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Research shows confidence in multiples is at its lowest in nearly a decade

Posted: 1 August 2023

By Greg Pitcher

Supermarket trolley
Research shows confidence in multiples is at its lowest in nearly a decade

Public faith in food retailers is at a nineyear low, research has revealed. A survey by consumer champion Which? found that trust in the groceries industry in May 2023 was the lowest it had been since November 2014.

A ‘confidence index’ figure of 36 represented a huge fall from grace for the sector in the context of recording a score of 68 during the first Covid lockdown in May 2020. Nine in 10 (88%) consumers polled for the latest report said they were worried about the price of food – almost as many as were concerned about energy costs.

In response to rising food prices, more than half of respondents said they had bought cheaper items, while 4 in 10 had shopped around. More than 1 in 10 had skipped meals, while 4% of respondents had used a food bank.

Meanwhile a separate Which? survey of over 2,000 UK adults found that two-thirds felt cheated by the prices in convenience stores.

Which? director of policy & advocacy Rocio Concha said: “People should not have to pay over the odds for everyday essentials just because they struggle to get to a large supermarket. “While the whole food supply chain affects prices, supermarkets have the power to do more to support people who are struggling, including ensuring everyone has easy access to basic, affordable budget ranges at a store near them, including smaller stores for consumers who rely on these.

“Supermarkets must also provide transparent pricing so people can easily work out which products offer the best value.”

This article first appeared in the August 2023 edition of Fine Food Digest.