Published On: Tue, Apr 28th, 2015

Statistics on UK Food Consumption Revealed by Money Saving Website

A UK based money saving website, VoucherCodesPro.co.uk has completed a piece of research into the shopping habits on food in the UK. Most notably, people have reduced the number of fruits and vegetables they eat. It is believed that this could be due to soaring food prices.

UK based money saving website www.VoucherCodesPro.co.uk has performed a piece of research into the food shopping habits of the UK population. Some interesting facts were found through the research. The results were in line with the yearly “pocketbook” released by the government itself.

One of the two most worrying pieces of data uncovered were that food prices are soaring (by 12% on average). Additionally, there is a disproportionate rise compared to other products, meaning that more disposable income is spent on food. At the same time, purchase of fruits and vegetables is down and it is believed that the two are correlated.

Some of the data uncovered by this research included:

  • 17 pence out of every pound is spent on food. Besides the price of food, which was cited as a concern in 59% of respondents, people cited “the amount of salt in food” as a major concerned, which was mentioned in 47% of cases.
  • Compared to 2007, prices had risen the most for cooking oils, butter and margarine (55%), followed by confectionaries, jam and sugar (39%).
  • Strangely, 22% of food budgets go on foods that contain high levels of sugar and/or fat, when the government recommends a diet should only contain 8% of these products.
  • People are only consuming three of their recommended five fruits and vegetables per day. 4.7% of children and 6.6% of adults consumed no fruits or vegetables at all.
  • Over half of all food consumed in the UK comes from the UK, particularly for meat, dairy and eggs. However, only 23% of vegetables and fruits are national.
  • Every year, households throw away 15% of all the food and beverages they purchase. Restaurants and pubs also needlessly throw away a lot of food. Even when eating out, people often don’t finish their plates, stating that they ordered or served themselves too much.
  • Every year, some 20,000 people are hospitalised due to food contamination like salmonella and e.coli. Of these, 500 die.
  • The rate of incidents in relation to contamination has risen by 280% since 2000 according to the Food Standards Agency. However, this is also due to stricter rules being in place.
food bank cafeteria restaurant

photo Richard Croft via wikimedia

The research also showed that people were looking for food that actually comes from Britain. There had also been a huge ripple effect from the recent horsemeat scandal, with many people no longer trusting certain brands. Unfortunately for consumers, the brands that had been contaminated with horse meat were generally the more expensive ones.

As a result, people on low incomes are seeing their food bills rise even more, as they no longer trust the cheaper brands.

“Over 900,000 people were forced to turn to foodbanks last year in order to be able to eat”, says a spokesperson for Voucher Codes Pro. “We are also hearing about people who have to choose between heating and eating in the winter. While much of this is a direct result of the extreme austerity measures imposed by the government, it is also due to the rising food prices. When we see people are no longer able to consume the foods that are actually good for them, it is time to make some changes. Unfortunately, with rising prices and virtually stagnant, if not dropping salaries, and a government that pushes people further and further into poverty, there seems to be little improvement in sight.”

Guest Author: Lolita Di

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