Poorest households hit by soaring food prices

The poorest UK households are being disproportionately hit by the impact of soaring food prices, according to a new government report containing more detailed statistics than previously available on income groups. It also shows that the consumption of every major nutrient has fallen in the last four years since world food prices began to rise.

Key points

  • Households in income decile group 2 (second lowest tenth of the population) derived 1891 Kcals per person per day from household food in 2011, 15 per cent less than in 2007 and now an amount similar to households in income decile group 1 (lowest tenth). Previously each year from 2001-02 to 2010 this group had an energy intake from household food higher than the average household: in 2011 both the lowest deciles came below the average.
  • For households in income decile groups 1 and 2, 16.6 per cent of spend went on household food in 2011 – 1.4 percentage points above the 2007 level, and 5.3 points more than the household average (11.3 per cent) for 2011.
  • Having peaked in 2006 and 2007, purchases of fruit and vegetable were 10 per cent lower in 2011 than 2007 for all households, 22 per cent lower for households in income decile group 2, and 15 per cent lower for households in income decile group 1. Only those in the top fifth of incomes were estimated to be eating the recommended five servings a day.

Source: Family Food 2011, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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