51 percent of consumers “highly concerned” about food affordability

Posted: 8 December 2023 | | No comments yet

The FSA’s latest report has revealed the number of people “highly concerned” about the affordability of food has almost doubled in the past three years.


In its first Food and You 2 Trends report, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has revealed how consumers’ attitudes and behaviour towards food have changed between 2020 and 2023.

Results found that 51 percent of respondents are now ‘highly concerned’ about the affordability of food, while back in 2020, the figure sat at 26 percent.

“This report shows that the majority of people are worried about food prices – with almost twice the number of people being ‘highly concerned’ about food affordability compared to three years ago. This, in addition to the rise in household food insecurity, shows the continuing struggle that many people are facing with the cost of living,” said Emily Miles, the Chief Executive of the FSA.

The regulator uses the Food and You 2 report as a way to monitor consumers’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours regarding food safety and other food-related issues. It is conducted twice a year and uses date from consumers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The most recent wave of the survey was carried out between October 2022 and January 2023 and found that the percentage of respondents who were highly concerned about the affordability of food almost doubled, from 26 percent in Wave Two (November 2020 to January 2021) to 51 percent in Wave 6 (October 2022 to January 2023).

Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents who were “highly” or “somewhat concerned” was found to have risen from 75 percent in Wave 2 (November 2020 to January 2021) to 87 percent in Wave 6 (October 2022 to January 2023).

Reported levels of household food insecurity increased from 15 percent  in Wave 3 (April 2021 to June 2021) to 25 percent in Wave 6 (October 2022 to January 2023) after a period of stability.

The FSA has stated that “public confidence in food safety and authenticity has remained high across all waves”, and “public trust and confidence in the FSA have remained high across all waves”.

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“We will share these insights with the governments we serve in Wales, Northern Ireland, and Westminster, so they can use them to inform their policy making and address these important issues,” continued Miles.

The report also revealed that an average of 92 percent of respondents said that they had confidence that the food they buy is safe to eat and an average of 86 percent said that the information on food labels is accurate. This has remained “consistently high” over the last three years.

In addition, across all waves, around three-quarters of respondents reported that either “very confident” or “fairly confident” in the food supply chain.