Shops urged to make food more affordable amid cost of living crisis

Stores have been urged to sign up to a ten-point plan to support customers amid soaring costs.

Supermarkets urged to sign up to Which? accessible shopping pledge amid cost of living crisis iStock

Supermarkets have been urged to make access to affordable and healthy food easier for customers amid the cost of living crisis.

Stores have been urged to sign up to a ten-point plan to support customers as many struggle to cope with the stability of food shopping.

Consumer rights group Which? have outlined 50 areas where people are most likely to struggle from lack of access to affordable food.

Making shelf prices easy to understand and ensuring healthy budget lines are widely available are some of the suggestions laid out.

The ‘Priority Places for Food Index’, created with Leeds University, ranks local areas according to the likelihood of people needing support to access affordable and healthy food.

The index suggests that overall, seven in ten UK Parliamentary constituencies have at least one area in need of urgent help accessing affordable food.

In Scotland, the places in highest need of support were in the central belt, according to the index, but there was also a notable concentration in and around Dundee, where there was relatively poor access to online food deliveries and people were more likely to be suffering from fuel poverty and on a low income.

Sue Davies, Which? head of food policy, said: “We know that millions of people are skipping meals through the worst cost of living crisis in decades but our new research tells us where around the UK support is most urgently needed.

“The supermarkets have the ability to take action and make a real difference to communities all around the UK. That’s why we’re calling on them to ensure everyone has easy access to budget food ranges that enable healthy choices, can easily compare the price of products to get the best value and that promotions are targeted at supporting people most in need.”

Michelle Morris, associate professor of nutrition and lifestyle analytics at the University of Leeds, said: “With so many people in the UK already suffering from food insecurity and the cost of living crisis making that much worse, we need to do all that we can to support those most in need to access affordable, healthy and sustainable foods.

“That is why we have developed the Priority Places for Food Index in collaboration with Which? Our interactive map makes it easy to identify neighbourhoods most in need of support and highlights the main reasons that they need this support, recognising that one size does not fit all, and that tailored help is required.”

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