As the recession hits rock bottom so does our diet, according to research presented on the 24 May in Manchester (UK).
Rob Seery, a director at Drayton Partners (who provide bespoke senior management recruitment solutions to the food and drink, consumer goods and retail sector), said: “Unlike previous recessions, the latest economic downturn has seen shoppers reduce their food spending, with an increase in the amount of fatty and sugary food being consumed.”
He continued: “Due to financial constraints, consumers are adapting their shopping behaviours to make their budgets stretch further.
"They are bulk buying, downgrading from brands to own-label products and hunting out promotions. As a result, the average supermarket food spend has declined by more than 6% to just £1.45 per person per day."
Findings from the report show food prices in the UK declined substantially from 1975 to 2007, however, since the recent recession, there has been a dramatic increase in the price of food, mainly due to the depreciation of sterling, the increased cost of transportation and the rise of world commodity prices.
Seery added: “Perhaps most alarming is that the findings show UK food prices have increased by more than 10% since the recession and have remained high, whereas in Europe they peaked at a 5% increase in 2009 and have since steadily declined.”
The analysis shows that, counter to general opinion, we have reduced the number of calories we consume from nearly 2300 to under 2200 per day. Findings also show that lower income households cut-back their spending the most, whereas higher income households bought more calorie dense foods as a cost-effective alternative.
Seery said: “Foods which have seen a significant increase in cost include meat, poultry, eggs, dairy and cereals - these are the foods that are being substituted for cheaper, more calorie dense alternatives, and are directly impacting nutrition as a result of higher fat and sugar intake."
Source: Drayton Partners
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