IGD’s CEO, Susan Barratt, contributes to the BRC’s Retail Sales Monitor, providing insight on UK food and drink sales.
Supported by holiday spending for Easter, at first glance food and drink sales performed well in April. However, with mis-matched dates for Easter, plus our emergence from the 2021 lockdown when grocery sales were unusually elevated, it’s difficult to draw firm conclusions. However, there’s no doubt the sector is operating against a backdrop of rising inflation, which reached a 30-year-high in April and is creating an unprecedented set of challenges.
As such, the mood of shoppers is bleak and IGD’s Shopper Confidence Index remains very low. With around 70% experiencing rising food, energy and petrol bills, shoppers are becoming divided in how they cope with the cost-of-living crisis and one in seven of the least affluent households claim to be missing more meals. IGD predicts that inflation is likely to peak higher and last longer than official forecasts. Therefore, shoppers will face severe financial pressures for at least the rest of the year, especially as they contend with the full effect of the rise in the energy price cap.
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