Healthy eating choices drop by almost a third as living costs surge

The number of adults preferring to eat healthy or organic food has fallen by almost a third in 2022 as living costs and inflation surge, a new survey has revealed.

According to the latest report from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) – which spoke to 3,000 shoppers – consumer awareness around healthy eating has dropped since the start of the year.

The data also revealed that those who state they always read the label before making a purchase has fallen by almost a quarter. This drop is higher among those aged between 35 – 54 and men.

The survey – which measures a wide range of lifestyle choices – shows a strong correlation between consumers’ squeezed budgets and their less healthy food choices.

It also revealed that almost 85% of adults are aware of the price of goods and services increasing, with awareness increasing by 11.8% for 35 – 54-year-olds.

As a result, the number of adults who say they are coping on their current salary has dropped by 5.5%, to 63.7%. Only half of young adults (15 – 34) and just under two-thirds of women say they are coping on their current income.

READ MORE: Cost-of-living crisis: Asda boss calls for VAT reduction

The number of adults feeling confident about the economy has shrunk by half, with women feeling far less confident than men. However, slightly more men (28.8%) feel that their level of debt will increase compared to women (26.8%).

“The past few years have been extraordinary with the pandemic affecting every corner of our lives. And now we have a cost-of-living crisis, throwing us into further disarray,” said IPA president, Julian Douglas.

IPA research director, Belinda Beeftink also commented on the findings: “What these new findings appear to show us is that even at the start of the year, with finances tightening, people are having to buy what they can afford rather than having the luxury of choice.

“We can only imagine with rising inflation levels and the clouds of a recession beginning to bubble up, that such stats will become bleaker.”

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