Food sales volumes fall as cost-of-living continues to bite

Food sales volumes dipped into decline in October as inflation continues to hit shoppers.

Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed food store sales fell by 0.3% in October 2023 after remaning flat the previous month.

Supermarket sales volumes edged up 0.2%, while categories such as specialist food stores such as bakers and butchers, and alcohol and tobacco stores slumped 4.2% and 10.4%, respectively.

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Online food spending values fell by 1.7% in October, although this figure is still greater than this time last year.

Feedback from the UK’s grocery retailers suggests the slip in sales comes from consumers buying cheaper products and prioritising important items in response to financial strains, such as the ongoing cost of living crisis.

The latest figures come as the ONS revealed retail sales as a whole had dropped unexpectedly, with sales volumes slipping to 0.3% in October following a fall of 1.1% in September, as shoppers looked to cut back to save for Christmas.



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