Food prices, supermarkets ,cost of living crisis, retail

Journalist: Sarah O'Grady, The Daily Express

ended 02. May 2022

I am writing today - Sunday May 1 - on threat of rising food prices.

Asda boss Stuart Rose has warned prices in shops are set to rise more - and keep high for some time. He said: “There is going to be a new level for raw materials and that is not going to go down. We need to change our behaviour - what we need what we don’t need… and the government can do more.” 

For example, the war in Ukraine means chickens are set to become as expensive as beef because of the spiralling cost of chicken feed. There are also problems with supply lines. I'm looking for 300 words on this issue which will appear as a standalone bylined short comment piece running beside my news story. To be delivered today - Sunday - by 4.30pm.

3 responses from the Newspage community

Star Quote
"Brexit, the pandemic and now the war in Ukraine have created numerous supply chain and logistical issues that have driven the price of many raw materials to new highs. We’re all seeing the impact of this, whether we’re shopping in the supermarkets or small retailers that line the UK’s high streets. At the moment, it’s feeling like everything is against the consumer, but further down the line the economic forces that are currently playing out could trigger a positive change in the way we shop and eat that could last for years to come. Locally sourced products are often much cheaper than sourcing food from overseas, and also support local businesses and communities while reducing our carbon footprints at the same time. We are also likely to see a return to trends that were prevalent in the sixties, seventies and eighties, when people made food go as far as it could. On a Monday, families up and down the country would often eat the leftovers from their Sunday roast, in the form of Bubble and Squeak. As the cost of living bites, we're likely to see a return to the old ways and that's not a bad thing, as too much perfectly good food is thrown away unnecessarily. It’s also beneficial for the environment, as it means we’re extracting maximum value out of what we consume, which means less product and less packaging. My concern is that if a giant like Asda is struggling to negotiate better prices, then it is even more challenging for independent local shops. Millions of families now face stark choices on what they can afford, so spending wisely is now more important than ever. As much as possible, we're encouraging customers to spend locally and support local suppliers and farmers. That will mean baskets and trollies are full of goods that are at least investing in local communities and supporting their economic recovery. We are rapidly entering a cost-of-living crisis like no other so it’s important that the Government steps in to ensure local businesses can continue to provide their customers with the food they need to feed their families, and families themselves are supported to buy that food.”
Rising cost are now inevitable and consumers will need to save money where they can. Shopping later at night and finding bargains in the reduced to clear section is a way to get food cheaper, either eat on the same day or freeze and have it another time. Don’t be suckered in by buy one get one free offers or end of aisle promotions, they often don’t end up being cheaper. Shop own brand foods, they are often made in the same place as branded and taste exactly the same! Make a list, actually visit the supermarket in person to choose the fruit and veg with longer use by dates. Only buy what you need, a plan will help you to save money and reduce food waste. When shopping allow yourself a great budget, this will stop you from being tempted by every treat as you walk by. Use your club card or nectar points, and take advantage of bonus point offers, if you have access to an employee discount scheme make sure you are utilising the supermarket offers. And for god sake leave the kids at home when you shop! Saves a fortune 😂
"As a family, we have made changes to the way we eat and shop over the past year. Partly this is due to concern about the climate crisis and the unsustainable way that a lot food is produced. However, many of the changes we’ve made have also saved us money as well as reduced our food waste. We’ve learned to shop and cook in a different way and this shift will be useful in the coming months as food prices rise. Eating less meat means we can afford to buy better quality meat. Adding in more pulses, protein rich grains and meat substitutes like tofu to our meals is generally viewed as healthier and also saves us money. Buying seasonal fruit and vegetables and starting to grow our own reduces cost and food miles. If anything has taught us to appreciate and not waste food it’s the hard work and patience that goes into growing vegetables in a small patch and containers at home. The cost of living crisis has also forced us to try preserving food and also share what's left with neighbours and friends. Over the coming months I expect we will have to go a little further and get better at meal planning and budgeting but I don’t see this as a bad thing. The climate crisis is escalating and maybe we all need a mindset shift, even if forced by rising prices, to live in a way that is more sustainable by changing habits, supporting our neighbours and learning more about how our food is produced."