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Hard to Stomach


The Consumer Council

Subject Keywords: Food costs, Consumers, Grocery shopping, Finance
Topic: Obesity
Type: Report
Region: Northern Ireland

Almost 9 in 10 consumers (87 per cent) are worried about the cost of their food and grocery shopping. The majority of consumers (96 per cent) reported noticing an increase in food prices over the last twelve months with 64 per cent saying they thought food was now much more expensive. The three biggest changes to shopping behaviour in response to price increases are making less impulse buys (34 per cent); buying less in general (29 per cent); and planning meals more carefully to avoid waste (28 per cent).

In October 2011 the Consumer Council began a programme of work that would assess the impact rising food costs are having on NI consumers. The core aim of this project and one that underpins all of our work is to make the consumer voice heard and to make it count. There have been UK-wide studies tracking household expenditure but nothing that provided a comprehensive review of how increases in food prices were affecting NI consumers directly. Research such as the Family Spending Survey provides a useful insight into buying habits and consumer trends, but we were keen to hear directly from consumers and to understand the concerns and anxieties underlying the data.



Rights: © The Consumer Council
Suggested citation:

The Consumer Council. (2013) Hard to Stomach [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 13th November 2019].


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