22/05/2012

Northern Ireland Consumers Vote with Wallets as Food Prices Rise

Most consumers in Northern Ireland are changing their shopping habits to battle the rising price of groceries.

A survey run by the Consumer Council found that nine out of ten people here are concerned about the spiralling cost of their household bills.

Aodhan O’Donnell of the watchdog said: "Food and everyday household items are essential to a person’s quality of life and consumers here already endure some of the highest prices in the UK for petrol and diesel, energy and car insurance. Consumers are voicing their concerns to us and this research will explore how rising food and grocery costs are placing an additional strain on some household budgets."

Research is still underway but so far the Consumer Council have found that more than 80% of people have made changes to their eating, cooking and shopping habits in the last year due to high prices.

Nearly all survey respondents – 96% - believed that food and grocery bills are more expensive now than they were a year ago.

Consumers can access the Northern Ireland-specific survey at www.consumercouncil.org.uk and a spokesman said it would take "no longer than three minutes" to complete.

Mr O’Donnell added: "We plan to use the information consumers provide to work with the retail food sector and Government to develop transparent, consumer-focused price and promotion strategies which enable consumers to manage their household budgets more effectively."

(NE)

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