Grocery shoppers' budgets come under intense pressure

26 ene 2023

Louise Taylor

Consumers around the world are feeling the pain of the cost-of-living crisis right now. Fitch Solutions reported a six-month global inflation low in December 2022, of 6.5% year on year. However, the positive news hasn't yet filtered through to shoppers' wallets. Many families' budgets are stretched more than ever as the Christmas credit card bills arrive.

Not only that, but a fall in inflation doesn't mean everything is suddenly cheaper. In the UK, for example, inflation fell to 10.5% in December - the second month in a row it has dipped. Despite that, food prices increased by 16.8% in the year to December. That's the biggest annual jump in food prices in the past 45 years.

Pressure on shoppers' budgets

"Many families are experiencing serious pressure right now when it comes to budgeting for groceries," comments Northfork CEO and Co-founder Erik Wallin. "For many, affording food is tougher than ever. That's why supermarkets need to do all they can to help consumers' budgets go further."

Grocery retailers that offer Northfork's recipe shopping solutions are doing precisely that. Using Northfork's technology, they can enable customers to find the best value products for each recipe and to share items across multiple recipes to reduce waste. Northfork's tech can even take account of previous purchases to serve recipe suggestions designed to use up items that should still be in the shopper's store cupboard. It can be implemented by retailers across the globe, to support shoppers no matter where they live.

"Food price inflation is a particular concern for low-income families, for whom the weekly shop represents a greater share of their income than families on larger budgets," continues Wallin. "Shopping by recipe can at least help ease some of that pressure by lowering costs and avoiding waste."

Resourceful consumers

As well as shopping by recipes, consumers are finding other ways to make their budgets stretch further as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite. The Too Good to Go food app is a prime example of this. The app connects users with retailers who have food that is nearing its expiry date, providing bags of randomly selected item for a significantly reduced price. It became the fastest-growing sustainable food app by number of downloads in 2022. Shoppers are also turning to community fridges, both to stretch their budgets further and to reduce waste.

"There is a lot of crossover between sustainability goals, in terms of reducing food waste, and supporting shoppers who are struggling with their grocery spend," concludes Northfork's Erik Wallin. "Thankfully, bringing together technology, recipe inspiration and community spirit, we can create solutions to help ease the pressure."