UK families ‘desperate’ amid sharp rise in food prices

Rising food prices have forced low-income households in the United Kingdom to make “desperate choices” between keeping up their bills and putting food on the table, the UK-based consumer association ‘Which’ has warned.

The cost of some basic food items such as cheese, butter and bread has soared by more than 30% in the past two years, Which said Monday.

The Which research, shared with the Guardian, said the rising cost of essentials are disproportionally affecting low-income households.

Sue Davies, the head of food policy at Which, said “the cost of essentials like milk and butter is still very high and piling huge pressure on millions.”

And Richard Lane, the director of external affairs at debt charity StepChange, says the food price hikes keep “hitting the poorest the hardest.”

“These rises are hitting the poorest the hardest, as it creates a poverty premium where those on tighter budgets are unable to save by buying in bulk and end up spending more money on food and essentials, as they shop little and often.”

Lane said, “As food costs continue to rise, the knock-on effects can be felt elsewhere, with people having to make desperate choices between keeping up their bills or putting food on the table.”

The food products with the highest rates of inflation are milk (36.4%), cheese (35.2%), butters and spreads (32.2%), and bakery items (30.3%).

Which has called on grocery retailers to make affordable basic food ranges available in all their stores.

Britain’s annual inflation currently stands at 7.9 percent, the highest among the Group of Seven (G7) nations.

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