Home cooking and sweet treats are proving to be major beneficiaries of the tough economic times, according to Mintel’s new flagship report, British Lifestyles 2011.
It shows that one of the biggest increases in consumer spending over the past year has been on in-home food, with 38% of Brits claiming to have spent more or started spending on this category in the last 12 months.
The report also confirms that people turn chiefly to food to comfort themselves. The top five things cheering the nation up are: 1) favourite food to eat at home; 2) chocolate and sweets; 3) a night out; 4) a takeaway; 5) clothing and accessories.
Eating out is, though, on the decline. Of those who eat out, 33% say the number of times they do so has decreased and a similar number say they spend less on it.
Expenditure on drinking out has taken a hit too: 43% have cut or stopped spending on it as the rising cost of living drives people away from the pub back to their homes.
Mintel also found that when times are tough brand loyalty is the first thing to be bypassed, with 51% of people switching from their preferred brand if they see a better deal on another. Thirty-five per cent disagree that they will stick to the brands that they know and trust if the price rises.
Consumers are cynical of price rises too, with almost half thinking that retailers are using inflation as a cover to maintain their profits.