not planning on changing their grocery shopping habits. Other expenses, such as clothes, eating out and holidays are higher on the chopping block.

“While shoppers are not expecting to change their shopping habits as a result of Brexit, they are expecting there to be availability issues.

As a consequence of low stock volumes in store, some shoppers believe they will be pushed to use online for their grocery needs.

"Those retailers that are currently operating online will be in a position to mitigate the impact of this perception, however, those reliant purely on store footfall face the challenge of managing this perception and reassuring shoppers.”

News by Reuters, edited by Checkout. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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